H E BLAC K KITE FLOATED in midair, single feathers on the tips of its wings splayed like fingers as it paused

, turned slightly, then dropped earthwards in an instant, to a treasure only it could see. With a beat or two it was up again, circling higher and higher over the Addis Ababa traffic, and away to the hills. Th e first scene to grab me in a new city, after leaving the hurly-burly of the airport, always makes an indelible mark. In Addis, it was that black kite - and it proved a fitting image for what Ethiopia had in store. Within hours I'd be off on a helicopter safari across the northern highlands: drifting over mountaintops, swooping down to savour some delight below, then fl ying off across vast, open landscapes. In a region of rough roads and long, dusty journeys, I'd be flitting with ease from ancient, rock-hewn churches to dizzily high escarpments, the chopper reducing travel hours to mere minutes. 'Ready to go?' asked pilot Ben Simpson, who met us after the short hop from Addis to the northern town of Mekele. Four passengers, travelling light. He ushered us through the departures hall at Mekele airport, and across the tarmac to a nippy-looking blue-and-white Squirrel B3+ helicopter. We put on headphones and strapped ourselves into our seats before he eased the craft off the ground, edged it forward a little, then darted directly upwards, curling over Mekele and out, northwards, through a craggy valley under a powder-blue sky. Within minutes, there was barely a road to be seen - and not a single vehicl e - just solitary walkers and little groups with pack mules on dusty tracks, miles and miles apart. We dropped down to fly low through a gorge, past a sturdy green-and-pink church standing alone on a ledge of rock. Two large birds took off below us, their white-tipped wings flapping heavily to get them airborne. 'Ground hornbills,' said Simpson. 'It's considered lucky to see white on their wings.' Gelada monkeys, which had come to the river to drink, scattered and clambered up a rock face as we flew overhead. As if taking a small step, the helicopter climbed slightly, skimmed the tops of the cliffs that lined the gorge, a nd transported us in an instant to another landscape entirely. Fields of golden grain, patch ed by deep green and thickets of trees, faded to haze in the distance. Here and there stood a farm compound: a round hut with a conical th atched roof, square outbuildings, a low stone wall. One of the passengers slid back a side door to take photographs; wind whipped through th e helicopter as we banked over two men forking straw into a pile, a spray of kernels in the air following the arc of each stroke. Alongside the men , a pair of oxen circled ceaselessly, threshing grain . ' It's biblical,' said Simpson. 'And you saw how clear the river was. That's a testament to the clean way these guys farm.' Soon, the distant haze began to resolve itself into a jagged mountain range, jutting abruptly from the plain like a line of heavily fo rtified castles. This was the Gheralta E scarpment, our

first stop. We flew closer. The farm compounds below changed colour, taking on the red of Gheralta's sandstone cliffs. Here, houses are built from what's nearest to hand. Simpson took the helicopter right up to a sheer precipice and hovered until we were able to make out the fac;ade of an ancient church - carved into the rock near the top. The rock-hewn churches of Gheralta intertwine history with legend. Ethiopia, tradition has it, was first settled by a greatgrandson of Noah. The imperial dynasty that ruled for 3,000 years and ended with the death of H aile Selassie in 1975 was, most Ethiopians believe, founded by the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It is a matter of historical record that Christianity was the official state religion by the middle of the fourth century, and the E thiopian Orthodox Church h.as ploughed its own (often isolated) furrow ever since. The churches around Gheralta, and in the surrounding region of Tigrai, mark its path through the course of many centuries. It was time for a closer look.

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A mobile phone call brought the priest, still sweating from \Vork in the !1elds. He kicked off his sandals, put on a shawl and unlocked the church, allowing us to glimpse the holy ark

E LANDED AT Gheralta Lodge, an unobtrusive collection of traditional stone-walled bungalows looking out over the mountains, barely 30 minutes after leaving Mekele; the same journey by road would have taken well over two hours. After a lunch of pasta with fresh pesto that could have held its head high in Genoa (owner Silvio Rizzotti is a devotee of the Slow Food movement, and it shows), we piled into a minibus with thick acrylic fur on the dashboard and fringes on the sun visors, and bumped off along a rutted road, through rich farmland. Gebre, our guide, listed the crops as we passed: wheat, lentils, mil.let, sorghum. The cruel famines many people stiJJ associate with Ethiopia were exacerbated, in a normally fertile country, by the political ineptness and malice of governments now overthrown. Around us, people were busy with a good harvest. When the minibus could go no further, we walked, followed by a burgeoning flock of children, little girls of barely four or five carrying younger siblings on their backs. The church of Kidus Giyorgis Mai Kado (St George of the Running Water), carved from a monolith but free-standing, lies uncharacteristically in a hollow. Local oral tradition and Western academics disagree on the antiquity of the Tigrai churches. Current Europea n speculation is that the oldest probably go back to the 10th century, but Gebre believes the origins of Kid us Giyorgis date from at least 600 years before that. He pointed out an outdoor stone lectern that pre-dated the church and rang an ancient bell made from fo ur dangling pieces of slate, perfectly in tune. A call fro m Gebre's mobile phone brought the priest, still sweating from work in the fields. H e kicked off his sandals, put on a shawl and unlocked the church. Momentarily, he lifted the curtain of the tabernacle, allowing us to glimpse the holy ark, a privilege few Westerners are afforded. Our second stop was Abreha we Atsbeha, where an 18thcentury frontage has been built over a carved cliff church of far

Opposite, Wollo women beside a tributary of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. Previous pages, the Gheralta Escarpment, the writer's first stop
99

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An Ethiopian man wears a gabi as part of a religious service. Opposite, conical thatched houses between the Simien Mountains and Lalibela
101

greater antiquity. We stood alongside white-robed pilgrims as Gebre pointed out a fresco showing the cannibal Belai, who was saved from damnation because the single drop of water he had given a leper in the Virgin's name outweighed the 72 corpses he had devoured, after St Mary cast her shadow over the droplet on the Scales of Judgement. Th en it was back to the lodge, for cocktails of Campari and tej (local honey wine). We took off from Gheralta just after dawn. Morning haze draped the mountains and gave soft focus to the farmland below: thatched farmsteads, people walking out to the fields, a caravan of camels getting underway. One minute we were skimming mountain -tops, the next the land dropped suddenly beneath us and we were thousands of feet above a plain. The light slowly strengthened. We aimed south-west towards th e Si mien range. 'This is where it really starts,' said Simpson, 45 minutes into an already spectacular flight. We banked around a cliffface to find ourselves in a gorge of the wide, glassy, green Tekeze River. 'It's Africa's answer to the Grand Canyon,' he said, as we dropped down to 30 metres, almost skimming the water's surface, to spot crocodiles, goliath herons, a pelican. Then up again, sometimes lingering to view a waterfall,

sometim es speeding over the tops of craggy hills at upwards of 160km an hour. At one point, Simpson seemed to be flying directly at a cliff. A s we got closer, what had appeared to be solid rock face took on an odd 3-D perspecti ve, th en revealed itself as a series of pinnacles, o ne behind the other. The helicopter slowed. Simpson lowered it towards a blade of rock extending from one of the pinnacles. I shut my eyes. When I opened them again, we had la nded - the tail of the chopper jutting out over one cliff, the nose almost touching another. We slid back the doors. The scent of thyme from the bushes around us filled the air. A Rilppell's griffon vulture, reputedly the world's highest flying bird, eyed us as equals as it passed, then rose even higher, to put us in our place. 'This is the coolest breakfast I've ever had,' someone said, as we tucked into coffee, fresh bread rolls, and smoky-flavoured honey from Gheralta. On we flew, through crags, over crevices, past some of the highest mountains in Africa, dimbing for a God 's-eye view. 'Hikers have no idea,' said Simpson, 'you really can't see this when you are on it.' We landed again on a vertiginous grassy shelf, scattered with semi-precious stones, where it seemed no human had ever been, then flew on to the lodge of the Simien

Above, the church of Biete Giyorgis at Lalibela. Opposite, carrying dried grass back from mountain pastures. Following pages, the Simien Mountains
103

Mountains National Park, suspended at an altitude of 3,260 metres. It took only a short hop into the park in a four-wheeldrive before we spotted a troop of baboon-like Gelada monkeys, the males with red, heart-shaped chest patches and stylish manes. The monkeys nibbled placidly on grasses, their cooing baby-like gurgles and occasional shrieks mingling with the birdsong. Back at base, a group of children had gathered near the helicopter. They started to clap in rhythm. A lad of eight or nine began a low-voiced song, with which even the tiniest toddler joined in, while two other boys performed a wriggling eskista shoulder dance as we took off and turned to follow the Tekeze R iver south, to the town of Lalibela. the 900-year-old churches at Lalibela had been cut out of rock. I hadn't realised that, in many cases, the ch isellers started from the top down, first digging a hole around a monolithic block, then carving a fac;ade on it, before tunnelling in to create an interior. Or (some say) possibly doing all of this simultaneously, carving the fac;ade as they descended, while at th e same time burrowing in th rough a loft 'window' to fashion the inside. Either way, it was a bewildering feat of architectural calculation - building in negative, and getting lines and proportions perfect. We mingled among worshippers in a cluster of churches on the edge of town. Ethiopians retained their sovereignty in the Scramble for Africa. Theirs is not missionary Christianity but a home-grown religion close to its Judaic roots, with ancient traditions. Pilgrims prayed right by the rock face of Biete Medhani Alem (Saviour of the World) Church, as if at Jerusalem's Western Wall. Inside Biete Mariam (St Mary's), Stars of David were carved in the ceiling, and one fresco tapped an even older source, depicting the brown ox of Good doing battle with the black ox of Evil. That night, when we returned for a festival celebrating the Virgin, priests danced and chanted to drumbeats; in the moonlight figures swathed in white filed along passageways cut into the rock, in scenes that seemed to short-circuit back two millennia. Ceremonies continued through to Sunday morning, when crowds gathered, sittin g on the ground outside the churches; slightl y out of sync, as each mass found its own pace, different strands of chanting drifted across th e town. Our return flight south towards Addis took us first along a tributary of th e Blue Nile. Huge crocodil es slipped into the water as we passed overhead. We landed on a (crocodile-free) bank , and within minutes a group of Wallo people came from the fields to investigate: the women with braided hair and pretty buttons sewn on their dresses, many of the men wearing goatsk in capes. Amid hil arity and sign language, one of the men offered to share lunch with me, then ran back to the fie lds and returned with a spherical covered basket containing injera (pancake bread). Simpson presented a precious jar of G heralta honey, which he'd been saving for his children, in exchange. Then we pressed on. It was harvest time, the fa rmers had work to do. The Blue Nile is muddy brown. The limpid tributary we had been following ran up against it with a sharp change of colour. We tracked the river gorge south, and as the Blue Nile turned to flow back north towards Khartoum, we left it to return to the corrugatediron roofs, smoky air and circling black kites of Addis Ababa. 0

I

KNEW THAT

Getting there
Journeys by Design (+44 1273 623790; www.journeysbydesign .com) offers a 10-night helicopter safari through northern Ethiopia, combining Lalibela, the Simien Mou ntains and the Danakil Depression, from £19,550 per person, including a private helicopter with pilot, full-board accommodation and ground support.

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Top right, women in white robes attend Sunday-morning worship at Biete Medhani Alem, one of the 900-year-old churches in Lalibela. Opposite, a night-time ceremony celebrating the Virgin at Biete Mariam. Previous pages, the Saturday market in the Lalibela
109

S1rr1NG I N THE SHADE of a pear tree in the garden of a house that once belonged to the Danish artists Anna and Michael Ancher, I feel very little compulsion to move. A fuzzy and contented calm has settled on the streets of Skagen, a fishing port in northern Jutland. Sozzled-sounding bees bumble about in the lindens; a grasshopper chirrups. On the pine table in front of me there's a second cup of coffee and a plate bearing the crumbs of a Skagenhorn, a sugar-crisped pastry filled with soft marzipan. To my left is the Anchers' former home: white wooden window frames set in rendered walls of red-brown, the colour of cocoa dusted on a toasted almond. Behind me, the Saxild H ouse, painted in the characteristic ochre shade of the region, its orange pantiles edged out with pale plaster, giving the impression that the roof is held together with icing sugar. Jn front, a white picket fence beyond which Danish women with hair the colour of wheat swish past on bicycles. A breeze blows gentle and constant, shepherding woolly clouds across a cornflower sky, bringing the scent of lipstickpink dog roses; the light is as pure as the air. Everything bathed in it is sharply defined, refreshed, and seems to be shivering slightly. It was the light of Skagen ('It's pronounced Skane,' a D anish friend tells me, ' though if I were a Swede I would pronounce it "Skah-gan".' She sounds the hard 'g' with an audible sneer, the ridiculousness of such a thing apparently typical of her nation's oldest and bitterest rival) that drew the Anchers, their artist fri ends, such as PS Kroyer, Viggo Johansen and Laurits Tuxen, and the writer Holger Drachmann here in the late 19th century. The paintings and poetry produced by this Danish equiva lent of the Bloomsbury Group turned what had been a backwoods farming-and-fishin g communi ty into a fash ionable holiday destination fo r wealthy Danes: a Scandinavian St Ives. The uniqueness of the light - so strong it's almost palpable - is produced by Skagen's singular position, on a narrow spit of land that juts out of northern Denm ark like an accusatory finger pointed at Sweden. The waters of the Skagerrak and Kattegat seas batter the white-sand beaches that run in an almost continual 65km curve around the east and west coasts, meeting at Grenen, an ever-shifting bar of sand that is D enmark's most northerly point. In between lies a wild heathland of spiky marsh grasses decorated with pink will ow herb, the white puffballs and ragged yellow flowers of ragwort, lilac sheep's-bit scabio us, ox-eye daisies and the wil d-haired heads of purple knapweed. Harebells jounce in the sea wind,

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and sparrowhawks and red kites cruise over yellow furze. The land is so fastidiously flat it seems to have been drawn on canvas using a T-square. Here the H vide Fyr, the white 18th-century lighthouse that stands no higher than 15 metres, is a landmark comparable to Mount Fuji. Along with the Victorian Gra Fyr (grey lighthouse), the town 's Vrede Kirke, with its elaborate lead-clad cupola, and a restored windmill at the open-air museum , this is the nearest the peninsula has to a mountain range. The combination of surrounding water and flat land means light seems to pour down onto Skagen, and it leads to weather that changes as quickly as the patterns in a kaleidoscope, switching from calm and balmy to lashing rain, then to a sultry tropical heat. The clim atic turmoil compels th e wary and the well-prepared into some strange fashion combinations. One day, sitting in a cafe at th e harbour among Danes snacking on crab claws washed down with dark ale fro m th e Skagen

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microbrewery, I notice a dark-haired woman wearing a gauzy linen dress, Ilse Jacobsen galoshes, sunglasses, a cagoul and a straw hat. Even so, I fee l she can't have been to Skagen before, or she'd have known to tie a cable-k nit sweater around her waist fo r when the wind turns chilly.

THE HARBOUR IS the bustling heart of Skagen, busy throughout the day. Despite the yacht moorings and the holiday air, it's a working port where cruise liners and freighters still dock and trains carrying P&O and Hapag-Lloyd containers rum ble through the centre of \ town, past the hot-dog stand with its specially hollowedout buns in which to slot the sausages.The dark copper-red wooden fish warehouses that date from just before World War I are now all restaurants and cafes, but the fishing fleet still lands a catch every day, and in the early morning the auction - of fl ounder, turbot and halibut, squid and eel, Dublin Bay prawns so big they might easily masquerade as lobsters - draws wholesalers from across northern Europe. Than ks to the efforts of chefs Rene Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen and Charles Tjessem of Charles og De at Sandnes in Norway, Scandinavian foo d is at last getting the attention its quality merits. Because, as the veteran US food writer Dale Brown once observed, a nation doesn't expend as much energy on the design of tableware (glasses, porcelain, stainless-steel cutlery) as the Danes do unless it also cares about what it eats and drinks. Th e cheaper restaurants along the harbour sell fish an d chips, dishes of three types of herring, crispy calamari and platters of Skagen's smoked and air-dried ham, as dark and robust as that

Opposite, clockwise from top left: the harbour in Skagen; the nearby dunes at Klitplantage; a traditional cottage; the lounge at Bnz1ndums Hotel; Old Skagen; Ruths Hotel; a fish shop in Nordkaj, Skagen; mussels at Pakhuset. Previous pages, from left: Klitplantage dunes; a beachside house
112

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from the Black Forest (you can buy some for beach picnics at Charcuterie Munch opposite the Anchers' house). Customers sit outside a t wooden ta bles, wrapped in Carlsberg brewery fleece blanke ts against the evening chill, fortifying themselves with glasses of Irish coffee, a drink that has not gone out of fash ion in Scandinavia. AT PAKH USET, one of the grander establishments, mussels are poach ed with tarragon in fish stock; fish balls (once a staple of working-class Scandinavian families) come with a curry remoulade and cranbe rry puree. A fillet of hot-smoked salmon is served with a salad of tomatoes and capers, and a dish of the waxy, ta llow-coloured, earth-scented potatoes that seem to taste better the furth er north you go. Th e fish warehouses were designed by another frie nd of the Anchers, Thorvald Bindesb¢11, a pioneer of Jugendstil and a man considered by many to be the fath er of modern Da nish design. Examples of his ceramics (large green a nd aquamarine pots) ca n be seen at Br¢ndums Hotel. This venerable institution, visited down through the years by everyone from Ha ns Ch ristia n Andersen to Queen Christina, was a key place in the development of Skage n as a holiday destina tion. The An chers and their frie nds stayed here wh en they fi rst arrived, ate in the wood-pa nelled dining room a nd painted pictures of th e interiors, includ ing ma ny of the famous Blue Room. Br¢ndums has re tained its air of well-starched Edwa rdian cosin ess.111e bedrooms have lime-washed pine floors, rosewood furniture, white bed linen and wallpape r in ticking stripes of maroon a nd cream. Few of the rooms in the main bui lding have e n-suite bathrooms, so in the mornings the corridors are fi lled with freshly showe red people in bathrobes. The fact tha t many Danish women exude th e healthful blonde perkiness of Doris Day or Debbie Reynolds adds to the wholesome fee l of the place. Like Skagen itself, the hotel is extremely comfortable without ever aspiring to luxury; a vigorous Scandinavian aesthetic, fo rged by Protestantism and the climate, is a n effective ba rrier against sybaritic indulgence. The hotel laundry across the street became the artists' makesh ift studio. It's now the site of an impressive gallery, the Skagens Museum , devoted to the work of the Skage n artists. It was designed by the architect Ulrik Plesner, who also created the look of Br¢ndums H otel. Plesner had origin ally come here to carry out work on a lighthouse. The coast is dotted with th e m: a re minde r th at the churning waters of the Skagerrak and K attegat are at o nce a li fe lin e a nd a death threat. Walking north along the beach from Skagen ha rbour towards Grenen, you pass one of th e oldest, the Vippe Fyr (a brazier tha t dangled from a wooden arm) , before e ntering a martial canyon of abandoned World War II gun emplacements. The artille ry pieces have been removed, and some vague attempt was made to destroy wha t remai ned, but the concrete bastions have resisted the demolition me n, listing slightly, but as durable as Monument Valley. Beyond the m towers the grey lighthouse. A t 9pm. the great la mp (supplied by a firm in Paris) bursts into li fe; from a dista nce, the revolving reflector that circles the vast e lectric bulb gives the impression of igniting gas, a pagan explosio n of fire
From top: the white tower of St Laurence's Church; fish cakes at Skagen Fiskerestaurant; a letterbox in Gar>ila Skagen. Opposite, the sandy ·floored dining room at Skagen Fiskerestaurant

that mimics the mighty bonfires that have been lit along the beach on Midsummer's Eve since the days of the Norsemen. 'Ah, so you came by sea: the proper way to arrive in our country,' the hotel receptionist said when I told her we had caught the ferry from Gothenburg to the Jutland port of Frederikshavn. The Danes, like all Scandinavians, have an affinity for water, which is hardly surprising since their country, like Finland, Norway and Sweden, is a mass of inlets, estuaries, rivers and lakes. It's more liquid than solid: the topographical equivalent of the human body. The empty fortifications overlook a shipping lane down which 100,000 vessels pass each year. On a blustery evening, two dozen long, gutted freighters with dull red hulls, a couple supporting bulbs of liquid gas, chug slowly on towards the Baltic, bound for Gdansk, Riga and St Petersburg. A group of men are sitting on deckchairs, with binoculars on tripods, notebooks and pens, their cagoul hoods pulled tight around their heads as they write down the numbers of passing ships - the marine equivalent of trainspotters. It's a popular pastime in these parts. I've noticed that many of the cottages for rent advertise 'Overlooking major shipping Janes'.
ThE EXT DAY the weather is enough to deter even the most obsessive ship-spotter. It appears to have been arranged purely to demonstrate the brilliance of the painter Lauri ts Tuxen, whose brooding artworks, in which a thunderous, glowering sky squats athwart a bruise-blue sea, line the walls of the Skagens Museum. By lunchtime the weather has calmed; by evening the summer has returned. Th e sky is placid, th e sea the same blue as the flowers on the Royal Copenhagen breakfast plates. I walk south, down streets of single-storey houses, rendered and painted yellow ochre and named after past owners: Jens' Hus, Brita's Gaard. Doors, window frames and shutters are dark marine green, or

French blue picked out in white. In the gardens, azaleas and roses surround fl agpoles topped by the D anish pennon. Soon the street disappears into undulating dunes decorated with yellow broom and yarrow in pink and cream. In the late evening, it is eerily quiet and so still that the snap of my sunglasses case closing sounds like a rifle shot, sending jackdaws squawking skywards 100 metres away. I climb up a sandy mound. From the top, I watch blue-sailed fishing smacks returning to port. The famous white tower of St Laurence's Church, one of the most photographed buildings in Scandinavia, pokes out between a stand of pines. Built in the late 14th century, it was originally red brick. Its location left it vulnerable, however, to forces almost as dangerous as the sea's waves - the shifting Skagen sands. By the 1700s, the mobile dunes, driven by the wind, had breeched the churchyard. Later, the Danes would learn to control the sand much as the Dutch learned to control water, though even today the dunes of the R abjerg Mile migrate eastwards by up to 15 metres a year, subsuming anything in their path. But the knowledge came too late to save St Laurence's from the dunes' remorseless attack. In 1795, with the buttressed outer walls obliterated, the surrounding graveyard engulfed and sand blocking the front door, King Christi an VII gave permission for the church to be demolished. The tower was left, painted white as a marker for shipping. I take a walk around the ridge that surrounds the abandoned churchyard, meadow brown butterflies and hawk moths fluttering up from the bent grass in front of me. The pantiled rooftops of Skagen peep above the white sand and th e dark shadows of the pines. Far off, the grey lighthouse flashes its signal across the eastern sea. Above it, the velvet sky is rippled with the buttery 0 light of the dimming sun.

THE SCENE IN SKAGEN
W~ERETO STAY
Bnzmdums Hotel A venerable Edwardian hot el wit h a rich hist ory and strong lin ks to the Skagen artists . It 's short on modern amenities (there are no TVs, and rooms in t he main building have shared bathrooms), but makes up for it in atmosphere and austere Nordic beaut y. 3 Anchersvej by a local lifeboatman in the early 20t h century. The spacious, ai ry rooms take maximum advantage of t he famous light. A private terrace looks out to sea, giving a prime view of the su nset, and there's a solarium, sauna and Turkish baths. 1 Hans Ruthvej, Gamla Skagen good option for families.

39 Gammel Landevej ( +45 9844 2233; WWW. skagenhotel.com). Doubles from about £125

one of the original fish warehouses along the quayside. Try oldschool hits such as oyster gratin and grilled turbot with hollandaise . 13

WHERE TO EAT
Pakhuset Th is is the best of the fish places around the harbour. There's a restaurant upst airs, though in warm weather most diners prefer to sit out on the terrace and wat ch t he world go by.

Fiskehuskaj (+45 9844 3544; www.skagen fiskerestaurant. dk). About £70 for two
Brnndums Hotel The rest aurant here serves supreme Danish cooking in an elegant dining room ( in summer you can eat out in the garden) . Start with matje herring and pickled cucumber or velvety fish soup, followed by sole with lobster roe, or roast-veal brisket.

(+45 9844 1124; WWW. ruths-hotel.dk). Doubles from about £205
Color Hotel T his large, contemporary property has a swimm ing pool, spa and crazy-golf course. Self-catering apartments that sleep up to six and have sleek, modern kitchens are a

Ruths Gourmet Rated one of the top restaurants in the cou ntry outside Copenhagen, this lovely spot at Ruths Hotel is presided over by Lyonnais chef M ichel Michaud. It serves French-influenced dishes with a heavy em phasis on seafood and classics such as foie gras . About

£155 for two

( +45 98441555; WWW. broendums-hotel.dk) . Doubles from about £125
Ruths Hotel A couple of m iles across the peninsula on t he wilder west shore, this place in Old Skagen was founded

GHTING THERE
SAS (www.flysas.com) flies from Heathrow to Gothenburg in Sweden. Stena Line (www.stena line.nl) runs a ferry from Gothenburg to Frederikshavn. Skagen is then a 25-minute drive.

6 Rodspaetteves ( +45 9844 2000; WWW. pakhuset-skagen. dk). About £80 for two
Skagen Fiskerestau rant Another high-c lass seafood restaurant in

About £90 for two

Opposite, clockwise from top left: an ochre-coloured house in Skagen; Soinedgangen beach; red-roofed Ruths Hotel; t he grey lighthouse; the reception at Brnndums Hotel; t he gallery of artists at Skagens Museum; a restored windmill; a bed room at Ruths Hotel
117

The real truth about industry's spindoctors
REPORT BY JANE BUSSMANN
us DEPA RTMENT of State's website has a travel warning: 'Worldwide Caution '. What? The whole world is risky now? Britain warns travellers even Germany is dangerous. For my own sanity, I'll assume it's a clerical cock-up, intended for 1939. The DoS concludes chirpily, 'Follow us on Twitter' - @cackingmyAbercrombies? Last year, on the East African coast, beautifu l hotels were abandoned. No couples made unforgettable love beneath scarlet hibiscus. African chambermaids, those notorious high-rollers, lost their jobs because 'experts' warned of a 1/nth chance of Somali pirates. Yes, you pissed off the Muslims. So don't go clubbing in Kabul in a bikini on the Fourth of July, and let the rest of us travel. I set out to have fun in East Africa, despite experts advising fear of everything from Somalis to potholes. WHSmith groaned with travelogues into Africa's dark heart by brave wh ite men armed with nothing but thousa nds o f dollars, fu ll-spectrum vaccines and a network of local guides who knew they wouldn 't get paid if Whitey stubbed his toe. Charities and UN agencies published heartrending stories, paying staff 'hardship allowances' just for livin g in Kenya's capita l, Nairobi. What the experts don 't want you to know is you can't get a table in a restaurant in Nairobi. Artcaffe jostles with Africans drink ing cappuccinos, doing business on iPhones. Skyscrapers have Botox clinics, rooftop pools and supermarkets stocked with self-help books. Label-crazy Kenyan boys have Ralph Lauren etched into the lenses of their sunglasses and girls swivel in skin-tight punk jeans and pink hair. I took a breather from the energy in a sketchy side-street cafe, only to see that the bloke next to me was reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was holiday season, so I did what young Kenyans were doing and bought myself an airline ticket to the beach by text message. This is M-Pesa, a corruption of 'mobile money' in Swahili. I went to a tiny green kiosk on a street corner, gave some cash to a young woman (purple hair this time) and got an SMS back. Boom I'd deposited cash on my phone and could text it to the airline. Everyone does it he re: Africans are beating the system.And with fewer chances fo r banks or credit card companies to touch their money, they might get to keep it. Landing at Mombasa's Moi International Airport - hot, small, surrounded by coconut palms and bent cops - you sense you are in fo r a good time. I'd barely opened my copy of Coastweek to check the hippest restaurants and surgeons when a Kenyan friend pulled up in a battered hatchback. She opened a mini bottle of Champagne with her teeth and we were off, horn blaring at taxi touts who cursed her in Swahili, swerving a pink bus with a massive picture of Gaddafi, fists aloft, proclaiming the U nited States of Africa. A matatu taxi sported a cheerful cartoon Arab in sunglasses, slogan: 'A l Shabaab'. Africans have a sense of humour about terrorism. Local politicians accused of working with Al-Shabaab sn iffed, 'We can't match the salaries.' Spuming experts, we did what locals do - read the newspaper. When suspected police emptied 17 bullets into a suspected bomber, we decided we'd still hit the shops, but it might be a good idea to be home before Friday prayers. We got back from Biashara Street with bags of five-buck beaded sandals that would cost you $70 in New York, and bales of sil k and soft linen. Today, despite grumpy jihadis, Kenya's middle class is exploding. The air flowed not with the bitter sting of tears but with construction dust, holiday flats sprouting. Bamburi Beach hopped; white sand packed with sunbathers - all black. Tiny Mama Lucia's of Mtwapa had expanded into the garden, Italian chef Matteo rushing to meet African demand for homemade pizza and lasagne. We pulled up in a boat at Yul's and had gourmet gelato among thousands of African holidaymakers. ATMs ran out of cash. It was impossible to get a flight back to town. This is the African success story the experts hush up. Mombasa instantly immerses you in warm air and hustle, the call to prayer swir ling as tuk-tuk drivers spin you around Fort Jesus. Avocadoes and mangoes fl ank the alleys and boda-boda motorbike taxi boys keep people moving, nibbling fistfuls of qat against road rage. In the winding streets of the O ld Town, clim b past the antique shops and $400$600 a month gets you a two-bedroom top-floor apartment with a wraparound balcony on the Indian Ocean. Your carved wooden bed looks onto the same glittering water thatArab traders cruised with cardamom and nutmeg long befor e C hristopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama went shopping. On Christmas night, a friend's car screamed up outside my window. 'Do you know where your passport is? And how much cash have you got in US dollars?' he asked, grabbing jerrycans of water. 'H as the revolution started?' 'What? No! We're sailing to Tanzania fo r Boxing Day. Come on, we can be over the border by morning. Jambo's moored.' Jambo is a wooden sailing dhow.

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When suspected police emptied 17 bullets into a suspected bomber, we still hit the shops

'Corruption is part of the picture here,' says Bono. Is it? Are Africans naturally dishonest?

v

THE FIRST PRESID OF KENYA MZEE JOMO K ATTA fll'.>ff THE ~ OF OIRFCTn-

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Af~rica

and vvhat the aid , don t vvant you to knovv
'It's lOpm ,' I said. 'So?' he replied, filling a carrier bag with lager. He is, after all, Kenyan. An hour later, we were clanking down a gangplank in the m oonlight. By 7am on Boxing Day, I was below deck with a Jack Russell , a German captain dressed as ldi A min and assorted revellers, sailing for Pemba Island, Zanzibar, which is known for witchcraft and cloves. I came up on deck to find dozens of dolphins inspecting Jambo. 'They saved me,' an African told me. ' I had a panic attack swimming in open water. Everyone buggered off. Suddenly four dolphins surrounded me, flapping their fi ns, looking at me to make sure I was OK until my friends fou nd me.' 'Hippy,' Tsaid. Jn fact, T'd had an identical experience with a panic attack and a seal, but that was none of her business. empowering perpetrators, billions in aid into the coffers of politicians unable to stop photogenic kids starving in a fertile country while cash keeps coming and the poverty industry gets its salaries tax-free. The UN pays thousands in hardship allowances 'to compensate staff for difficult living conditions'. What you don't see in the poverty-industry appeals is where their staff Live. Their sprawling lawns. Their tax-free UN deli advertising an 'extensive range of wines'. Doctors Without Borders tend to live local, as does the odd community worker or nun. But check out the parking lots of Nairobi 's finest restaurants: rows of four-wheel-drives with charity logos. Oxfam recently got busted when someone spotted a post on their b log looking for a swimming-pool cleaner. I've been told that since this scandal there have been big changes in the p overty industry. There will be no more money for swimming pools. From now on, they must be invoiced as 'water tanks'. Next time you're woken on a flight for an upsetting film urging you to put money in Change for Good envelopes, consider th is: UNICEF are up the front drinking free Champagne. You might fly long haul in economy, UN staff fl y business, costing $54 million a year for the Geneva and New York headquarters alone. Local fundraising committees Like UNICEF UK can make their own policy and get charity rates from airlines, but UNTCEF's Geneva HQ supplied UN staff rules:'below the level of Assistant Secretary-General, the standard of accommodation for air t ravel will be business class if a single leg journey is nine hours or more'. As if that wasn't enough, aid workers deliberately make journeys longer to qualify fo r upgrades by flying indirect routes. As Twrite this, an exasperated US government is forcing the UN to change th e rul e to l 1 hours, noting the UN's additional 'subsistence allowances' mean 'we're paying to reimburse employees fo r meals and hotel costs while they're 30,000 feet in the air'. For just a dollar you can help a child. By sending his CY to the UN. And here's why you should never listen to the hardship-allowance club. What they don 't want you to know is that Africa is booming: five to 10 per cent growth. This despite slavery, colonialism and 30 years of negative campaigning by Geldof and Bono's poverty industry. 'We can't fix every problem - corruption, natural calamities are part of the picture here,' says Bono. Are they? Are Africans naturally dishonest? When Madonna adopted David Banda, did you call her and say, 'Madge, you might wanna lock up your valuables'? Sure, Kenya has huge slums, but people move to slums to look for jobs, not charity. Charities are a billiondollar industry producing powerful, glossy campaigns of Africans as victims and savages, scaring off the very investors who create jobs. And who is really helping whom? Western politicians love to talk about Africa. 'I'm your education minster, I'm cutting school budgets, but don 't look at that, look at my African orphan. I saved her by digging a ditch in Rwanda on my holidays, all alone apart from 40 press photographers. Together with Africa, we can care.' Recently we've seen a U-turn, charities and politicians talking positivity, even claiming Africa's exciting new generation is the one th ey saved. Africa is boomi ng despite wh ite people, not thanks to them, you tax-dodging imbeciles. Don't send money. Go on holiday. 0

Oxfam got busted when someone spotted a post on their blog looking for a swimming-pool cleaner

USTOMS PADD LED OUT on a canoe and cleared us for a swim in Manta Resort's freshwater pool. No noticeable witchcraft, but there were clove-honey cocktails in hammocks and scuba diving. We watched thousands of silver skipjack tuna churning the water to foam and slept on deck - the moon was so bright I wore an eye mask. You can charter Jambo from Manta's sister hotel, Shimon i Reef Lodge. The boat hosted a three-day African birthday that saw off 14 crates of wine and Champagne, 16 crates of beer, 48 bottles of spirits and two suckling pigs. I remember the DJ plugging in turntables as we hit high seas. The chef sat chopping basil as dancers crashed from one side of th e deck to the other. Mombasa has been around for a long time. When Britain was eating dung, it was a prosperous trading town. Yet I kept meeting foreigners 'empowering victims'. I wonder what would happen if we stopped

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You might fly long haul in economy; UN staff fly business, costing $54 million a year

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122 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

THIS MONTH

Kent-dwelling foodie Marina O'Loughlin serves up a hearty haul of lip-smacking tips on her favourite stretch of salty, shingly coast

INSIDER'S Gl!J IDE

o anyone as food-obsessed as I am, the East Kent coast has obvious appeal. I was sitting by the window in Whitstable's O yster Stores many years ago when I first realised how I felt about the place. I'd just slurped a dozen sweet native oysters, and was about to tackle a local lobster and a vast steel bowl of rustling, salty, homemade chips. The Muscadet sur Lie was chilled to the bone, and outside t he window a coral-and-scarlet sunset was staining the sea t he colour of marmalade. It was love. Whitstable has now been rediscovered, its high street colonised by great little independent shops; and, endearingly, the local butchers, bakers and greengrocers stil l ply a thriving trade. The harbour is no longer merely the preserve of fishermen, but a destination in its own right, with a market, restaurants and the chance to snack on seafood just yards from where it was hoiked out of t he water. It's not an overstatement to suggest that hungry foodies were instrumental in kick-start ing the town's regeneration, calling East Kent 'the new Ludlow'. Like that food iest of towns, the area is blessed with wonderfu l architecture - especially when you head inland to historic Faversham, a little further under the radar but just as rewarding. Real East Kent adventure, howeve r, is to be found down the coast, where the Isle of Thanet (it really was once an island, separated from the mainland by t he now silted-up, comically named River Wantsum) is sparking into all sorts of new life. Admittedly, Margate is never going to be Aldebu rgh, but its fans wou ld n't want it to be: we love the combination of a bit of edge with long

T

Blue Flag beaches. A creative influx • has breathed new energy into the area, t he stunning Turn er Contemporary gallery being t he Flake in the 99. Anticipation is high f or t he re deve Iopment o f th e D ream Iand · d f b k fa1rgro un , once a totem or uc eth I'd k b . a~d-sp.ad ~ bo 1 ayma ~rs, .no~ d eing

reir:iagine Ya tea~ t at inc u es , gner Wayne Hemingway. Then theres des1 sleepy Broadstai~s with its enchanting town beach, Vi king Bay (and the locally loved shack-cafe on adjoin ing Louisa Bay) and Ramsgate, with its cafe-lined Royal Harbour and Regency architecture to match Brighton's finest, but wit h none of the attitude. And did I mention the sunny microcl imate?

The Sports1~a~ in Seasalter was a place .of p1lg11mage for me long before 1t caught the eye of the men from Michelin. The.exterior of this defiantly non-atmospheric old pub on the . . coast road, with its panorama of marshy . . . beach and seagulls, gives little hint of the joys wi thin. Everything is good, from crispy duck with sour cream and smokedchilli salsa to the house-cured, Parma-like ham from nearby M onkshill Farm's pigs. Self-taught chef Stephen H arris makes his own unspeakably delicious butter and even the salt. This is one of the few places where I always have the tasting menu (which must be pre-ordered) , a dazzling showcase for Kent's fin est produce and Harris's prodigious talent. Fa versh am •

STAR PLAYER

124 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

Clockwise from above: Bake & Alehouse micropub;
breakfast at The Front Rooms; Stephen Harris of The Spo rtsman; a bedroom at The Front Rooms. Opposite, clockwise from top left: cakes at JoJo's; Seasalter beach huts; Wheeler's of Whitstable; a vintage cash register at JoJo's

papers and a glass of Bourgogne Aligote or a Ginger Kir. Church Road, Oare (+44 1795 533633; www.thethreemarinersoare. co.uk). About £50 for two

Road, Seasalter (+441227 273370; www. thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk). About £70 for two; tasting menu £65 per person

you buy it in Tesco, in which case the fee is doubled. 2 Herne Bay Road, Tankerton (+441227 274591; www.jojosrestaurant. co.uk). About £60 for two

SEAFRONT SENSATION The lovely, Iberian-influenced food at JoJo's became so popular that the restaurant had to move out of premises akin to a living room and into a sprawling Tankerton seafront building with killer views. Chef Nikki Billington 's menus aren't elaborate, but the cooking is spot-on: fresh, seasonal Kentish produce (with an emphasis on newly landed fish, deepfried or smok ily grilled). I'm addicted to the pea-and-mint risotto balls. There's a wonderful generosity of spirit here: although wine is served , you're welcome to bring your own for £3 corkage - unless

GASTROPUB WITH A GARDEN The original owners of The Three Mariners in Oare may have moved on (ex-Average White Band member Hamish Stuart and his wife Claire, who have just opened a new place in Tankerton with a former Sportsman chef), but th is ramshackle charmer is still popular with locals and the odd celebrity (Bob Geldof lives nearby). T he food is great - local ingredients, sympa thetically cooked - and the garden gazing over Oare Creek is a plus; there's even a cheap-as-chips 'walkers' menu' on Saturdays. Personally, I'm happy with the

FOR NO-FRILLS FOODIES Poised at the end of Ramsgate's East Pier, the once-unloved Harbour Lights Cafe, now the Royal Harbour Brasserie, has been taken over by chef Adrian Mo wl, who wowed everyone, including the Queen, with his food at the Turner Contemporary cafe. The brasserie is a curious structure, with the air of a lopped-off ferry, and it seem s to have been done up on a shoestring - sackcloth upholstery, industrial light fittings - but the menu, from fish'n'chips to guinea fowl, is assured and alluring. And the view is sensational: the curve of handsome terraces on one side, the sea sweeping all the way to France on th e other. East Pier, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate (+44 1843 599059; www.royalharbour brasserie.co.uk). About £50 for two NEIGHBOURHOOD FAVOURITE
Fort's Cafe is a local secret in Margate,

up the steep Fort Road from the

>

Above, the beach at Ramsgate. Left, an open fire at The Three Mariners pub and restaurant in Oare, near Faversham

fas hion and design, and it's evident in the smallest of details. 9 Tower Parade, Whitstable (+44 1227 282132; www. thefrontrooms.co.uk). Doubles f rom £110

SCOOP OF THE DAY
Anyone encountering th e swanky Morelli's ice-cream concession in Harrods might be surprised to find its roots here in sleepy Broadstairs. But oh, what a beauty - one of the UK's few remaining 1950s coffee bars, it has a dazzling mass of original features: leatherette and wicker seating, a tiny, camp fountain, and an amazing Formica ceiling, er, installation. You don 't come fo r the food (pedestrian panini and sandwiches) but for the famo us ge lato - bitter amarena cherry, maybe, or honeycomb to ffee - and frothy coffee in tall glasses. Occasionally grumpy staff can 't detract fro m the retro bliss. 14 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs ( +44 1843 862500; www.morellisgelato. com)

UNBEATABLE BEACH RETREAT
The wonderfully quirky clapboard Artists' Beach House snuggles up to brightly coloured beach huts, right on Tankerton's pebbly shore. Bristling with books, art and finds, it has hosted many a photo shoot - unsurprisingly, given its loveliness. The covered veranda is a perfect place to catch the town's famo us sunsets and the ever-changing seascape; there's even an outdoor octopus-shower-with-a-view for sluicing down seaweedy toes. +44 1637 881183; www.uniquehomestays.com. Sleeps eight; from £1,250 for fo ur nighLs

BRILLIANT BED AND BREAKFAST
A B&B run by an international DJ and a graphic designer is never going to be ord in ary, but The Reading Rooms in Margate is a showstopper. Liam Nabb and Louise Oldfield's handsome Georgian townhouse has romantic rooms - parquet floors, snowy beds, bronze chandeliers looking out onto Hawley Square; it's only a skip away from the Theatre Royal and the lovely Old Town. Bathrooms have walk-in showers, roll-top baths and Ren products. 31 Hawley Square, Margale (+44 1843 225166; www.thereadingrooms margate.co.uk). Doubles f rom £150 >

Turner Contemporary: Stewart Turner and Penny Ragozzino have created a sea-facing treasure that serves fi ne bacon rolls for breakfast and chorizo-topped burgers with Kentish wine for dinner. The cafe's previous life as an ice-cream parlour is reflected in marble tabletops • and 20th-century-design fu rniture, much of it for sale. Idiosyncratic, vibey events - record swaps, art exhibitions - and bespoke deli veries to the Dreamland Drive-In add to the atmosphere. 8 Cliff Terrace, Margate (+441843 449786; www.fortscafe.co.uk). About £25 f or two
>
126 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

ARTFUL LODGINGS
Minutes from Whitstable's high street, The Front Rooms is an understate d B&B {there are only three bedrooms, all done in calming, creamy shades) that doubles as an art space. Breakfasts, with antique butter knives and teapots, ar e taken in The Front View photo-art gallery, alongside a crack ling log fire in winter. The husbandand-wife owners have a background in

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old railway line along seven traffic-fre e miles (you can get a bike from Whitstable Cycle Hire). Diversions en route include medieval earthworks and modern sculpture. Should this build up an appetite - and of course it will - head for The Goods Shed Restaurant (http://thegoodsshed.co.uk), in an old railway storage building, which is one of my favourite places to eat in the UK. If you feel too virtuous post-cycle for the full blow-out, try Patrick's Kitchen, also in The Goods Shed, for a glorious kedgeree or sausage roll.

CHINTZY CHARMER A deliciously untouched piece of wedding-cake Edwardiana, The Walpole Bay Hotel in Margate is like a living museum, with a 1927 cage-lift H ercule Poirot would recognise and lots of memorabilia. The air of eccentricity is palpable, so don 't expect power showers or forward-thinking cuisine; and the rooms have more th an a touch of chintz. But it's impossible not to be beguiled by the hotel's rambling, oddball charm. I love afternoon tea on the veranda, with its hectic floral displays. Tracey Emin often stays here. Fifth Avenue, Clifionville,
Margate (+44 1843 221703; www.walpole bayhote/.co.uk). Doubles f rom £85

Above, shelves at the Four Candles, St Peter's. Left, a display at Frank art shop in W hitstable

an intricate mosaic of shells - 4.6 million cockles, mussels, whelks and oysters creating a place of extraordinary, haunting beauty. Wandering the mini-labyrinth is a spooky, affecting experience. As the Victoria n novelist Marie Core lli said: ' [if it] existed anywhere but Margate, it would certainl y be ack nowledged as one of the wonders of the world '. Grotto Hill, Margate (www.shellgrotto.co.uk)

GET ON YOUR BIKE
If the riches of the table get too much, a delicious way to blow away cobwebs and work off calories is to cycle the endearingly named Crab and Winkle Line (www.crab andwinkle.org), wh ich hugs the coast from Whitstable to Canterbury, fo llowing the

STEP BACK IN TIME The streets of Faversham's conservation area are a piece of vivid history, lined with atmospheric alehouses and indie shops (such as the 'Fortnum's of Faversham ' Macknade's). Abbey Street is a perfectly preserved medieval thoroughfare, with tiny doors and windows, beams and exuberant embellishment. It starts at the covered marketplace and meanders towards the creek at Standard Quay, once used for transporting gunpowder to London (Faversham was the 16thcentury centre of the explosives industry), now a paradise fo r sailors and twitchers. Today, the former fishing sheds house antiques, bric-a-brac and a Sunday farmers' market; th e estimable Anchor pub, at the creek 's entrance, is good for a pint and fresh crab on toast. SEE A SEASHELL SPECTACLE How bizarre and mysterious Margate's Shell Grotto is. Despite years of study, nobody has been able to unravel its secrets. Every millimetre of this series of undergro und tunnels is covered with
128 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

TAKE A MICROPUB TOUR Capitalising on a new thirst for local brews (and a change in the licensing Jaws), micropubs are sprouting up in florists, pet shops and bakeries. The likes of The Conqueror in R amsgate, the Bake & Alehouse in Westgate-on-Sea and, my favouri te, the Four Candles (named after the Two Ronnies sketch) in St Peter's show that you don't need a brewery or sophisticated premises to create a lovely, warm boozer. Some have locally baked pork pies, Kentish cheeses or seafood on offer. The trend leader was Julian Newick with his Lifeboat in Margate (which, even with its reclaimed benches and barrel tables, looks alm ost chi c by co mparison with what came after). His latest venture, The Chapel - which appears to be squatting in an old Broadstairs bookshop - defines eccen tric in the nicest way. 0
Marina O ' Loughlin is restaurant critic at the Guardian

TRAVELLER PROMOTION

A~tAD 0~ T~ t

cu~v~
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C

ape Town is the natural starting point for
most South African journeys. The cit); iconic

RUGGED MOUNTAINS
The T welve Apostles celebrates the natural environ ment (Table Mountain National Park is after all its back garden and the Atlamic Ocean its front). The brilliant team of stafi" are passionate about the local area and encourage guests to explore: inland there are countless walking opportunities, while out at sea there's fishing, dolphin and whale-watching and even diving to explore a shipwreck. But the T welve Apostles is also a trend seller within the chic Cape Town scene, most evident in the stunningly
luxurious Presidential S uite, its aw ard-winning Azure

Re stau rant, t'·vo swinnning pools, helicopter rides into the city offCring aeria l views over the mountains and

for its instantly recognisable backdrop, has a contagious energy with markets, shops and a vibra.nt restaurant and bar scene. l\ilany stay amid the cenu·e but for the best of both worlds, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is one of the best spots in the Cape. Leaving the V & A Waterfron t behind, through the cosmopolitan Cam ps Ba\' (five minutes from Twelve Apostles) with its beachfront restaurants and well heeled crowd, you hit one of the most scenic routes in the world. Rugged mountains rise on one sid e and the Atlan tic O cean rolls in on the other, the
perfec t location for a luxurious escape.

an intimate 16-seater cinema . T he Leopard Lounge is famous in Cape Town circles: a place to drink cocktails, celeb-spot and watch the sun go down before d in ing on Executive C hef Henrico Grobbclaar's
sum ptuous gounnet din ners an d afternoo n teas. The

Twelve Apostles even provides the perfect backdrop for weddings, banquets and events, witl1 unsurpassed sea views and every need catered to, it is sure to be an unforgettable sta): A visit lo the spa, voted T + L's best spa in Africa 2012 and the Best Spa Hotel/Resort in Sout11 Africa and Indian O cean at T he Spa T raveller Awards 2012, is a must. \ Vith its own exclusive

TRAVELLER PROMOTION

restaurant, librar); pool and loun ge, fresh vegetables and herbs from the organic kitchen gardens, and an incredible wine cellar and spa complete th is remote luxury. But it is what you can see and do at Bushm ans Kloof that makes this place so out of the ordinan: From the rock art tours and wildlife spotting to innovative suppers, the Rclais & Chateaux hotel creates unforgettable experiences. Picnics can be made by the hotel and enjo\'ed amidst the towering rock formations; there's Embers, built into a natural amphitheau·e an d lit by a roaring fire and myriad of lantems, the place to try a traditional braai of K aroo lamb, bocrewors sa usage, steaks, salads and home made bread u nder starry skies. Or there's Kadoro; once an old shepherd's

cottage, it has been renovated but not mod ernised and is the perfect secluded spot for decadent private dinners. Makana completes the list of luxury din ing experiences, with natura l stone walls and twin fireplaces, it is alfresco d ining at its best and renowned for its sumptuous afternoon teas. Bushm ans K.loof's natural cnviromne nt and consc rvational attitude is therapy in itself; but for those needing a little extra help, surre nder totally at the tranquil spa, nam ed Sou th Africa's best by Les N ouvelles Estetiques. For further information visit redcarnation, corn or to create itineraries contact Africa Collection on 01403 256 655, quoting 'Conde Nast' when booking.

B IAfrica p roduct and treatment range (used across the Red Carnation South African portfolio), this isn't just another branded sp a. The range has been created from nature to cahn, detoxif~; n ourish and e nergise utilising the healing energies of earth, air and watci: The e n chanting outdoor spa gazebos offer the ultimate in decadent treaunents. After a few days in the Cape, it's time to h ead north to wilderness coumry and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, a unique sanctuary h idden away in the Cederberg Mountains tju st three hours away).

REMOTE GETAWAY
Yo u can either hit the western coastal road with its long empty beaches and isolated fishing villages, or drive inland through rollin g wheal fields, past small farming cmnmunit.ies clustered along riverban ks and fruit farm s bursting with cit m s orchards. If rnu feel like splash ing o ut, take a helicopter transfer be tween 'f wclve Apostles and Buslunans Kloo[ Once there, the C ederberg Mountains oiler fantastic walking opportunilies with tracks win ding Lheir way up rnountains, across stream s and around inu·iguing rock formations. Bushrnan tribes have lived in these mountains for 120,000 years and manY of the rocks arc stained in oxide pigm e nts depicting the ir cultural and spi1i tual lcgac): Bushmans Kloof is custodian Lo over 130 rock art sites revealing everything from shalnanistic visions to wild anim als, and the hotel offers dail y gu ided walks and d rives as well as educa ting guests at its ve ry own Heritage Cen tre in the lodge. B ush mans Kloof's spe ctac ular location a n d exceptional conservation efforts have created a wildcrncs.s getaway unlike a ny othc1 : The reserve is inhabited by one of the la rgest herds of the endangered C ap e mountain :i:ebra (protected by the hotel) an d a re-in troduction p rogram me has seen the return of the bontebok, red hartcbecst, grey rhebok and osui ch . Predator free (only the secretive Cape leopard roam s the m ost remote region), it is safe (day and night) for gu ests to explore on foot, by b ike, canoe or four-wheel drive and feel the pulse of this spectacular a ncient land scape. T he hotel itself is an eco-oasis with just 16 rooms scattered cottage-like throughout beautiful gardens. T he H om estead (central area) comes with a ba1;

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Where have y ou just come back f rom? Maui, Hawaii. Name a place that most lived up to the h y pe The Grand Canyon. And a place that least liv e d up to the h y pe Manila - the hotel we stayed in was full of criminals, guns and the sex trade. Which is y our f avourite cit y ? New York. I think anything's possible there. Which is y our road most travelled? The M40. Describe y our f avourite vie w Probably down the track outside my house in Oxford. In the morning there's a beautiful view of the Chilterns. What do y ou pack :first? Books. De scribe a me mory fro m a childhood holiday I most remember going to Mallorca and us all running around naked in and out of the sea. Where did y ou g o on y our :firs t ho l iday without y our pare nt s ? When I was at RADA I went to Moscow for the week - to join the revolution. De sc r ibe a ho l iday disas t e r We were in Mauritius and a monsoon hit our hotel. I had to put my daughter inside a cupboard to keep her safe. Te ll u s about a g re at l ittle p l a ce y ou k now The Art Students League of New York. You can go on a Friday between lpm and Spm and do life drawing. It's a pretty good oasis. W hich i s the smart es t hot e l y ou've e v e r s tay ed in? The Hotel Danieli in Venice; I arrived grandly, in a gondola. Sight s e e ing or sun loung er, barefoot or bling? Sightseeing and barefoot.

Around the world with Douglas Hodge
He's the 'proper actor' hired by director Sam Mendes in hi s post- Bond mission to bring Willy Wonka to the West End
Which for e i gn phras e do y ou u se mo s t o f t e n? Parakalo, which means 'please' in Greek. I'm in Greece at least once a year. What would y ou mo s t l ik e to :find in y our mini ba r ? A Snickers. Or a Mars bar. M o s t r egr e ttabl e holiday s ouve nir? Nail-clippers for my mother, from Weston -super- Mare. How do y ou re lax? By playing music, either guitar or piano. And I've got a five-string banjo I'm rather fond of. ALICE WALKER

Nominate your eighth wonder of the · w orld Nevv Or leans , because I'm a music lover.
W hat' s y our guilt y pl e a s ure on holida y ? Definite ly drinking during the day.

'r would neve r, ev e r go bac k to ••• ' Smoking - though perhaps that's wishful thinking!

'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' previews at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 18 May (www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com)
June 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 133

Wedo like to be beside the bourgeoisie
Zebedee Helm and Fi Cotter Craig go for total
middle-class immersion on the Norfolk coast

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HERE TH ERE'S MUD there are beach huts, and where there are beach huts there's mnstachioed men cha11gi11g i11to hooped bathing d1awe1s a Boden photo shoot. Welcome to North Norfolk, where the pull of nature is so strong you need to barricade yourself into a gastropub for most of the day. When we want to get away from it all, to immerse ourselves in wild middle-class Britain, it is not to the crowded lanes and former tin miners' holiday homes of Cornwall that we turn , but to the well-signposted sand dunes and shining mudflats of North Norfolk. This is the place where the ideals of th e bourgeoisie can truly take form and soar (carried aloft by the great east wind which blows in directly from the U rals and has a sharpness to it that can sever a crab-and-rocket panini at a hundred paces). And besides, we both love clapboard. There is some thin g decidedly creeky about this part of England. It is simultaneously bleak and ch ic, like Helvetica or Tilda Swinton. It is East Anglia's version of Martha's Vin eyard , like a freezing cold Cape Cod. There must be something about these grey-green, wet and reedy places, all set about with ancient pin e trees, that attracts celebrities. For in th e sa me way that Martha's Vineyard has always been the summer playground for America 's elite, so has Northfolk (North Norfolk is getting

tiresome to write in full every time - we'll try this for a bit and see how we get on) been a magnet to literally tens of celebrities. 'Like who?' you ask, quite naturally. Well how about the Queen for starters, Stephen Fry for main course, and Horatio Nelson for pudding? Delia Smith would be peeved to be missing from that little menu as she's quite a substantial food- and Norfolkrelated person. But she's too Norwichy, which is in Norfolk but not Northfolk (it definitely works). Aren't windmills delightful? We think so. Like chubby little towers with propellers nailed to the front , they are quite the most satisfying type of building to behold. If it weren't for the windmills (and the legally available pot), EasyJet would have

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134 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

stopped flying to Holland centuries ago. A nd , wonderfully, Northfolk has a handful of lovely windmills to keep your interest piqued as you motor from mi crobrewery to microbrewery to drink tiny glasses of beer along the gorgeously windy coast road. The problem with windmills is that a lot of the sails have fa llen off and the owners can't afford to put them back on. Well, we think they should be forced to, as a windmill with out sails looks like an impotent Dalek sinking in a bog. We aren't architects, so perhaps there is a good techn ical reason why they don't put the sails back on, but surely if you wired them up to a generator and allowed the east wind to do its business, a modern North fo lk Middling could make enough electricity to power thei r sourdough bread maker and a sous vide crab poacher for a year at the very least? You can't write about Northfo lk without mentioningtheTrrcest the beaches. After Thorpeness nuclear power station, they are East Anglia's crowning glory and, as we discovered (unlike at Thorpeness, where it caused a terrible hoo-hah), you can even go nude on them . If the thought of getting your tinky-winkle or bosoms out on a busy beach fi lls you with horror, then fear not: the beaches are so vast and our private parts so small that no one could see them . The beaches have another, more serious use of course, beyond exhibitionism , and that is as a place to play French cricket. This is no laughing matter. Neither are sandcastle-building or rock-pooling, all of which keep th e grown-ups competitively engrossed while Spartacus, Risotto, Puglia and Llama sneak off to puff weed in the sand dun es behind. The beach is a perfect location to indulge in another favourite hobby of ours: people-watching. If there's one th ing we don't do, it is lazily stereotype the people we observe. That said, the native Norfolkian will always be holding a jar of Colm an 's English mustard in one hand and spooning it into their mouths with the other. We, however, are more interested in the summer visitor. These are amphibious, which means that they spend as much time in the water (sailing, swimming, fo raging or drown ing) as they do on land, and the French eat their legs, which is a shame. Their skin tends to be brown fro m spending so much time outside (not in Northfolk but on their other holiday, to Positano) and their

There is something decidedly creeky about North Norfolk. It is simultaneously bleak and chic, like Helvetica or Tilda Swinton

hair is always windswept. Adult male plumage is deck shoes, redtrousered linen flanks and heads crested with panama hats. The fe males can be identified by their colourful printworks and the juveniles are upholstered in neoprene. Their call is quite shrill and often involves the word 'fun ' or, if they're in the water, 'HELP!' The result of all this amphibious activity is ravenous hunger, which brings us to the subject of picnics. In the past these were simp le affairs involving a bulging bag from the nearest Spar fu ll of pork pies, cheese sandwiches, crisps, beer and a packet of Penguin biscuits. Alas, this is no longer the case, particularly if you are in Northfo lk. Thanks to the TV chefs, we now feel like relics unless we forage th e seashore for samphire and boil it up in charmi ng enamel pans on fires of driftwood, simultaneously using the embers to smoke line-caught local mackere l, before desserting on homemade possets made from sea purslane and wi ld cand ied e111yg1 iu111 e1111i11gimn sea holl y. In fact, in Burnham Market, or ' Chelsea-on-Wells-next-the-Sea', you can buy mism atched , distressed, antique, local, organic, seasonal, foraged, fa irtracle, gingham , sustainable, heritage anything, everywhere. Which suits us admirably and is apparently q uite normal for North fo lk. 0 Zebedee H elm and Fi Cotter Craig's 'The Middle Class ABC' (John Murray, £14.99) is out now

BEFORE YOU GO ANYWHERE, GO TO CNTRAVELLER.COM
NEW! THE BEST COAST & COUNTRY BREAKS
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TRX TRAINING SYSTEM Invented by a US Navy Seal, naturally, this is basically a rope that you hang over the hotel door and use to work out. It proves that you really don't need weights (your body is heavy enough), and you can achieve fantastic, militaristic results. The kit is easy to carry, and simple yet clever - a perfect Geek must-have. www.uk.trxtraining.com, TRX Pro kit from about £165 RUN KEEPER A key difference between humans and monkeys is that we can take taxis as an alternative to running. However, one moderately attractive aspect of this torture (if you must indulge) is the Run Keeper app. It tracks your progress on a map, projects your completion time, measures your pace against other runners, compares your sp eed to previous runs and does anything else you could possibly want - except tuck you up in bed with a cup of tea. iTunes, free to download

Fit for purpose
Stay in peak condition on holiday with these active, go-faster gadgets. By George Duffield he Geek is loath to exercise. In fact, his firmly held belief is that all injury stems from physical exertion. That said, the creeping waistline is a terror for all humans - and what is it about going on holiday that encourages this growth? It must be the delicious food or, more likely, the extra drinks one tends to have abroad. Here are a few essential travel items that can help you exercise safely on any kind of trip. Pack them, and use them wisely. But don't blame the Geek if you end up in a local hospital with a slipped disc. Find @travellergeek on Twitter

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MIO ALPHA HEART MONITOR This is a device that tells you when you are about to drop dead without having to wear a silly chest strap. The Mio A lpha is a routinely futurist-looking watch that actually monitors your heart rate itself, with no other equipment annoyingly tied to your body. In other words, it's convenient and easy. If you want to know your heart rate, this is essential. Personally, the Geek dreads internal biometric data. www.alpha hear/rate. com, from about £130 UBER One fo r the lazy: an anti-exercise app of the highest order. Uber is the only way to order private cars. Set up an account and it will hail you a car in most major cities. It will tell you how lo ng until your driver arrives and you can even see the vehicle inching towards you on a map. Th e best part is it auto-pays the driver and generates receipts via email. Very impressive, a nd hugely helpful after a big lunch in Paris when you just want to get back to the hotel. iTunes, free to download 0
June 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 137

Child's play in
The lagoon city may be known for its romance, but with secret tours and sandy beaches it's also a watery wonderland for all ages

VENICE
M INI CULTU E VULTU ES

CETTINC A OUT
A city built on water is enough in itself to keep children entertained for hours. Play 'I spy' from the number 1 vaporetto (water bus) as it winds its way down the Grand Canal. Look out for the various vessels that keep the city afloat, including the fruit-and-vegetable barge, and fireservice and police boats (thrillingly, the on ly ones allowed to speed up the Grand Canal). Try and nab the prized open-air seats at the front and back of the vaporetto for the best view.

OATS ANO I E S
Row Venice (www.rowvenice.org) is an organisation operated by a group of local women to promote Venetian rowing, an important part of the city's heritage that's fast disappearing. The one-and-a-half stand-up rowing lessons are he ld out on the lagoon and are great fun as you take it in turns to learn the art of the gondolier (from £60 for two people and £100 for four people). Prefer to stay on dry land? You can rent bicycles at a number of stalls by the main vaporetto stop on the Lido. Hire one and head to th e wonderful Art Deco airport Nicelli (www.aeroporto nicelli.it), where there's an excellent cafe and a brilliant aircraft museum for Biggies wannabes.

Pack the ch ildren's comfiest shoes: they 're going walking. And it will not be boring. The lack of cars makes Venice the perfect pl ace to explore amid crumbling palazzi and a mesmerising maze of alleyways. Take the li ft to th e top of San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower (the queues go much quicker than at the Campanile di San Marco); the view wi ll make them gasp. And then there's the Doge's Palace (www.venice-museum. com), full of mystery and intrigue: book ahead for the Secret Itinerary, which takes you deep into the world of the ruling doges, through hidden passageways and concea led doors, over the Bridge of Sighs, and into the prison cells and torture chambers from which th e notorious Casanova escaped in the 18th century. Gripping stuff. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (www.guggenheim-venice.it) holds kids' days, aimed at introducing contemporary art to children aged between four and 10. It's really more of an afternoon, held every Sunday between 3pm and 4.30pm. And the Fondaco dei Turchi is a 13th-century mansion that now houses the Museum of Natural History ( www.museiciviciveneziani.it ), which is filled with dinosaur skeletons and prehistoric crocodiles.

shell-hunting expeditions. In the summer a boat goes regularly from the Zattere (opposite the Giudecca). It's a 20-minute journey and you'll be dropped on the beach where there's occasionally a temporary cafe, but your best bet is to bring a picnic or pick up a takeaway pizza. Otherwise, head to Spiaggia Des Bains (www.sabvenezialido.com) in front of the Grand Hotel des Bains (the setting for Death in Venice) on the Lido's main promenade; it has chic cabanas where old women sunbathe and old men play boules on the sand, as well as a playground and restaurant. Pay a dai ly fee to enter.

t1UN hE S
Panini, pasta and pizza - what could be better for little ones? Venetians welcome children everywhere and even the famous Harrf s Bar (www.harrysbarvenezia.com), which is open all day, is a good, central place to stop for a deep-fri ed cheese-andham sandwich. Avoid the busy cafes on St Mark 's Square, although it's fun to stop and listen to th e Viennese quartet outside Caffe Florian (where the hot chocolate is so thick you can stand a teaspoon in it). Trattoria alla Madonna (www.ristoranteallamadonna.com) is also on th e tourist trail, but children are

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SU E S OUT
A good guide can make or break your stay. Resident Uaria Rizzardi (www. tourguidevenice.com) is a genius at bringing the city to life for children, with frequent stops for pastries and ice cream on her tours. One of Rizzardi's specialities is hunting for the symbol of Venice, the Lion of St Mark, which can be found anywhere from front doors and church frescoes to the famous gates of the Arsenale.
138 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

E FE T IT STO
Grab a gelato. The best ice cream is at Gelateria Lo Squero di Sambo Simone (Dorsoduro 989-990); bright green pistachio is always a hit.

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The clean, shallow and safe waters of the Lido are ideal for letting off steam. Head to the long beaches of Alberoni at the southernmost point of the island. They're wild and unkempt, and perfect for

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TOTAL DECADENCE
The Smile Club at the Hotel Cipriani (www.hotelcipriani.com) is superspoiling and makes one of Italy's most glamorous hotels remarkably childfriendly. And it's free (you are definitely paying in other ways). All the fun and games take place in t he sprawling hotel gardens. The new children's pool keeps noisy shrieks and splashes away from other guests, and activities - including mask-making, turning Venetian-glass beads into necklaces, picking fruit in the orchard and pizza-spinning with the chef - keep your crew busy, leaving you free to explore the city or snooze by t he Olympic-size swimming pool. The trump card of the Cipriani is its away-from-the-crowd location on the Giudecca, which comes into its own in the summer. A small wooden shuttle boat is available around the clock to whisk you across the lagoon to St Mark's Square, and it is wonderful to feel tucked away on you r own little island. Rooms are as opulent as you'd imagine, with lots of marble. Book ahead for a table by the water at Cip's Club - and eat here even if you're not staying at the hotel. Everything, including the simplest ingredients (tomatoes, mozzarella, artichokes), is exquisite. Doubles from £1,030, including breakfast

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family on the Lido pier in Venice; dining in the city;

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a nchov ies. Child-frienc.!!Y dishes can also be found at little gem Terrazza del Casin dei Nobili near the Zattere vaporetto stop. The view is unbeatable, the staff are ever-patie nt and smiling, and there are salads for carb-conscious mothers (but be warned: it's closed on Thursdays).

INSIDER SECRETS
Venetian resident Paola Zoffoli has recently opened her bijou 17th-century house Ca' del Sole ( +39 41 722176) as a simple, cosy and affordable B&B - a gold-dust find in the quiet but central Cannaregio neighbourhood (next to Tintoretto's palazzo). Zoffoli herself is also worth knowing about: she is t he city's expert on Casanova and can guide you t hrough the labyrinth of alleys that make up one of the last untouched parts of Venice. Doubles from about £70 Interior designer Ilaria Miani has recently restored the Palazzo San Pietro, which sleeps up to 18 people. This grand house in Castello is the ideal place for a family celebration: teenagers can hide away on the top floor with its rooftop deck and plasma TVs; grown-ups can enjoy superb dishes from cook Sofia and drinks on the terrace. From £9,000 per week

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welcomed enthusiastically; there are live lobsters to gawp at, wo nderful seafood and a relaxed atmosphere. You can't book, so you'll have to join everyone else in a queue which ca n snake all the way back to the Rialto B1idge. Birraria la Corte (www. birrarialacorte.it) in Campo San Polo serves great pizza and is ideal for restless In July, the skyline of the city explodes todd lers, with plenty of outdoor tables on with fi reworks as residents take to their one of the largest squares in the city. O r boats and celebrate the Festa del try Acqua Pazza (www.veniceacquapazza. Redentore which dates back to the 16th com) in lovely Campo Sant' Angelo, which century when Ven ice was saved fro m the has a gorgeous shaded terrace. It's fa med plague. .In January, competitors in the fo r its huge pizzas topped with mozzarell a Regatta della Befana are dressed as witches and toma toes; for a more grown-up as they row fu riously up the G rand Canal. option, try the lobster salad or pasta with It's hectic but utterly enchanting.O

Contessa Enrica Rocca (www.enricarocca. com) runs a marvellous cooking school at her fami ly's 17th-century palazzo.The class begins with a morn ing shopping spree at th e bustling fish and vegetable market beside th e Rialto Bridge where you' ll lea rn about the diffe rent edible creatures of the lagoon and how to pick the ripest strawberries and white peaches. Th en it's back to Rocca's kitchen for a hands-on lesson in making fresh pasta.

FESTIVAL FUN

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counlril'S, or spending a d;~1· L'xploring Lhl' lmdilional "l'illi Islands, Lhr 'lslan<l of' Smiles: laml'<l f(>r lhcir uniq ue arl. Indl'l'd, 11 hen il comcs lo n il lure L hl' Tiwi lslancl.; arc j usl Lhc Lip of' Lhl' Xorlhl'rn ' l (:ni lor~~~ gcogmph it:al icdx:rg, 11·hich sLrl'lrhcs from here L o Lhe lted CcnLrc - 11·hcrc ancienL s a11·c-inspiring naLural wonders, culture mceL in lurn prm id ing unforgl'llahlc 11·andcrs of' ~·our 01111. Perhaps a n indigc nous arL Lrail or L ackie lhc rim 11·alk al Kings Canyon; 1 -x:rhaps a,iourncy in lo Lhc hcarl of' Alice Springs, 11·hl'rl' ~uu ran parlakl' in Lhc anricnl arl of'

TRAVEL LER PROMOTION

Clockwise from main image: d ol-arl painlinµ;; longitude 131', Uluru, p('rhaps lr('kkinµ; Northern Territory; pool at arnund sacr('d L"lurn Skydty, Darwin; room (. \~ws llock), in lh(' interior atlongitude 131 '; Northern Rockhole, Nitmiluk dual World Heri laµ;e National Park; rock art at lisl('d \\-ild('rn('ss of lnjalak Hill, Arnhem land; Uluru-Kala 'ljula Kata Tjuta, Uluru·Kata Tjuta l\'alional rark. National Park . l'railfj nd('rS r('C( llll lll('nds sla1·inµ; al \ ·o~·agcs' c:-;lraordin<.llY (and unb('li('1 -abl~- roman lie) LongiLude 1 :n ° and as ~ou lie in ~our luxurious printle lenl and enjo~- an unin lerrup led 1ie\\-of lhis magn ificenl monoli lh beinµ; sl'l 'aliµ;h l' by lhe risinµ; and sl'llinµ; sun , il is impossible nol lo appreciate 1d1y il \\as such a saered parl of the 1\horiginal 'drcamlirne'~ l ore of an ('c<>logisl lhan an an lhropoloµ;is l'! \·\"i lh miodlands, 111011SlxJ11 f(iresls, sandstone, flmdplains, \\-cllands and billahongs lo choose from, gelli ng hack lo nalure comes incrcdibl.1· nalurall~· in lh(' :\'orlh('rn 'l(_•rril01Y. Din• into \\ltle1falls and crystal- d ear 1rnlerholes; lake a bushmtlk on lhc \\i ld sid(' and g-cl up close and pels( mal \\i lh S( 1111(' of . \uslralia's mosl ('nigmalic 'locals'; lake a fc>ur-\\-hl't'I d rin• in Ulehficld l\'ational Park, hird-spolling hundrl'tls of' species of' birds en mule; (':-;pericnc(' a ir-hoaling as ~ou go in search ofc rocs (lhcre a re more in the :\'orlhern TcJTilrny lhan anrn·here e lse in lhe \\orld); 111a1wl al lhc gian l 111alions of Kala 'Iju la (The Olg<L~); rock fo1 d1ifl lh rouµ;h lhc canyons of Kalhcrinc Gorge; lake a fl igh t oYer lhe ochre Outback; camp in inimilahlc adYenlurc pla~ ·grnund s and 1\ uslralias largc•sl national park.

TRAILFI N DERS RECOMME N DS ...

Or enjo~· an l'Xlraordina1 y 11dlands safari e:\J1Cri('ncc. 'lh tilfi11d('1 s recommends \\lildma n Wilderness 1.odge, sl'l amidst lh(' lush \\ild('rn('ss of lh(' Mary Rh·cr \\lellancl~ area, 11·ith d ail.1· 11·ildlife lollls of Kakadu l\'alional Pa rk and cruising on t h('~ la1y lliY ('r fi>llo\\ul h~· unfc>rgcllabl(' c1·('11ings ('11jo_ 1·ing fine 11·inc and di1i11(' cuisin(' hcfor(' ~ou drill off lo sl('('p under impossihl~ - 1·;L~l nighl skies . For full details on the 'l/orthcrn 'lcrritory, eall 'frailfind crs on 0 2 0 7408 9 009 .

hicltever wa.IJ .IJOll whh to discover 11ust ralia'.~ 1 \'orthern Territor.IJ, 'fi'a i(fi 11de1:~ · tea111 qfe.trept io11al~1; zce/1-tra velled con.mlta 11/s (hetzceen them the_1; ha ve vi.~ited over .96· per cent qfthe rr.·orld\ cou nl ries) rr.·il/ f!Oinl .IJOU in the right direct ion. For over 42 .IJears '/i-ai{jinders has been the UK '.~ larges/ independen/ /011r operator; toda.IJ it i.~ all aho11f de/ivering worldwide destinations in a zca.IJ that best suits its clients. fin111 specialist tea111sfiir Fii:~t-class and Business-class travel to private be.~poke to11ring and cruise lwlidays. 7/ie accolades speak.Ji1r themselves: Traiifinders wa.~ voted 1 \"o. T 7iJur Operator in Which? Magazine'.~ recent consumer I ravel surve.IJ (in addition lo being a Whicli? recommended llolida.IJ />rovider).

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Uluru but nolh.iug can prepare .tJOujiJr you r.firM glimp.~e qf'lhi.~ mag11ifice11l natural wonder up clo.~e. I Ve cam wt recommend enough a .~ ' tay at the -~Imming Vo.1}ages /,ougitude 131". Nol on(y can . 'IJOU .~ee Uluru.fi·om the hotel, bul :i;ou're so close lfwl .1;ou can practically touch itji'Oln .'IJOZll' /u,rur.lJ tent. Voyages fm1gilude 13 1° provides .1J01J with the bem:fit <!f'.~eeiug the real Australia and it real(y doe.~ lwi·e the wow./{tclor in eve(ij wa:IJ.

Clo<kwise from top left: the stunning view from the Grand Resiclen1e Villa; a villa's Venetian entran1e; 5ving room al a villa; Porta Zante's private beadt

This is the ultimate Greek hideawa~; with all the se1vices and luxury of a five star hotel, but rich with the personal space of your own private villa. Each of the six villas has its own pool and stretch of beach, with panoram ic views to nearby K efalonia.

advantage of the extraordinary spa scivicc - where over 20 therapies, insp ired by Greek nature, are available. T he treatmen ts all take place in your own villa, often outdoors, facing the blue, blue sea - a welcome change from a conven cional indoor spa.
H eads of sta tes, busin ess leaders a nd in fluential artists

GR~~K ~ID~AWAY
Porlo Zan te is unique it's a real hmne from hom e, yet with a trul y authentic expe1ie11ce attached , including exceptional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, served al the Clubhouse restaurant (01; of course, in the privacy of your own villa). \ Vhy not go out for the dav with local fisherman M r Nikos, who will teach you the art of catching lo bster? Or take a short cruise to the secluded Blue Caves, or the T urtle Island a protected area where you can spot the fam ous sea LUrtles that live there (fascinating for kids).

have all stayed at Porto Zantc Villas & Spa, attracted by its beautiful, but very private, surroundings. This is a truly one-off Greek experience, with a personal, luxurious touch.
For more information visit portozante.com, call + 30 210 8218640 or 020 8882 6767

S

eptem ber < rnd O ctober are idea! mon ths to visit Greece - the sun is wonderfully warm, the bougainvillea is in bloom, and the islands are still buzzing from an August crowd (but they are happily less crowded). T his year head for Porto Zante Villas & Spa, set among the azure blue seas and nora and fauna of Zakynthos (also known as Zante).

Porto Zante is ideal for couples, but also fam ilies there arc kids clubs galore and lots of exciting spm1 options, from snorkelling to horseb ack riding. There are also special menus, brilliant babysitting se1 vices and super helpful staff on hand to help with any special ch ildren 's requirem ents. \ Vhile they ar e happily out at pla); you can take

By Joanna Weinberg
WITHOUT HOM E, there can be no journey. And if there ever was a tim e of year to yearn for home, this is it. I have spent many idle hours wondering whether England on a sunny spring day reaU y is the love liest place in the world or whether it's just that those days are sprinkled so meanly that when they come, it appears to be so. Trees finall y relax their tight, pale-green buds, hedgerows burst with blossom, cow parsley unfurls into lacy art on every roadside. However gloomy the weather and grey the sky, oh! the green of it a ll. And here comes the elderflower, amongst all this loveliness. You will find it everywhere: yes, lining romantic country lanes, but stoic and determined in the most urban of city parks, too. The large, creamy-white heads are made up of delicate sprays of tiny flowers and can smell almost musty on the branch; but, with a little encouragement from boiling water, sugar and lemon, they will release the You find it everywhere, most glorious scent. from romantic country There are a lanes to urban parks hundred different ways to drink in the flavour: add a thimbleful to the bottom of a glass of prosecco and top with pressed apple or peach juice; splash it into a gin and tonic; or simply quaff it with sparkling water, discs of cucumber and sprigs of mint tumbling in among the ice cubes. But it's the hint of e lderflower in food that I find the m ost interesting: see how it lifts a gooseberry fool or enhances a n apple pie, by simmering flower heads a longside the fruit. Ma rinate strawberries in the cordia l and it will bring out their floral sweetness. Turn it into a delicate jelly by diluting it 1:1 with water, setting it with gelatine a nd suspending raspberries in it just as it sets. Most of all, I love to revisit rhubarb one last time a t the end of its season by poaching it in e lderflower and serving it a longside cured ham as a surprising and elegant starter. Now tha t's a dish worth coming home for.
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HAM, RHUBARB & ELDERFLOWER
Top and tail the pinkest stalks of rhubarb you can find, and cut into thumb- length pieces. In a pan, nearly cover with elderflower cordial, bring almost to the boil and poach until just t ender. Set aside t o cool. Lay out very thin slices of Parma ham and a ball of burrata or buffalo mozzarella, wh ich you should pull apart into several pieces rather t han neatly cut. Remove the rhubarb from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the plate. Drizzle a little of the pink syrup over the whole platter, add fresh black pepper and - if you have so me - scatter with fresh elderflower.

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WH A T AN INTRIGUING if challenging task it is to find a great wine to work with elderflowers. I would without hesitation go for a Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. Oh dear, I hear you sigh, can't the m an com e up with anything more original than a wine made fro m that ubiquitous grape ? But bear with me: Martin M einert's La Barry Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is out of a very different mould, because the wine has been wholly created by a man smitte n and in love. Martin (I know the fellow well e nough to call him that) made the wine because his new bride didn't like the re ds he specialised in , so the lovesick romantic fashioned La Barry as a unique, one-off treat. In so doing he has created a rem arka ble white wine - insouciant, firm, non-herbaceous (so none of that weird grassiness some Sauvignons exh ibit) and nicely dry. It is suggestive of under-ripe gooseberries a nd citrus with a hint of cream. It is a very elegant white with a swagge r about it, which is usually found only in wines costing a good deal more than £10.50. To buy a bottle over the counter you ne ed to make a trip to Bath, where the UK's sole stockist, Great Western Wine of Wells Road ( +44 1225 322810), has a cosy little nook of a shop on a bank of the Avon. Alternatively, you can access the website: www.gre at westernwine.co.uk. My advice is to get a dozen bottles, which, be ing a case, will be delivered free to any mainland U K address. This is a wine worth buying in quantity, because, like love itself, once you try Like love itself, once it you may fee l you try this wine you th at you can't live may feel that you can't without it. In the event that you h ave live without it to live without it - the wine becoming so popular that it sells out, for example - I can suggest a romantic alternative: Chateau La Canorgue Blanc 2011 (£13.50 from Yapp Brothers; www.yapp.co.uk) , which is a sublime blend of Rhone grapes offering a wonderful waxy richness (and even a subtle hint of elderflower on the finish). Why romantic? Because it was this wine estate tha t Ridley Scott chose as the location for his film A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe. It's a m ovie, like La Canorgue's wines, all about love. 0

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June 2013 Conde Nast Traveller 143

This month's best new titles

By Giles Foden

I confidently predict that Til ly Cu lmeSeymour's book Island Summers: Memories of a Norwegian Childhood (Bloomsbury, £16 .99) wil l win some literary prizes this year. It tel ls the story of Smah0lmene - don't ask me t o pronounce it - an is land in the Skagerrak bought by her grandmother in 1947, apocryphally in exchange for a mi nk coat. I'm envious of the fishing and berry- picking, the little wooden cabin and, yes, of having such a su bject to write about, too.

Jt's 60years since Edmund I !illaryandTenzing Norgay made the first successfu l ascent and descent ofMoun t Everest. W hile the Roya l Geographical Society's photographic LTibute, Ever est: Summit o f Achievement (Bloomsbury, £3S), honours the exact historical moment, its real value lies in giving access to the RGS's images and documents about the Everest experience. People use Lhe word 'slunning' a lollo describe µholographs, bul the ones in L hi s book really are. The pictures incl ude the last known photograph of George NI al lory and Andrew Irvi ne, who may have reached the top before they died on Everest in 1924. There arealsoessays bymou nLaineers lc:d Douglas and Stephen Venables ;m d a preface by the Dalai Lama.

In Constantinople (Alma Classics, £9. 99), Italian writer Edmondo de Am icis (1846-1908) describes a visit he made to the city in 1874. The book begins wit h a powerful description of arrivi ng by ship as the view, shrouded in m ist, slowly unveils. In his introduction, Umberto Eco writes that many of the sights de Amicis records are no longer there, notably (on t he Galatea bridge) the 'two end less st reams of humanity crossing in contrary directions from dawn to d usk, the sedan chair, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, from wh ich an Armenian lady peeped out, the elderly Tu rk wearing a muslin turban and a sky-blue kaftan walking beside a Greek on horseback followed by his dragoman, the dervish with his tall conical hat. .. the eunuch marching in fro nt of the harem carriage, the African slave carrying a m onkey, a storyteller d ressed like a necro mancer ... '

'I discovered this book on my first visit to Salonica (or Thessaloniki, as the Greeks know it). It is a history of Greece's second city, without which the unique past of this wonderful place would probably still be lurking beneath its stones. It also acts as a guidebook. Mazower traces 500 years of the city's history, from 1430 to 1950. For many cent uries, Muslims, Christians and Jews rubbed shoulders in this thriving metropolis, with .... ~ thtt•tt languages and beliefs harmoniously coexisting. CITI ~f_GtlOSlS Even up to the early 1920s there was an equal mixture of each religion, but within the space of two decades only Christians

SAlON\Cf\

remained. Mazower writes poignantly about how that catastrophic change came about. For me, this is history at its best, because Mazower focuses on the human story. He writes with emotion but no sentimen tality, sometimes quoting from contemporary witnesses. This line of poetry from a survivor of the holocaust (almost t he ent ire Jewish population of Greece lived in Salonica, and almost all 50,000 of them were deported, mainly to A uschwitz) is an example: "I walk th rough the streets of this blessed city. Despite the sun, it seems to stand in darkness." Like the city itsel f, the book is full of colour and atmosphere - and it is loved by the people of the city, too . Even t hose born and bred in Salonica learn their own history from its pages. I developed a huge attachment to Salonica, but I'm not sure I would have w ithout this book. During my many mont hs t here, I often felt the presence of Mazower's ghosts. He sensitises his readers to a place and its past in a truly remarkable way.'

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144 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

CLARION

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•Calls cost 10 pence per minute plus network extras. Booking fee applies. Box office closes 14 May 2013.

WIN a £3,500 holiday
H ERE'S YOUR CHANCE to indulge in a whirlwind romance with Malaysia, from the madcap skyscrapers and buzzing street markets of Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu's serene and spectacular tropical coast. Enter this month's Where Are You? competition and you could win a five-night holiday for two. The prize, courtesy of YTL Hotels and worth about £3,500, includes one night 's B&B at The Maj estic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, left, and four at Tanjong Jara Resort in Terengganu, plus return flights from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur, internal flights and transfers. The holiday must be taken before 31 March 2014; the period 25 December- 5 January is excluded, as is Chinese New Year 2014. For further details, call YTL Hotels on +60 3 2783 1000 or visit www.ytlhotels.com

WHERE ARE YOU?

Identify the location, above, and send in your entry to arrive by 30 June. All correct entries will also be included in the Grand Prize draw at the end of the current competition period (1 October 2012-30 September 2013).

COMPETITION RULES
1. Entries for Conde Nast Travellers Where Are You? competition can be sent on a postcard, by email or online (stating your full name, address and telephone number), and must correctly identify the place described according to the instructions given. 2. Entries must arrive no later than the last day of the month on this issue's cover. 3. The Where Are You? competition 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 the 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: compcntraveller@condenast.co.uk

MARCH'S WINNER
The winner of March's Where Are You? competition is Linda Flint of Tydd St Giles in Cambridgeshire, who identified the picture as Guilin, Guangxi, China. She wins a holiday at Cocoa Island by COMO, Maldives.

To enter online and for full terms & conditions, visit www.cntraveller.com/ competitions1)

A MlMIEll OF SMAU LUXUllV HOTUS OF TH! WOILO

Pirnalai
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Between yes terday and tomorrow ties a moment o f possibility.

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Noth ng lasts n.i-, not_, 1 holldly Mike ~moment count. Choose to dltcowr th• Mdu<*I lu>a.ry-with a cioo.- beacll CX>C:OOMd by lhe ocean and luoh ln>pocaf

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forau Hore, enylhing S'ip champogn• on our pnvete jetty °' enpy 1 . . , , _ crulM to Koll Haa U.., laugh. ioYe end C'Mte momema that w.U be .~..t long !he holJdoy lo OYW.

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

South Tyrol, the most northerly province of Italy is a land of contrasts. Set against the stunning UNESCOlisted World Heritage Site Dolomites, now considered as one of the world's most beautiful mountain ranges and boasting a host of Mediterranean and Alpine influences, it is easy to see why South Tyrol is Italy with a Twist. When it comes to spa treatments in the region, the thing that visitors are certain of is being truly surprised by the range and quality available. The innovative use of local products coupled with the fact that the region enjoys 300 days of sunshine and the superb air quality means that South Tyrol is the perfect destination for a rejuvenating break. For anyone who is after a quirkier spa experience, then modernised versions of traditional alpine treatments will inspire. Hay baths are particularly popular and combine an ancient tradition (with proven benefits in boosting the immune system) with modem techniques to regenerate and purify the skin as well as help in the fight against general aches and pains. The technique is simple and involves marrying together a unique blend of invigorating mountain herbs, wild flowers and fresh cut hay grass. Originally an idea handed down from farmers, who reported health benefits from sleeping on fresh cut hay grass aft:er hard day's toil, the process has been refined to promote a truly relaxing experience. Other unique treatments using indigenous ingredients run the gamut of nature's offerings and include apples, wine, pine needles and milk and promise relaxation, rejuvenation and a deep feeling of cleansed well-being. A variety of different treatments can be found all over South Tyrol but for the spa afficiando, a visit to Merana (Meran) is an absolute must. Situated in the Italian Alps, Merana is considered the historical spa town with true Italian flair where even walking

around this municipality is said to promote feelings of health. The Terme Merana (www.termemerano.it), designed by South Tyrolean-born architect Matteo Thun, has been designed to unite man-made and natural worlds and includes 25 pools, two of which flow from the inside to the out - with unrestricted views of Merano's amazing mountain scenery. Experience rooms are also a feature with a number of Roman-style caldariums, modern saunas and steam baths as well as a Finnish log cabin sauna and the must-experience Snow Room. For award winning excellence, visit the Hohenwart Wellness Hotel and Spa (www.hohenwart.com) close to Merana in Scena. Recently named as the best spa in Italy at the European Health and Spa Awards 20 12, it is a state of the art experience split into three levels of wellbeing. As well as beauty and massage treatments, there are also saunas, steam baths and a Tyrolean 'stube' spa as well as a health library Climb up to the roof terrace to experience the sunbathing area, saltwater pool and outdoor sauna with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the fairy-tale Scena Castle. Whatever spa experience you choose in South Tyrol, you are guaranteed invigoration, relaxation and inhabiting a body whose soul has been lifted by an incredible feeling of well being.

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HOW TO GET THERE Getting to South T yrol couldn't be easier: catch a flight to one of the nearby airports 1 n northern Italy. To find out more, v1s1 t suedt1rolinfo/fly

For more information on South Tyrol's knockout spa scene and ideas about how to explore it for yourself, visit suedtirol.info

ESCAPE FOR A BREAK

TO PARS
our welcome
IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
'The Residence' is the epitome ofluxury and comfort and houses a limited collection of spacious beachfront suites at the award-winning Palm Tree Court They feature a calming decor and living spaces that have been carefully thought over for the absolute feeling ofleisure, space and relaxation. These suites offer guests special complimentary amenities and preferential treatment like no other. 'The Residence' is a new dimension of luxurious living.

Save 15 per cent atglamorousArtDeco beauty Prince de Galles, A Luxury Coll ection Hotel
HERE' S NOWHERE QUITE LIKE Paris for year-round style, charm and culture. The City of Lights is as renowned fo r its chic hotels as fo r its cultural treasures; newly refurbished Prince de Galles, A Luxury Collection Hotel, built in 1928 on the beauti ful Aven ue George V, is a peaceful retreat at the city's beating heart , yet within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees. Interiors by French designer Bruno Borrione provide a contemporary backdrop to cocktails in the hotel's cool destination bar, Les H eures, or dinner at La Scene. Pierre Yves-Rochon has given an elegant Art Deco look to th e rooms and lobby. Meanwh ile, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, wellness space and a dedicated concierge team ensure complete relaxation and peace of mind. Conde Nast Traveller readers have the opportunity to enjoy a 15 per cent saving at Prince de Galles, with accommodation in either an Art Deco or Art Deco Deluxe room , or a Mosaic or Macassar suite; prices for doubles start at about £750 per night. The offer is subject to avail ability, and must be taken by 31 D ecember 2013.

T

Discover the details at www.jaresortshotels.com For reservation from UK. please call toll free 0800 0159 708 or e-mail jagrrev@jaresorts.com

FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO BOOK
Call the hotel on + 33 1 53 23 78 84 Q) quoting Conde Nast Traveller reader offer, email reservation.prin cedegalles@luxury collection.com or visit www.luxurycollection.com/princedegalles

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THE RESIDENCE
AT PALM TREE COURT
DUBA I

DON'TMISSTHE JUNE DOUBLE ISSUE, ON SALE MAY 6

Your travel questions

answered by the Conde Nast Traveller team
My husband and I are keen runners and would like to tie this in with our next holiday. Where would you suggest? New York would be my first port of call. N ot only have you got Central Park to run wild in, but there are plent y of jogging to urs available to show you some of t he city's hidden t racks. City Running Tours (www.cityrunningtours.com) is one of t he more established . If you stay at T he Westin (www .west inny.com), there's a Run Concierge who wil l take you on a fast-paced t our of t he Big A pple's most famous sights, and you'll be welcomed back to the hotel with a fresh towel and chilled bott le of water. If New York is t oo built -up for you, I'd recom mend Sadie McLeod Florence: it has one of Ac ting Re tai l Edit or the most beautiful parks I have ever had the pleasure of running in, t he Boboli Gardens, where you dash past statues, orchards and t inkling Tuscan fountains. Or you can pound t he streets of t he centro storico for a more architectu rally focused route. Another of my favourites is the ninekilometre ru n from Sydney's Spit Bridge t o Man ly Beach: you'l l whizz down the sand, onto pat hways t hrough the bush, along cl iffs with spect acular views, and finish up in Manly, a great place to grab an organic breakfast before a dip in t he sea.

I'm going to Goa and have heard that the beaches vary wildly in atmosphere. Can you recommend some nice ones to visit? The general rule of t humb when it comes to Goa is this: the closer the beach is t o the airport, the likelier it is to be overrun with marauding European teenagers list ening to bone-shaking techno while eating egg and ch ips. To get away from all t hat, it's best to head for either end of Goa's 63- m ile coastline. In t he north, Mandrem and A rambol, above, have lovely expanses of sand and some bout iq ue places to stay, notably the cute little huts at Yab Yum (www .yabyumresorts.com), and t he state's smartest restaurant, La Plage. In the far south, Palolem and Patnem are an elegant pair of golden crescents a 90-minute taxi ride from t he main city, Vasco da Gama. At Patnem, book into Hidden Gourmet (www. David Anna nd Editor , Man on a mission gourmetpatnem.com), a secluded little network of huts run by an A nglo-Swiss couple who will happily arrange transfers from Dabolim airport. Both beaches are dott ed with great restaurants where you can wolf down huge portions of fish curry and cold local beer as the sun goes down.
152 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

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I have some terrific wine that is now ready to drink. Where in London would I find a decent restaurant I can take it to? Bring Your Own Bottle restaurant s, if not widespread in t he capital, do exist. T hree, all Persian and in W2, are: Colbeh in Porchest er Place ( +44 20 7706 4888); Kandoo at 458 Edgware Road (+44 20 7724 6769); and Alounak at 44 West bourne Grove (+44 20 7229 4158) . All offer decent glasses and charge no corkage. I love t he al dente rice at Kandoo, t he chicken at Alounak, and Colbeh's barbecued fish . The atmosphere is buzziest at Alounak: you can't book, and queues often form outside. Another great place Malcolm Gluck is Maramia at 48 Golborne Road, W i ne Columni st W l O ( +44 20 3181 0030), where the Palestinian food is superb. Finally, the Lahore Kebab House at 2- 10 Umberst on Street, El (+44 20 74819737) serves aut hentic Punjabi dishes; t he aloo paratha is one of London's culinary landmarks.

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T HE \VORLD OF
Should I ever pay a bribe while travelling in Africa? It depends where you are, first of all, and also what the context is. In most circumstances you can refuse bluntly, but occasionally it's unavoidable (most people don't get through Zanzibar immigrat ion without being relieved of US$50, having already paid the genuine visa entry cost in mainland Tanzan ia). Shouting very loud ly can sometimes work in East Africa, but not in West. Jokes are very good, as is a counterintuitive interest in the bribe-taker's gun. I once saw someone drop to the ground, pretend to have a fit, and then play dead. On getting up, he said ' I have epilepsy, sir, and must go in search of my medicine' and walked off, leaving the policeman dumbfounded. I've found the best technique is t o lower a pair of spectacles to the bridge of the nose while saying, 'I am a member of Her Majesty's press corps'; but that might not work so well after the Gi les Foden News International scandal. If the Books Editor situation is hopeless, try to use beer, cigarettes or CDs rather than cash. Always keep your bribe money, in low denominations, separate from your main stash. Above all, try not to get into the situation of having to pay to get your own passport back.

INTERIORS

I've got enough air miles for a quick trip to Amsterdam, but I am worried that it's full of big, boozy stag parties. Is this a myth? When you say Amsterdam to most people they think of legalised marijuana and sex shops, much to the annoyance of your average Amst erdammer. If you look beyond the two streets that constitute the red- light district, you'll find a really fantastic city, perfect for a w eekend jaunt and easily accessible from the UK (it's just 70 minutes JJatthev: Buch. from London City Airport, for Photographic instance). The three main canals, Production Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht, form a neat crescent around the centre of the city, and this is where you will find the real Amsterdam. Th is area is extremely pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly, with lots of charming shops and restaurant s. Check out the Foam gallery (www.foam. org) for contemporary art and photography exhibitions; and if interiors are your thing, make a beeline for Moooi (www.moooi.com) in the Jordaan district. Everyone is making lots of noise about the recently opened Andaz hotel (http://amsterdam .andaz.hyatt.com) and the Conservatorium (www.conservatoriumhotel.com), but don't forget about old favouri t es like The Dylan, too (www.dylanamsterdam.com). 0

The World of Interiors Fine Arts and Antiques Guide is produced once a year and is the only comprehensive handbook of its kind. Previewed in its entirety in the June issue, it is then distributed at every major event in the art and antique calendar.

June 2013 issue on sale 9 May 2013

THEA DARRICOTTE uncovers your world
D LUX URY

After much anticipation, the Intercontinental Marseille Hotel Dleu is now open. This brand-new hotel is set in an 18th· century building transformed from t he former, renowned Hotel Dieu. Perched atop Le Panier, the hotel is set in t he oldest and most beautiful part of the city and affords fantastic views of the Viuex Port. W hat a perfect excuse to visit the South of France! ihg.com

FOLLOW ING ITS STUNNING COLLABORATION FOR 'THE GREAT GATSBY' FILM, TIFFANY
& CO IS LAUNCHING THE

Z IEGFELD COLLECTION WH ICH TAKES INSPIRAT ION FROM ITS ARCHIVE DESIGNS FROM THE 1920S THIS DELICATE PENDANT FEATURES A DAISY MOTIF AND A CUSHION· CUT BLACK ONYX AND WILL ENSURE YOU'RE ON-TREND WH ILST GALLIVAN TI NG ACROSS THE GLOBE £365, TIFFANY.CO.U

BOBBI BROWN'S NUDE BEACI I

COLLECJJQN I !AS IIII Tl IE SJ IEl..VES 3UST JN TIME FOR SUMMER IT FEATURES A RANGE
THE DUFFLE IS THE CLASSIC NEW TOTE BAG FROM SAINT LAURENT BY HEDI SLIMANE AND COMES IN A RANGE OF SIZES FROM THE DUFFLE 6 (DAY SIZE) THROUGH TO DUFFLE 24, WHICH IS PERFECT FOR A WEEKEND AWAY. ABOVE, DUFFLE 12 IN BLACK LEATHER, £1,545, YSLCOM

OF L1.TB.A·WEABABLE SUN· KISSED SI IADES

TI lAT WJLL l<JIBP YOU GLOWJNG AND BRONZED W1 IERJWEB YOU ARE IN Tl IB WORLD. Tl IE StTEER COLOUR CHIEEJ< TINTS ARE A SU~\SHJ!'\E ESS~TlAJ.I
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Bicester Village 's British Designers ' Collective is now in its fourth year. The concept for 2013 is 'Future Vintage', honouring this exciting era in British fashion. Presented in a multi-brand boutique in Bicester Village, the designers particpating will create a destination where contemporary British fashion is celebrated; designers include House of Holland, Ma wi, Preen and Richard Nicholl. Bicestervillage.com D FASHION

MA IS0:\1 IU: fl.EUUS IS TI IE I JOT NEW !\AME IN Tl IE WORJ D OF f l ,QWER ARRANGll'iG IT CAN ARRANGE 11\'.CREDIBJ .E DESJGNS POB PRIVATE DJNNEBS Tl JBOUGJ I

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UPPING THE ZANTE
Looking for your own little piece o f Grecian paradise? Porto Zante Villas & Spa has the answer in the form of one-, two-, three- and even fourb edroomed villas each designed with style, comfort, luxury and pr ivacy in mind . And the best part? Guests are able to enjoy all the services and amenities one would expect from a luxury five-star hotel. Be sure to make a pit stop at the recently refurbished cliff-top restaurant for its Mediterranean cuisine and jaw-dropping ocean views. portozante.com

DTRAVEL

Planning a trip to Paris? PRINCE DE GALLES, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is re-opening in !Way following an extensive two-year renovation. And if that:, not enough to tempt you, the hotel's signature restaurant will be headed by Stephanie Le Que/lee, one ofthe mostpromising talents on the French culinary scene. luxurycollection.coml princedegalles

Planning a party somewhere fabulous? Simon Liebel is one of the most sought-after party planners in the world and regardless of budget, destination or size ofyour event, he wi// bring an exceptional /eve/ of detail from concept to completion along with absolute discretion. simonliebel.com

W <1ilt z through period rooms <1ind centuries of history 1n this noble hahan villa - an enchanting hotel by the Venetian village o f Arcade. The Count and Countess st ill relish holidays in their fami y home, lapped by lush parkland on the vine-clothed fringes of the Montello h~ls. M1rela w1I e~a1n rts h!Story, from gathering s by Italy s nobles and artists to the ravages of WWI. Explore e1Cqu Js~e rooms of fam~y treasures, omale mirrors, open fires_ coffee tables o n dainty t iptoes, studded leather seats, candles breakfast of freshly goodies b y M1 rela's mother. Or take breakfast in bed and digest the tree-lined <1ivenues and 18th ~ntury statues, fancy topiary and wrought· won gates topped by family coats o f arms. Numerous cosy bedrooms are classically d ressed in shades o f olive, khaki <1ind wood. A stylish pizzeria in the old wine cellar offers organic p1ZZas; the honesty bar a range of tipples to sip in the conserva!ory. Strike out to Comud<1 and Asolo, Treviso, Venice... or stay <1in d indulge. Cal +39 0422.720078 Of" l/ISlt www.rela1sbarcozonca.com.

VI LLA ROSA HOTEL 4 • LAKE GAROA in Desenzano wilt amaze you wrth a unique style, luxurious, informal atmosphere, combining the touch of a n old neoclassical lakeside villa with a sparkl ing

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LA SABLONNERIE HOTEL A convivial comer of a beautiful island. Gorgeous garden~, peace and tranquillity, bird s, butterflies. flowers, horses and carn<1iQeS no cars - how could one not enjoy this amazing parad1Se? You will find th is hotel

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CLARI SSE 4* Hot el de Toitas, with spectacular views of the harOOur, is the perfect p l41-ce for a romantic escape. Villa Oarisse, with beautiful g ard ens and pool, is an idyllic re treat from the bustle of the old town of Saint Martin de Re. B oth are located on the picturesque French Island o f lie de Re. www.holel·de·tOtrM.com + 3354635 4032 HORTI DELLA FASANARA is an e nchanting IX century residen~. beautifully renovated to synthesise cuhure , luxury and sfyie. M in~es from Ferarra's c ity centre, the 4 sudes and 2 double rooms m<1ike for an eKquisite Rena1ss<1ince escape. info@honidellafasanara.com +39.338154372 1 www.hortidellafasanara.com

is a colourful, welcome retreat wdh high quahty accom~a tion for the discerning guest. The beautiful g<1irden is the perfect place to relax, and the ~ach 1sj ust a

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to leave. Call 01304 366 975 or v1sd www.de<1ilbedandbreakfast.com BARSHAM BARNS <1ir e ch1e retreats

La Finestra Sul Flume b&b is located on the banks of river Minc1 0 (Verona}. Here, the delicate pleasures of country life are comb ined with the <1iltractive lu1Cury of a charm1~ hohday. M<1itte a & Pietro G <1indirn www.laf1nestrasull1ume.d info@lafinestrasulfiume.tt +39-0 45-7950556 +39-34083381 94

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HOTEL CLAUDE MARSELLA 1s a lu1Curious boutique hotel, set inside "' meticulously restored 17th·century townhouse. Perfectly p laced in the heart

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styled rooms, restaurant, patios and roof terraces. www.hotelcJaudemarbelta.com Ema~: info@hotelcl<1il..ldem<1.rbelta.com Tel.: +34 952 900 8 4 0. LO CAN DA ROSSA. Set in the h ills of the Tuscan Maremma at the foot of the mec:heval village of Capal bio, !hi$ elegant build ing with. 12 rooms and 4 apartments has been dehcately restored. Surrounded by an ol "'e grove o f 3,200 trees, Locanda Ro$$a boasts a tradrtional wine bat, spa. o utdoor pool and children's playground www.locandarossa.com +3905 6 4890462

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with friends or famity for a special occasion

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stay totally carefree. Sleeps from 4· 14. Visit www.barshambams.co.uk or mg them on 0 1328 821?44 for more information.

KINVARA SUITES o ffer holid<1iy apartments wrth the lu~ury of a hotel suite, the freedom of self catering and the

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637760 or visit www.kinv<1r<1isu ites.com for more deta~s. OSEA ISLAND - Charming Accommodation 4 5 m~es from central Lo ndon. Enjoy The M<1ino r House (sleeps 20), The Captains House (sleeps 16), "'" array of penodic cottages or contemporary apartments. Find yo urself captivated by its natura l b~auty. Fadities incll..lde a Tennis collfl, swimming pool. sauna, and gym. FOf" more 1nformat1on please contact us on 0 1621 788593, receptio n @oseaisland.co.uk www.osea1sl<1ind.co.uk

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WE DUB YOU. Pcl up a uniquely cuslom1Sed, d assic VW camper 1n South West France this Pod and iPad Summer, each one with 1 pre-loaded w_ i th music and gaf!leS. From £375 for 7 nights, based on pd: up a t Bergerac A wport. Visit www.wedubyou.com or cal 020 7193 9058.

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ACANTO HOTEL
Acanto is known as one of the most romantic, intimate and charm1ng boutiq ue hotels in Playa d el Carmen. The hotel is

NATURAL R ETREATS Providing luKury accommodation, stunmng locat ions and unrivalled concierge services, Natural Retreats offer be<1iut1 fut places to stay in incredble locahons across Europe and the USA. Their Cornwall Re treat is a po~ol io highlight,

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swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sun decks and chaise lounges for sunbathing. They offer a cozy Romant1e yet family friendly

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4.5 score on Trip Advisor. Contact d etails: T : +357 26947?50, F: +357 26946049, E: kingjas~n@louishotels.com, www.thelongjason.com

atmosphere where !her expe<1 enced staff
will cater to your every need. They ofter 1, 2 and 3 bedroom un its. www.<1icantohotels.com email reservat 10ns@acantohotels.com 1 631 882 1986

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villas from 2 to 4 bedrooms wrth unnvalled in teriors, private b<llcoiiies and inspiring view s, located just a short d rrve from

ROYAL APOLLONIA BEACH 5 " -

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and Lost G ardens of Heligan. Find out more today at www.naturalretreats.com +44 (0)8443843 166.

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L1massol Cyprus cons1Sts of 204 superior rooms and su ites including deluxe spa rooms, 4 restaurants, 2 bars, 3 swimming pools, healt h club and .gym. T : +357 25323351, E: apollon1 a@lou1shotels.com, www.lou ishotels.com

0 1scovef peaceful Shropshire and explore Ludlow's fine food from elegant family ho liday home, Little Cwm Colebatch. Boe* your weeks holiday wdh Sheepskin and q uote 'CN June' and there'll be a Luxury Sharing SelechOn from Sheepskin's deli waiting for you o n 41-rriv<1il compliments of Sheepskin. sheepskinllfe.com 0 186516 4 087 Guardian's Best Travel Website 2012.

Mykonos Theoxenia, Deluxe. This chic and boutique hotel .in Myt<onos nelCI: to the famous wridm~ls consists o f 52 deko::e guest rooms and suites, breeze in bar, the plate restaurant. breeze out bar, outdoor swrilming pool, fitness room and treatment rooms. 4.5 score on Tfll Advisor. T: +30 228 902 2230, E: info@mykonostheoxenia.com
www.m~onostheoxenia.com

RIAD KHEIRREDINE. Charming riad in the heart o f the M edina of Marrakech. Italian management, attention to detail, all that a traveller can wish in terms of comfort, style and hospitality with attention to each guest. www.riadkheirredine.com, 00212 524 386 364, infos@riadkheirredine.com

THE ZANZIBAR COLLECTION
Exotic, Lu~unous, Zanzibar The Zanzibar Collect ion 1s a privately owned collection of beautiful boutique hotels inspired by the magic of Zanzibar, lying on one of the Top 30 Island beaches
m the wol'ld. The PADI 5 star Dive Centre at The Z<1inzibar Collection is East Africa' s only Nalional Geographic affiliated dive center. Baraza Resort and Spa was chosen as one of the World's 60 Best New Hotels on the Conde Nast Hot llst 2012. www.thezanz1barcollect1on.com

• HOTEL RESTAURANT HELVETIA The boutique hotel Helvet ia wrth its 16 individuaHy furnished rooms is "' real jewel

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home from home to business travellers, c ity eKplorers and Zurich lovers alike. Phone: 004 1 (0)44 297 99 98 Web: www.hotel-helvet1 ach

HOTEL LI SBOA PLAZA
Boutique hotel in the Historic centre, just off Lisbon main street - Avenida da Liberdade. Loca l char<1icter, decor and ambtance of Portuguese private houses. One o f the 5 H eritage Lisbon Hotels Collection. Tel: +35 t 213 218 218
plaza,hot~s@he1 1tage.pt

THE HUKA RETREATS
TOMTOM SUITES. A lovingly restored former convent, Tomtom SUl!es - The Old Franciscan House is a small luxury hotel with 20 suites hidden I'! the central distnct of Istanbul. The contemporary interiors indude angina.I arrwork and a roohop restaurant with VleWS o f the Bosphorus within easy access o f the Blue Mosque and Taksim SqtJare. www.tomtomsU1tes.com +90 212 292 49 49 H uka Lodge, New Zealand, 1s fan:ied for its natural beauty, generous hosprtaldy and absolute style - since the 19 20 s. Offering exclus111e accommodation within just 25 rooms within 1? acres of manicured g rounds for the world's most

www.herrtage.p t

LA BARON NIE H6tel &. Spa... proposes a p rivatized Spa entirely d edicated to your well-being and your be<1iuty. lts upstre<1im pool, jacuw <1;nd sauna enables you to relax and facihtates the process o f "le tting go• m lie de Re. Enjoy personahzed massages and treatment s by our be<1iutic1<1in. Tel: (+33) 546.092. 1 29 www.hotel-labaronn1e.com

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chic, boasltng 13 acres of prrvate Pacific island beauty and romance for those seeking a luK ury 'castaway' eK perience !or up to 8 guests on an e~clus rve·use basis. Tel. +64 7 378 5791 E reservations@hukatod ge.co.nz www.thehuk<1iretreats.com

CLASSI FIED ADVERTISING FEATURE


1. MAGPIE ACCESSORIES is a luxury accessories l abel with an ethical sensibil ity. Handcrafted in the Yorkshire stud io out of the fin est locally sourced leathers, they specialize in commissions and work with you to create exquisite bespoke pieces to meet your requirements. Personal ization is key with embossing availabl e on man y items, making them the perfect gift. To view the entire collection visit www.magpieaccessories.com or ca ll (01142) 756 075 for further information. 2. MyaBlueLUXE wi ll make you look and feel fabulous on holiday as the sty les are designed to enhance any body shape for every holiday destination. Buy Silk Dresses, tunics, kaftans and resortwear in sizes 8-20. Speak to a Style Advisor +44 (0)116 2414627 Free Postage or v isit www.MyaBlueLUXE.co.uk 3. BLUE VELVET are experts in luxury Ital ian footwear, specializing in ballerinas and moccasi ns from £49. A lways one step ahead, they have establ ished themselves on their quality and first-rate service. Vi sit them at: 174 Kings Road, Chel sea, SW3 4UP or call 020 7376 7442. Visit them online www.bluevelvetshoes.com 4. HAY FEVER ON HOLIDAY? Applied sparingl y and invisibl y to the base of the nose, H ayMax'M organic pol len barrier balms are proven to trap over a third of the pollen before it enters your body. Less pollen, less reaction. As H ayM ax™ is drug free and non drowsy it i s even suitable for young children, perfect for travell ing w ith little ones. The balms come in handy little pots and are available in l arger supermarkets, Hol land and Barrett, Boots, independent health food stores and onli ne. www.haymax.biz 01525 406600. 5. LIZ TYLER. Award winning designer jeweller Liz Tyler delights in creating i ndiv idual precio us jewellery. Liz w ill be exhibiting 14-16th June with Treasure at the Embankment Ga lleri es, Somerset House, part of Jew ellery Week London. Visit www.liztyler.com or contact Liz on 01258 820 222.

On The Move ... To Italy
I I( 11 •

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ITALIAN RIVIERA
E igh t H otels in Portofi.no and Paraggi, arc a wonderful example of the perfect com bination of ancient tradition , modern technology and quality of service offe red to our guests.

TUSCANY MONTE ARGEN TARIO
Luxury Villa Rentals

For further informatio n, please call 020 8246 6 123 WWN jsolarossa co uk

Property Sales

Sanctuary
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'Detox in _paradise, day 5 ..... 'lt's easier than you think

s;1 c f3afi·ncsc Jlca!i"ng and 1tJc//i1<!:;s \Dcslinalion
nurlun.ng hannony amony spinl. human al!(/ nalurc

~ most qu(rk1J, lirifflanr._ wtique... " 'T'ime our Lonao_n "'T'lie kina ~fyface you booTijor a week and stay.for a nwnrli" 'T'he §uar.ffan

www. tfiesanctuar th'l.i(a.rid.com
Atzaro Agroturismo & Spa
Atzaro Agroturismo & Spa is a luxurious sanctuary in the heart of Ibiza - nestled amongst fragrant orange groves. With Ibiza Retreats, the island's leading holistic health and lifestyle fixers, Atzaro welcomes you to enj oy world-class therapists, we llness coaches, yoga teachers and healers, bespoke retreat s and wellness holidays.
Tel. + 62 .361 . ~69206

Balinese

11111
Mambal, Ball - Indonesia www.fovelements.Otg

ADVENTUREYOGI

THANYAPURA
THANYAPURA
,HUK(T, THAILAND

YOUR 3-DIMENSIONAL COACH FOR THE BODY, MIND AND SOUL IN SPORTS PARADISE PHUKET.
Discover an entirely new concept approach to a healthy vocation lifestyle where world class sporting facilities meet professiona l coaching for the bod y, mind a nd soul in Phuket sports paradise. including Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club. Mind Centre Programme and Thanyapura Integrative Health Clinic. Treat yourself lo a variety of sports. well-being activities. pampering sessions and fine organic dining at Thanyapura Phuket.
H OLISTIC LIFE RETJIEATS In CALABRIA, SOUTHERN ITALY
Rejuvenate your mind, body and Soul, under the sunshine of Southern Italy. and embrace the new you. Transform yovrself to better health. improve your career, relationstiips and prosperity through daily Kundalini Yoga, healthy eating and spiritual life-coaching workshops and meditations. Take that first step to inner peace and happiness. www.holisticliferetreats.com www.aphroditeholisticretreats.co.uk Email: sarahchavasse@ hobnail.com or T elephone Sarah on: +44 (0) 7502 400 270
Combine yoga retreats with adventure activities. SurNogi, BeachYogi, AlpineYogi and DetoxYogi are just some of the retreats on o ffer which can be tailored to yogis of all abilities. On the Alpine retreat you can try exhilarating sports including climbing, biking, hiking and paragliding, all complemented by three hours ofyoga and meditatio n a day and a complimentary massage if you t ravel to the retreat by train. For more details, visit www.adventureyogi.c om or call 01273 782 734.

+39 342 057 6480

RESET BUTTON

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Book a truly special holiday retreat at Villa Beige on t he spectacular Thai island of Koh Samui and indulge yourself with Private spa yoga health benefi ts.

THE LUXURY MODERN ESCAPE, KOH SAMUi
Booking: inf o@villabeige.com www.villabei e.com

Europe's best loved yoga &walking retreat Special Offer
+44 (0)208 1444 297

Kali yoga.com/traveler

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Celebrating simplicity and purity, and saluting the Indian consciousness

www.swaswara.com
A unique offering from CGH Earth

www.az:ulftt .com

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plllltes • tal chi • meditation

+34 1193 028 1311

provide rejuvenating yoga and spa holidayweeks in unspoilt Mediterranean Turkey. They offer the unique experience ofa Turkish Bat h surrounded by peaceful pine forests. The locallysourced food is delicious, and twice daily yoga with renowned teachers will leave you feeling totally refreshed. Visit www.he liotrope -yoga -holidays.com

CHILLOUT RETREATS

e ABTA
ASTA No. L 6737

Tel: 01522 889450

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'Hospitality since 1834. The living proof of almost 180 years ofhistory and
Cloud 9 is on exclusive. luxury holidoy villa located in beautiful natural bush surroundings above the historic town of Russell. New Zealand. This londmark property offers beathtaking views over the Bay of Islands. LUlll.J 7
e I Heights Russe I lay of Islands New Zee Erno I book ngs@cloud9.co nz Web: www.eloud9.co nx

An exquisite contemporary " retreat" for

Tel . + 39 08 1 877 71 11

the discerning. Luxuriously designed rooms creating a WOW FACTOR ... Tranquil setting with panoramic sea views. Short wa lk to the beach and minutes from St Tropez. www.villa -zen.co.uk Email. info@villa-zen.co.uk Tel. 0033 617 905 428

The most desirable villas in Sicily
&?. S. Think ICI'IY
www.ThinkSicily.com I 020 7377 8518 Brought to you by The Thinking Traveller

The most desirable villas in Lefkada & Meganissi
Think

c:9. Ionion .

Islands

www.Thinklonianlslands.com I 020 7377 8518 Brought to you by The Thinking Traveller

ROYA L-VILLAS- EUROPE
EXCLUSIVE . EXCELLE N CE

Your perfect view from your perfect holiday villa.
St Tropez. South of France.

Pan European holiday rental specialists.
www.RoyalVillasEurope.com info@RoyalVillasEurope.com tel +44 (0)207 887 1457 te l +44 (0)753 84 7 2890

ROYAL -V IL LAS EUROPE

This Beautiful luxury country house Is available to rent 27th June - 5th Sept.
• Sleeps 12 (8 bedrooms)

EXCLUSIVE

EXCELLENCE

• He•ted swimming pool
e 1.5 hours fTom Nice •lrport

Your perfect view from your perfect holiday villa
Marbella, Spain

• St Tropez 20 min• •wmy • Also mvallable for Xmu/New Yfllll bc>c*ings

€8,000 per week.

Tiiie Ten1••I

For <11er two decades, this tranquil retreat, The Tongsai Bay has remained one of the leading family-owned S·star resorts on the beautiful Island of Koh Samul. Set amids! lush tropical gardens on a h~lside ove<1ookilg a secluded bay, this eco·frlendly ootel comprises 83 suttes, cottages and villas. All rooms offer mesme<islng ocean views and spacious terraces enabling guests to enjoy the nal\Kal surroundings. The Tongsal Grand Villas at the resort are sumptuous with large opeo-air terraces complete wtth a gazebo, outdoor bath tub, dining and lounging areas (private dinner on your terrace is available). A number have private 21 sq. meter swimming pools. There are three restaurants for your dining pleasure - Chef Chom's for authentic Thai cuisine, Po-Lad Beach Bistro & Bar, on the beach, for lunch or dinner and The Butler's Grill for that special evening. When you've caught up on sleep, go swimming in one of the beautiful pools, unwind at the resort's Prana Spa where massage and spa treatments are gently apply by expert spa therapists. W i-Fi is available throughout the resort as well a complimentary internet service. So come and be pampered at Koh Samui's exclusive oasis - The Tongsal Bay. Visit www.tongsaibay.co.th for more information.

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The European Villa Specialists

www.royalvillaseurope.com lnfoOroyalvllla seu rope.com tel +44 (0)207 887 1457 tel +44 (0)753 847 2890

Traveller

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Trav611er
level of private space, scunning design, personalised hospicality and unforgettable destination experiences ... For more Information, call :

View our collection of luxury villas and farmhouses, set in stunning locations all with private pools and ranging from 2 to 8 bedrooms. Visit WWW.mallOfC3.CO.Uk for /_~{ reservations, photo galleries, location maps and floor plans.

LUXURY HOLIDAYS MADE AFFORDABLE

Situated on tlte North Coast ofMauritius, tlte 5* Paradise Cove Hotel&: Spa is a bolltique hotelfor tu.Wlts only nestled in a beautiful tropical garden.

emelisse facilities •services seven swimming pools, child ren pool, pool • lobby bars, two restaurants, room service, laundry service, business & wedding services, dvd & b ook library, fitness room, tennis & squash courts, speedboat fortune V50 & small motorboats for hire. elemis spa, playground. b ic ycle s. cinema. new bar on the rocks www.arthotel.gr

EMELISSEHOTEL

PERAN TZADAHOTEL

Eblisi bay, 280 84 Fiskardo Kefalonia - G reece T +30 267 404 1200 F +30 267 404 1026 E e m elisse@arthotel.g r W e m elissehotel.com

Odissea Androutsou, 280 84 Vat hi lthaka - Greece T +30 267 403 3496 F +30 267 403 3493 E perantzada@arthotel.gr W perantzadahotel.com

10 IOOI(, CAU ONE Of ou• TIAVR EXPBTS roa A POISONAUSED QUOTE

I b est ~t ~ rave

www.bestattravel.co.uk

020 7849 4217

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Situated in the picturesque village of Gigglewick, SUNNYBECK COTTAGE is a luxury, dog friendly, self catering holiday cottage. The cottage has been decorated to an extremely high standard in a comfortable, contemporary style and offers lf1e perlect location for walking and exploring lf1e Yor1<shire D ales National Park, as well as modem home comforts.

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The Orient al is one of the original Brighton Boutique hotels, under-stated yet bursting with

character this 4 • Highly Commended Grade II
Listed Regency guesthouse has a refre shing view on design and service.

Tel: +44 (0)1273 205050 Fax: +44 (0)8721117470 www.ortentalbrl hton.co.uk

THE B+B COLLECTION are located with in 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.

Visit www.setueholidaycottage.com
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Self-Guided
Walking & Cycling Holidays

v Boutique hotels, stylish villas,
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v Excellent regional cuisine
& fine w ines

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notes - you won't get lost!

v Bespoke itineraries at
unbeatable value

~~[!] Contact us today:

~

i~ru~
l!J~W

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headwater.com
ATOL 9957

Cal l for a brochure or to speak to one of our sp ecialists

I ABTA W1 593

FRANCE • ITALY• SPAIN• PORTUGAL CROATIA• AUSTRIA • WORLDWIDE

01954 261431 or visit ou r websi te
www.vinta etravel.co.uk

SHORT BREAK HOLIDAYS
FOR DISCERNING TRAVELLERS

Kirker Holidays provides carefully crafted tailor-made holidays to over 140 destinations in 40 countries including 70 classic cities and over 250 relaxing rural locations throughout Europe & beyond.

We create tlze perfect itinerary using selected hotels and private transfers with travel by any combination of air, rail, private car or Orieut Express - ideal for celebrating a special occasion in style. The Kirker Concierge will arrange opera and ballet tickets, pre-book m useums, galleries and private guided tours, and reserve a table for a delicious dinner at a recommended restaurant.

Speak to an ex pert or request a brochure:

020 7593 2283
www.cvlravel.ca.uk

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Conde N ast Traveller reminds you to ensure that when booking a package holiday to check that the travel company has arranged a bond, inorder to provide financial security through a trade association (eg ABTAI, insurance, or atrust account.

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Tailor-made holidays in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia
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WHERE ARE WE? PIMALAI, KOH LANTA, THAILAND TAKEN FROM THE TERRACE OF POOL VILLA 901 W Hy WE LOVE IT
!t's the location that makes th!s resort spec.ia!. Beca.use it's not on flashy Phuket. _ B ecause it's not on overcrowded Samu1. Because this island 1s a secret only more progressive travellers know about. It has different colours from the rest of Thailand: the sea is a kind of loch-green, the sand is thick clotted cream. Sounds in the morning include the muezzin call to prayer. It feels sheltered, unspoilt and protected, as if this finger of land pointing down into the Malacca Strait is too much of a schlep to get to - so the developers haven't bothered. And here is a place to stay that is totally undemanding, with simple but deeply comfortable rooms and villas scattered just far enough apart - throughout the dense jungle. Great sliding glass doors open out to terraces that peer down to a gorgeous scoop of beach. Longboats put-put- put in and out of view and every now and then a seaplane drops by; but mostly it's like this, with still waters for lolling about in, a palm-thatched bar serving cold Singa beer and prawns fished out of the bay, the creak of the cashew trees in the breeze and the clatter of a monkey on top of a terracotta- tiled roof. Cleveland Collection ( +44 20 7843 3531; www.clevelandcollection.co. uk) offers seven nights at Pimalai Resort & Spa from £1,369 per person (based on two sharing), including breakfast, flights and transfers

168 Conde Nast Traveller June 2013

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THE SPA GUIDE 2013
THE BEST SPAS IN THE WORLD
WEIGHT LOSS IN ITALY ASHRAMS IN CALIFORNIA DETOXES IN AUSTRIA AYURVEDA INTHE MALDIVES SURFING IN COSTA RICA YOGA IN CAMBODIA BOOT CAMPS IN BRITAIN

In association with ESPA and Hea ling Holidays

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THESPAGUIDE2013
w on you'" <iding high Ji, ing tho lifo,it'• o"y to think youc h" lth will J,.t '°"'"•no?You know, tho
way you immediately forget how hellish th at cold was literally the second it's gone. Illness is a foreign country. But when the cogs start to slip - whether you are waking exhausted at dawn every day or battling with your back - nothing else much matters. You start to look for solutions; solutions beyond your family GP. And we suggest you start here. This is the new Conde Nast Traveller Spa Guide. The difference is in the detail. Because you don't want to take any chances. It's about feeling better; the best your body can be. So we 've bee n busy climbing mountains, surfing waves, going yogic, starving and slathering ourselves and being pummelled to perfection - preferably by our co-sponsor and holistic mega-star ESPA. Not a single recommendation in this guide comes without a thorough investigation on our part. Supported by the most focused and knowledgeable spa tour operator, H ealing Holidays, we bring you the world's best. From our insider address book in cutting-edge Miami to honest, slice-through-the hype reviews, we uncover the spas, retreats, detoxes and heath centres that are worth both the journey - and the money. There are transformers, places to turn back the clock, holidays that will leave you shiny, polished, happy - a whole new dawn (one you will hopefully sleep through ) and a whole new you. Drink it up, digest it properly and then? Get going. Because good health is all about making the right decisions by knowing the right people in the right places.

Daisy Finer SPA GUIDE EDITOR Meli nd a Steve n s

Issy von Simson SPA GU I DE DEPUTY EDITOR

CONDE NASTTRAVELLER EDITOR

THE SPA AWARDS 2013
BEST DESTINATION SPA CO MO Shamb h a la Estate, Bali BEST MEDI SPA Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS Clinic Buchinger Wilhe lmi , Germany BEST FOR ANTI - AGEING L a R ese rve Geneve, Switzer land BEST FOR BEACH ACTION Florblanca , Cost a Rica BEST HOT SPOT O n e&O nl y Th e Pa lm , Dubai

READERS' AWARD: UK
BEST BRITISH FIXER G le n eag les, Scotland

READERS' AWARD: INTERNATIONAL
BEST FOR FAM I LI ES Ca rli s le Bay, Ant ig u a
ON THE COVER : TU LUM, MEXICO. PHOT OGRAPHED BY JENNYZA RIN S. STYLED BY FION A LINTOTT. HAIR AND MAKE- UP BY DES MOND G RUNDY. MODEL L AURIE BIN G. BEAUTY: RESTOR ATIVE BODY O IL BY ESPA. BIKINI BY THAPELO PARI S . COIN-WRAP NECKLACE BY AZUNI LONDON

TRAVELLER SPECIAL Terms and conditions apply to all offers. To take advantage of the Traveller Special deals or to fin d out more information
and booking dates, please con tact the hotel or tour operator directly, where stated, quoting'Conde Nast Traveller Spa Guide 2013'. All prices and package details are correct at time of going to press; all prices given are per person, based on two sharing June 2013 Spa Special 3

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F XYOUR SSUES
The individual A neurotic control freak who needs to step away from the wine - and the food The remedy An intensive, seven -d ay detox at Grayshott Spa in southern Engl and
ednesday: 1/2 a bottle of red wine. Thursday: 3/4 bottle of red wine. Saturday: One bottle of red wine. One bottle of red wine?! All to myself? How did that happen? I only ask because I'm not by any means an alcoholic, no, not at all. The only reason I drink , really, is to stop myself fro m falling on my food. You should try it, it's an excellent trick. Except here's the thing, after finishing the bottle, guess what I did aft erwards? I found a tub of cookie-dough ice cream at the back of the freezer and finished that off as well. Oh dear. When I am good I am very, very good, but when I am bad I am just... abysmal. And so I find myself at Grayshott in Haslemere on yet another detox. Oh yes, I've been to a few in my time. Part of the novelty of th is one, though, is that it is only 45 minutes down the A3, which means I can't do what I usually do, which is undo every single bit of good work on the long-haul flight back home (that advert for Pringles is so spot on). Grayshott promises its brand-new seven-day programme isn 't exactly a bootcamp either, more a method to regenerate the digestive system employing a combination of hardly any carbs; the 5:2 protocol, castor-oil compresses and abdomin al massage (what I call 'outside colon ic irrigation'). It's the first detox of its kind in Britain (why are we so behind?) and the closest you will get to the fa mous Mayr cure so prolific in Austria the idea being that good health originates in the gut. Yes, yes, but will I lose weight, I ask, as a nice man in a tracksuit called Ravi gets me on the electronic scales. It's all very well leaving Grayshott being able to pass the most perfec t stools, but what I really want is to be able to get back into my 24-inch-waist jeans. It's funn y, some people are so sanguine about putting on a bit of weight, laugh it off even, but I am not one of them. Not saying I'm proud of it or anything, but to me, a pinching waistband is a sign of moral failure. Discipline is freedom , the tyranny is in too much choice and so fort h ... The last time I came to Grayshott, former home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was about 17 years ago. It has had a big refurbishment since but is still the matronly, commuterbelt sort of place B ubbles de Vere from Little Britain would feel comfortable in. With its blue-rinse ladies wandering around in dressing gowns, it is somehow the perfect 'safe' environment in which to reflect on my neurotic relationship with food and booze and my irrational, distinctly celebrity-

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The starkness ef no alcohol) no carbs) no cciff eine) no sugar; no wheat) no gluten and no fruit means I find 1r!:JSe!j going to bed earlier and earlier and even snacking on toothpaste

style quest for perfection. I mean, who do I th ink I am? A ngeline Jolie? I'm not going to lie: this cold-turkey busin ess isn't easy. Especially the two days when we are only allowed 500 calories. The starkness of no alcohol, no carbs, no caffeine, no sugar, no wheat, no gluten, no fruit (we aren't even allowed the green apples in reception) means I find myself going to bed earlier and earlier and at times even snacking on toothpaste. But being th e sort of goal-orientated person I am, I also Jove the strictness of it all. In my book, a kick up the arse is hardly ever not a good thing. By day five, the strange saurkrauty stuff they make you eat before every meal to prepare your stomach for its food tastes like nectar and I'm beginning to wonder if the mirror in my bathroom is telling me the truth. Bye-bye 'Carb-face', that's for sure. By day six I'm really beginning to question my habit of drinking every night. If I can get through without, on on ly 500 cats a day, it's going to be a relative breeze on 1,800 calories or whatever the recommended daily allowance is, no? And besides, this myth I've ascribed too fo r so long, that drinking alcohol makes you eat less ... well, clearly it doesn't work anymore, does it? Day seven and time to get weighed. I'd told Ravi not to tell me what I came in at, in the likely event that I was heavier than I'd optim istically estimated myself. Well, assuming the digital scales at Grayshott aren't wonky, the result is nothing short of extraordinary. Readers, I came in at eight stone, nine pounds and left at eight stone. That's a whole nine pounds - unheard of for someone of my build. I wasn't an anomaly either. A nother guest on the programme (admittedly a lot larger than me) lost 17lb. Maddeningly, my kids do not notice much di fference except that my eyeballs are whiter and I look 'less grey'. Me, well, I'm not going to say I've become teetotal, because that would be fibbin g, but I can say th e urge to crack open that bottle of red the moment I get home from work , and the obligation, almost, to drink to the last drop, has somewhat abated. Who knows where I will be this time next year, but for now, I barely know my pair of jeans are on. BOOK THROUGH +44 1428 602034; www.grayshottspa.com. The seven-night Grayshott Programme costs from £1,295 per person full board, includin~ consultations, therapies and J ectures.$i;f·Wili . . $1;1$i:_ilC!U.~• Book this and receive a > complimentary room upgrade

J une 2013 Spa Special S

FI X YOUR ISS UES

VILALARATHALASSA RESORT
PORTUGAL
Issue: SMOKING
Giving up smoking is ghastly, boring and anxiety-inducing. This sprawling seaside resort, thankfully, is the antidote. First, there's a visit to the doctor, who checks your blood, weight and height and rattles off a bespoke progamme of t reatments for you to carry around on a card, your bible for the week, ensuring you pad to the right room in your white robe and sl ippers. With the supplement ary anti-smoking package you will get needles tapped into your face by a mesmeric humming acupuncturist (shut your eyes), breathing exercises and little homeopathic sweet s to reassure. ( Don't panic, it's easy. Yo u'll be bewitched by a health spell for a week, after which the back of the beast will be broken). But it is the thalossotherapy various system- revving t reatments using warm and filtered seawater wh ich is the real show-st ealer, cunningly distracting you from most things, including cigarettes. There is the shower massage, in which your dawdling lymphatic system is given a jolt as you are power-hosed from the soles of your feet up; jet pools in which you move slowly against powerful streams pummelling your muscles and flesh; and a fantast ic algae wrap that really drains all the water your body is hoarding, leaving you t ight as a tiger and thirsty as hell. There is something reassuringly clinical about the thalossotherapy; with no fluffy spa effects and no slippery surface massages, it is serious, special, and presented as such. You'll be enchanted by your glass-like skin and diminishing contours after a few days. It will feel as if someone has sucked the toxins out of your body, and rinsed you through with t he ocean; you may sti ll be blowing salt out of your nose once back home, but it is bliss compared with the smoker's death rat tle. When not in treatment you can simmer in the Edenic setting, the richly exotic gardens that cascade past vario us outdoor pools and down to the beach, enclosed by high honeycomb cliffs. The dietetic menu will complete t he healthy vibe; t hree exquisite courses amazingly tot up to less than 400 calo ries, with mouth-watering soup or turbot with endives and t ruffles. Bread may be the enemy, but soya panacott a on a soup of red berries softens the blow, and you may have shed four pounds when the doctor weighs you again . Expect to feel revit alised, like a snake t hat has shed it s old skin, after six days t reatments - or 'cured' as the V ilalarans call it. You will leave bent on maintaining your regime - and the voice of the anxious smoker, w ho had to steal a cigarett e off the driver from the airport, will be silenced for good. TOP TIP A magnetic needle left in the craving pressure point in your ear, which you press whenever you feel the urge to smoke - somewhat painful, but amazingly effective. BOOK THROUGH Essential Escapes ( +44 20 7284 3344; www.essentialescapes.com), which offers a sevennight anti-smoking cure from £1, 69 f er personb cludi] breakfast, specific treatments, flights and transfers _a:i·_+JiH¥:_4$(!i!'.:...i Book this and receive a discou nt of £150

6 Spa Special June 2 013

COMOSHAMBHALA ESTATE
BALI
Issue: STR ESS
Be very excited. GM extraordinaire Paul Liner has left Chiva Som to steer COMO Shambala Estate to even higher states. It's hard to see how t his slice of heaven, wit h its raging jungle backdrop and reassuringly calm manicured lawns - blessed daily by a priest - could get any better, but Liner has introduced even more effective packages. Weight loss, anti-ageing, energy boosting are all here, along with the world's most gifted visiting practitioners. The seven-night stress management programme includes eight massages - that's got to help, hasn't it? - as well as one-on-one yoga, the freshest juices and coconut waters galore. Yes, you can have your pulse read by Ayurvedic specialist Dr Deepak Deginal, or your body pummelled into slim submission by the intuit ive t herapists. But with magical freshwater pools fed by a holy shrine to swim in, just soaking up nat ure here is enough. It's all about reconnection to the source. Suddenly your inbox doesn't matter any more. It's the antithesis of hair-shirted spirituality, and the service is immaculate. Butlers appear from thin air to attend to whims you're unaware of. Glow, the restaurant, serves healthpumping food with an antioxidant punch. You'll live in your yoga kit ( understated, expensive, Buddhist chic la Christy Turlington), sip pure hibiscus flower with melon juice and aloe vera while gazing at the orange African tulip trees and meditate in a tiny wooden hut to the rush of the river. It's no wonder this holistic nirvana remains t he reigning queen of Bali's spas. The silence is so potent you can hear your own heart beat (a good sign). TOP TIP It's rare to find a GM so tapped into healt h concerns, but then owner Christi na Ong is a genius at picking her staff. Liner suggests that by sitt ing up straight, palms facing upwards on your lap and slowing down and deepening your breath, t he body's whole parasympathetic system calms down. Simple, quick. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.co. uk/condenast), which offers a seven-night programme from £2,599 per person full board, including activities, wellness consultation, massages, flights and transfers

a

FI X YOUR ISSUES

CHIVA-SOM
THAILAND
Iss u e : L ACK O F MOT IVAT IO N
Chiva Som is known as a Club Med for holistic junkies; and we Brits love the place. There's something about the routine and the rules which is school-day reassuring. Cameras and mobiles aren't allowed in public, and there's no alcohol before 6pm. You can smoke, but only in the designated spot (a favourite with Kate Moss). The daily activity schedule is tightly packed: pick from different yogas, stretching or bone-density classes, fitball, Pilates, step aerobics, aqua aerobics, abs express, gyrokinesis (yoga meets dance) and cardio training sessions. It's almost impossible to sit still. It's actually quite stressful - as well as weirdly exciting - working out the scramble of what you want to do when, especially when you factor in your daily Thai massage (a one-woman wrestling match that will leave you inches taller) and other astoundingly good treatments such as the famous Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal massage) with Ketsarin Moonsri. If you travel with a friend it can even get competitive (what, you're only going to do a colonic, spiritual healing, core work and the detox cooking class?). A crack squad of physios can assess your movements and recommend treatments; you can give up smoking, learn to box or get your back sorted out. The holistic and Asian sit alongside the modern and state-of-the-art. And forget thoughts of eating like a spa sparrow: the food here is a revelation, from lotus salad and buckwheat pancakes to green mango and bean-curd salad, and rock-lobster curry. You'll find yourself enthusiastically buying the cookbook and litres of coconut oil (one of the few fats you should cook with). There's an organic, lowsodium, low-sugar buffet, and everything is listed with its calorie, fibre,

protein and wheat content - it's incredible how fascinating it is to compare the virtues of various foods and sudden ly quibble over 50 calories when you've been stuffing yourself with crumpets since November. But you see, this is a whole new you: revved up and ready to change. It's no surprise that nearly every guest comes back for more - you'll leave with more oomph than a T hai prawn curry. TOP Tl P A cup of fresh ginger tea followed by an early morning t'ai chi session in the pavilion - never again will you laugh at people in the park exercising more slowly than drunken tortoises. It takes all your concentration and afterwards your muscles will feel as if you've been slaloming. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592, www.healingholidays.co.uk/condenast), which offers a seven-night programme from £5,015 per person full board, including t reatments, flights and transfers. Book this and receive a spa credit of 5,000 baht (about £110) and one complimentary t reatment

GR A ND RESORT B A D R A G A Z
SWITZERLAND

c ~ R
EST 8 MEDI SPA

Issu e: PH YS ICA L R E COV E RY

An hour on the train from Zurich, mountain peaks visible from every room, Switzerland's cure-all is both a spa in the traditional sense - with its own supply of ~ therapeutic thermal water - and zingingly state-of-theart. In the 14th century, visitors in search of a cure were lowered into the water in a wicker basket and left there, with food supplies, for a fortnight - very Bear Grylls. Fast forward to today and the water is piped in, there are glorious new spa suites with their own sauna and steam room (and bidet-loos with their own remote control), and an ultramodern medical wing staffed by 30 doctors and therapists specialising in physical recovery, with seriously heavyweight credentials - a new MRI scanner, up-to-the-minute dentistry equipment, an operating theatre and the latest equipment for cosmetic surgery as well as non-surgical laser cosmetic work. Whether it's an injured shoulder or tennis elbow, varicose veins, acne scarring or a saggy neck, post-baby flabby tum, after-accident stiffness or sleep issues, this is a place where you can behold the magic of putting yourself back together again. The Swiss Olympic ski team come here for rehab after injury. But it's the individual stories that resonate, such as the 80-year-old woman who arrived in a wheelchair six months after a fall, and within two weeks was walking again, or the opera singer who felt her liver-spotted hands were detracting from her appearance and who was thrilled by their smooth, post-laser appearance. One guest, too ashamed of his obesity to be seen to exercise at home, spent months here learning to restore normality through diet and exercise (Dr Christian Hoppe's weight-loss advice is common sense: 'Calories taken in have to be less than calories used up. It's simple.') And then there's that pure, delicious water, which fills the pools

and the Kneipp stream in the huge wet area - walk in it, bathe in it, drink it. And do enjoy the t reatments, too: all of them have been designed to produce a visible or palpable effect, from reflexology to oi l applications via softly pounding poultices to facials by super brands such as Sisley and La Prairie. And the food? The healthy, Michelin-starred treats incude low-cholesterol, Wagyu-like bison steak, exquisite sushi and tempting little not-too-wicked puddings. What a rocket charger. TOP TIP A good diet is an essential part of physical recovery, whatever the issue. That means a diet that's mostly protein, with plenty of vegetables and fruit, some fat, and a little carbohydrate. 'The opposite of the idiotic pyramid you see in most doctors' offices!' says Dr Hoppe. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; www.healing holidays.co.uk/condenast), which offers specific, two-night programmes from £2 ,569 per person, including breakfast, medical examinations, activities, flights and transfers. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a complimentary room upgrade

8 Spa Special June 2013

S IM PLY HEALING DETOX RETREAT
WEST SUSSEX Issue: FERTIL IT Y
You can read as many articles or talk to as many mums-to-be as you want about fertility but there's a point when you have to stop and say, 'Hold on a moment, w hat is right for my body?' This is Brit ain's most knowledgeable retreat for fertility enhancement, and it provides a warm and nurturing environment. Step through the doors of the beautiful, 18th-century manor house and walk into a parallel universe of positive yet calming energy. Vivien Kay, the founder and a renowned healer, smothers you with warmth and wisdom, while Kate, a specialist in meditation, radiates calmness and poise. Kay will gently but firmly unravel your reason for being here - and you need to be honest. Too much stress, a neglected diet, not enough sleep or having a poisonous frame of m ind after seeing numerous fertility consultants - nothing fazes her. Instead, it allows her to tailor your fiveday stay, mixing complementary and alternative therapy. For irregular periods, ovulation problems and complaints such as PSOC and cystitis, you'll be blissfully uncoiled with a deep-reaching abdominalsacral massage before the t herapist zones in on your uterus and reproductive o rgans, helping to improve blood circulation. It's intensive, but when you leave the massage table your stomach area feels as though everything is flowing that little bit smother. You'll also have reflexology, which helps your body regain its natural balance, and hypnotherapy, which organises frenzied thoughts and feelings by teaching your unconscious m ind to establish ways of working towards your future, rather than dwelling on the past. The juice menu (yes, no food here) is surprisingly tasty (try the beetroot, fennel and carrot) and, reassuringly, you don't get too hungry - though that's not to say guests don't talk about steak and chips while sipping potassium broth at dinner. Don't expect to walk away from here and fall pregnant straight away, but do expect to go home lighter both physically and mentally. TOP TIP Invest in some good quality Cold Pressed Evening Primrose Oil for a healthy uterus and stable hormones. BOOK THROUGH +44 1403 822117; www.simplyhealingcentre.com. A five-night Ferti lity Enhancement Detox Plan costs from £1,615 per person full board, including treatments and consultations

KA MALAYA
THAILAND Issue: TEC H NOLOGY ADDICTIO N
It's almost irrelevant what treatment combo you do - before you even reach the spa the powerful spiritual energy which pulses through the air here (along with butterflies the size of birds) totally knocks you out. The rest of the world seems a million miles away, which is exactly what you need. This hypnotically beautiful jungly hillside resort is built around an ancient Monk's Cave, once the font of Buddhism on Koh Samui. A man with a mass of dreadlocks plays pipes in the gardens, and the vibe is so pure and intense that it's impossible not to switch off your BlackBerry and escape external pressures. The spa, a higgledy-piggledy zone of treatment rooms overhanging the bay, provides every conceivable type of healing. Ayurveda is the lynchpin used in stress and burn-out programmes, as well as the new sleep-enhancement programme. With uberintuitive therapists slathering warm medicated oil over you, they stimulate your meridians, restore your chakras then polish your aura. Every treatment digs deep to maximise the flow of prana (your vital life force which digital overload drains away.) Chi Nei Tsang, a complex abdominal delving that refers to the gut as the second brain, balances the nervous system. This strange stomach massage excavates emotional trauma - prepare to weep and dream wildly. The near-vegan Asian food is superb (the Energy Salad is a delicious medley of wakame and goji berries); there's all sorts of yoga; and you can finally take the time to learn to meditate. Rooms may be a little tired and the beach a little squished, but time out here will seriously soothe your soul and take you off-grid. You'll re- emerge fit, sleek and connected - to yourself, rather than your gadgets. TOP TIP Turn your gizmos off. But also be sure to see Andre Tse, a five-elements acupuncture star who reads your pulse like Braille then re-sets your equilibrium to slow you down. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.co.uk/ condenast), which offers a seven-night Relax & Renew ro~amme from £2,900 person full board, including treatments, flights and transfers. .,9 Book this and receive a £150 spa credit, complimentary room upgrade and early check- in/late check- out

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FI X YO UR ISS UES

GLEN EAGLES
SCOTLAND
Issue: FATIGUE
You probably think t his grand golfing Gol iath (all turret s and tartan trews) is too buttoned-up and smoothly BEST polished for soul searching and emotion releasing. But B~cr~~H the ES PA Life programme is as finely tuned to your needs ~ and as cotton-wool caring as the rest of Gleneagles is geared to immaculate service and hearty country pursuits. Slip through the spa's polished doors into a parallel world of creamy calm, Asian sparkles and the capable hands of naturopath Dr Louise Westra. Precise and piercing, she gently but firmly unpicks your problems. You do need to come clean - depression, IBS, low confidence - so she can create your programme, mixing treatments with personal training and nutritional know-how. For fatigue and st ress, you'll be blissfully uncoiled with a deep-reaching exfoliation and massage before Dr Lou ise zones in on your adrenals and, most likely, you r sluggish digestive system . It's not always comfortable . The acupressure massage roots out your under-active spleen while the colon hydrotherapy (not mandatory but worth it ) can be buttock clenching. Bot h are unexpectedly 'lightening' (and enlightening), as most of the moodenhancing hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut. Osteopathic sessions re-align your posture, reflexology winkles out your blockages and the acupuncture is weirdly soporific. T herapists are focused, enthusiastic and uncannily empathetic. Bradley, a huggy-bear of a man, will have you giggling over the kettle-bells, and you'll end up telling your life story to acupuncturist, A ilsa, who you'll want to take home as your new best friend. The Spa Menu (encouraged but not com pulsory) is surprisingly tasty, with butternut squash and peanut salad, grilled cod and roast peppers, chocolate and beetroot cake; and Dr Lou ise turns a blind eye to sneaky t reats. You'd have to be pretty

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strong willed not to indulge here; the afternoon tea is wildly overthe-top. Choose eit her the snazzily refurbished rooms in the old part or the cooler, contemporary Braid House . Don't expect an instant makeover, but you'll go home calmer, sun nier (a personalised facial is included - ask for Kim, who will magic away those under-eye circles), clearer, lighter in step and, crucially, with the determination and tools t o keep on improving and moving. TOP TIP Eat a protein snack - oatcakes and peanut butter, for example - an hour before bed and you will sleep better. BOOK THROUGH +44 800 389 3737; www.gleneagles.com . A four-day ESPA Lif e Optimal Energy and Vitality programme costs from £899 per person, incl udinl treatments. Do ubles cost from £335, incl uding breakfast. Book this and receive a complimentary room upgrade and a two-and-a- quarter- hour Body Cleanse Ritual

LE FAY
ITALY
Issue: SLEEP
As you gaze out from the hot-as- a-bath infinity pool, the steam rising over the mountains and the glass-like Lake Garda below stretching into oblivion, th is remarkable spot feels more like an Asian paradise than northern Italy. But Italy it is, with three different types of fresh mozzarella to choose from at breakfast and candy- coloured macaroons left on your pillow each evening - it's not a place to come for weight loss. However, it is the place to come if you are plagued by insomnia: first of all because it's close, so you don't have to battle with jet leg, and secondly because it has recently launched a five-day sleep programme. According to Dr Maurizio Corradin, there are 10 different forms of insomnia recognised by Chinese medicine and all can be treated. His credentials are impeccable ( he was a GP for years, discovered Chinese medicine, and is now one of Europe's leading acupuncturists), and his approach is caring. Despite the decidedly spiritual thread of your cosy chats, which include dream analysis ( bonkers dreams are a sign your unconscious needs to be soothed before bed, rather like a tricksome toddler), his advice is extremely sensible and it works. For someone who wakes at 4am each day, the treatment focuses on the regeneration of the lungs, with meridian stretching classes focusing on improving your energy flow, combined with strolls through stunning countryside. Book in for reflexology with the ever-smiling Teddy; a former palliative nurse, he knows exactly where your problems lie as his nimble fingers get to work on your toes. Daily moxibustion treatments, using lit tle hot sticks of dried mugwort, work along your meridian lines to unblock energy - it's like a heated form of acupuncture and is upliftingly relaxing. Eating lightly definitely aids better sleep and there is a light option for every meal but, remember, enjoying yourself is also key. There are fresh

past ries and made-to-order omelett es for breakfast; lunch is more challenging, with plates of wafer-th in prosciutto, hand-rolled pasta and homemade ice creams inducing coma- like siestas that last well into the afternoon. And then there is the truly life-changing acupuncture with Corradin, who targets your deepest emotions wit h pinpoint accu racy, unravelling years of unresolved issues. His singsong words of encouragement will leave you feeling a more balanced, happier person - and with that comes sleep. Blissful, uninterrupted, heavy sleep. TOP Tl P Dr Corradin advises yo u to create a daily ritual; for example, stopping working at 6pm and devoting t ime to jogging, meditation or drinking an aperitif with a friend. How Italian. BOOK T HROUGH Wellbeing Escapes ( +44 845 602 6202; www.wellbeingescapes.co.uk), which offers a five-night sleep package from £2,293 per person full board, including consu ltations, spa treatments, activities, flights and transfers. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive an £80 spa credit 0

10 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

ACQUA
DI

PARMA

EXCELLENCE IN EVERY DETAIL:
Deluxe Room

LOTTE
HOTEL MOSCOW

8, Bid. 2, Novinskiy Blvd., Moscow, 121099, Russia Tel.: +7 495 745 1000, fax: +7 495 287 0555, e-mail: 1nfo@lottehotel.ru www.lottehotel.ru

THE LEADING HOTELS

~ .. -·

SHR NKTO FT
The individual An obese entrepreneur in his 60s who needs to shape up The remedy Extreme detox to lose pounds and regain youth at Abso lute Sanct uary, Thailand
he low point came at the beginning of the third day. I was lying in the luxury of an Absolute Sanctuary bed nursing a welted cheek, an infected ear and an attack of gout. The insect bite was coming up like a growth and my foot couldn't take the weight of a sheet. Was it the 72-hour fast, the Jost night, the jet lag, the tropical heat and the humidity? Was it the result of toxins being purged? Was this dense miasma in my head a protest at the absence of my daily quart of caffeine and pint of Pinot Grigio? The liver-flushing drinks weren't doing anything I could verify. The meditation exercises were turning into a quick nap. Yoga wasn't an option. The bending just wasn't happening. I was a detox sceptic on the spa's U ltimate Detox. Few detox retreats deprive you of absolutely everything. It's extreme. Yes, there was colonic irrigation daily. My plan for that is to pretend it never happened. It should be said that although I am big in all directions, I have a very high body image. The front of me billows ahead like the sails of a Spanish galleon. I've always been pleased about this. At six foot three I have persuaded myself I can carry it. It's a male thing, it's why we look like we do. But I'd been told this regime takes years as well as pounds off the face. T'd recently suffered a birthday shock, so it was to the Thai island of Samui, an hour's prop-drivenaircraft ride south of Bangkok, I went. To the Moroccanstyle splendour of Absolute Sanctuary, its pool and its delightful crew. Their grace and ease had a very poor effect on my body image. I found myself reluctant to go into the yoga classes with the slim young women in tan k tops and leggings. Why was I tugging down the hem of my high-riding T-sh irt? This was going to have to be taken seriously. There are a variety of detox diets, but mine was the simplest. You eat nothing. The on ly solids I had that week were two herbal laxatives and a prescription pain ki ller I'd smuggled in. The sole nourishment: three vegetable drinks a day at the poolside bar. This is possible in the heat. Back home, in a northern climate, you'd be storming the fridge for calories to burn

T

Few detox retreats deprive you ef absolutely everything. I fs extreme. Yes) there was co Ionic irrigation daily. A{y plan for that is to pretend it never happened

for warmth. H ere, on th e tropical, jasmine-scented island of Samui, you go into a daze, a haze, a psychic no man's land fam iliar to lotus-eaters. There is a community of international executives and directors to play with . There are herbal treatments. There are the best massages anyone has ever had. My masseuse had - I use the term carefully - a loving touch. There was noth ing professional in it. It was personal, particular to the moment. Each movement had a gentle attentiveness. It put you in touch with yourself. Coming up out of my toxic slump, I hired a motor scooter (£3 a day or £6 delivered to the hotel) and drove round the island. It was like being young again with the wind in your hair - very few people wore helmets. Up various side roads there were buffalos in the palm plantations, chickens, ducks, big pigs and their litters roaming around rural shanties. Luxury villas cantilevered out over the hillsides of virgin forest. I visited an e lephant-riding business. And the mummified monk. Hotel rooms ranged from £5 to £ 500 a night. The place is booming. But everywhere I went I was reminded why I was in Thailand by the little roadside set-ups barbecuing chicken pieces over charcoals. T he temptation was there to be resisted, because I was fee ling considerably better. While I retain my scepticism about liverflushing detox drinks, it is also true that after a week without 45 pints of tea , coffee and wine I felt livelier than for years, and was mysteriously light on my feet. The fasti ng had started to release an energy. You rise above the famished emptiness and start to fee l in control. You are th e boss of yourself after all. It's your body, you can make it do what it's told. And then , at the end of the week, I saw a familiar, halfforgotten face in the mirror. I hadn 't seen that face for more than a decade. It had a light in it. The swags under the e lephant eyes had gone. If I didn't look like a million dollars precisely, I looked as though I was making it. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays ( +44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.co.uk/condenast), which offers an eightnight detox programme from £2,185 per person, including yoga, lymphatic drainage, flights and transfers. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a complimentary welcome ritual massage

June 2013 Spa Special 13

SHRINK TO FIT

CLINIC BUCHINGER WILHELMI
GERMANY
'This is not a hotel, it's a clinic,' is the tagline here. Rooms are sparse, soulless and have emergency-call buttons on every corner. It's not, perhaps, a place to come if you are feeling fragile. Mobiles are banned in public and the whole outlook is incredibly cont rolled. This well-kept national secret with middle-aged plodders for years is far from the more shouty, turn-them-round-quick clinics of Aust ria. A medical backbone gives the place pedigree : Dr Otto Buchinger's therapeutic fasting cure was founded 80 years ago and cleanses the body to such a degree that it's whacked into a miraculous, self-healing state. Stress, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatism, plus many unexplained aches and pains, are never to be felt again . So t he pain is worth it. Your daily calorie intake is 250: apple- skin tea for breakfast, a morning snack of fresh juice, a dash of yoghurt with honey for lunch and vegetable broth for supper. But don't think th is food stays in your stomach for long - enemas are administered by unexpectedly jolly nurses. The minimum stay is 10 days, and you need to lay your body bare. You are poked and prodded to the bitter end, in between blood and urine tests. The first day you're nearly in t ears, dying to go home; the second day you're act ually in tears (feeling cold and dizzy); but then, bizarrely, you start to enjoy it. Wonderful t reatments soothe your visibly diminishing frame (the integrative therapy with Mr Schroder is fantastic), and you can consult an osteopath, personal trainer, physiot herapist, nutrit ionist, reflexologist and even a psychologist (issues become scarily pronounced when you are starved). After a few days, hunger pangs evaporate, grey cheeks turn rosy and you can leave your (very comfortable) bed and hot-water bottle behind. Then it's t ime for the food-reintrod uction phase. This is the crucial difference to a week in an Aust rian clinic where you are sent home with copious folders o n what to eat next. Here, they insist on seeing you through the whole process, starting with potato and vegetable soup and, three days later, carbs (in the form of bulgar wheat). Your stomach kicks into action. You leave sparkly eyed, as clean as a whistle inside and out, and - unbelievably- gloriously shrunk. TESTER' S WEIGHT LOSS lllb in 10 days. AGONY FACTOR 8/10, but decreased to 4/10 as the week went by. BOOK THROUGH +49 75 51 80 70; www.buchinger.com. A 10-night stay costs from £1,910 per person full board, including medical treatment, t herapy voucher and activities

THE RAW RETREAT
CORNWALL
This is one of the most personalised ret reats anywhere: just you, in a private, newly renovated and serene barn in the t eeny- t iny village of Polyphant Qust past Launcest on) . Upstairs, it's all wh itewashed walls and buttermilk tongue-and-groove; downstairs, the huge sitting room has slate floors, orchids in the windows, a cosy wood- burner and an enormous plasma screen for whiling away your fuzzy-headed time. You'll be looked after exceedingly well by rawfood educator Beverley Bird - a mellow presence, respectful of your personal space and full of knowledge you can draw on (she fol lows the teachings of the famous Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, where many cancer patients head). Choose to lose weight through rawjuice fasting with plenty of Cornish st ill water and Pukka teas ( pick the Love variety, with organic rose, chamomile and lavender) or, for a gentler journey, opt for delicious raw food including macadamia-nut cheese, nori rolls, courgette spaghetti and beetroot soup. There's colonic irrigation, micro-trampolining, raw-food workshops and long walks (borrow the open-top Saab and drive to the coast if it's a warm day). Tapped- in local therapists help ease you through the detoxing process - try one-to-one yoga with the utterly calm Emma White, and therapeutic massages with Suzie Preston (get her to use her knot -busting trigger-point tools). Whatever you choose to do, your st ay starts with a fascinating live-blood analysis, when your red cells will jump about under the microscope and Beverley (one of on ly a handful

of nutritional microscopists in the UK) will interpret all sorts of t ales about your stress levels. But don't fret - there'll be birdsong in the morning, utter quiet at night and even ing soaks in a seaweed- and Epsom-salts bath to help you on your way. TESTER' S WEIGHT LOSS 31bs in three days. AGONY FACTOR 4/ 10. Nothing but juices or raw food for days can leave you chilly, and there's no underfloor heating. BOOK THROUGH +44 1566 880090; www.therawretreat.co.uk. A seven-night sta~ costs from £1,175~er person, full board , including all activities.I ;Hf,4ij!!!;j#j::J +!H! Book this and receive a complimentary two-hour massage

14 Spa Special June 2013

MAYR

&

MORE

AUSTRIA
As Dr Bolvari says, 'To be frank, its all about getting rid of toxic shit.' And you will be going to the loo quite a lot. And the loos are designed so you can have a good look at what you've produced. But before you totally lose interest, listen up. This place gets people hooked: one guest has come every year for 15 years. When you arrive, you can't imagine why. This was t he first Austrian clinic to offer the Dr FX Mayr cure and it's definitely a litt le bit stuck in a time warp. Rooms are a head-spin of floral carpets and orange wood, and staff wear t raditional Austrian costume. But then you haven't come here to live it up; you've come to rejuvenate your whole system. Twinkle-in-his-eye Dr Bolvari is head honcho, and he's approachable and amusing. 'You don't drink, you don't smoke, you don't drink caffeine; please tell me you have sex?!' he chortles. But then it's on to the serious business. Strip down to your underwear, stand in front of the mirror and have a proper look at your posture, muscle tension and, of course, fat. Bolvari checks your tongue, blood pressure, heart, liver and lungs, asks what you want to achieve and recommends extras that are not part of your basic package as well as a ridiculous amount of supplements ( beware the added cost) . Those who are in dire need of weight loss are put on a liquid fast; the unlucky also have to take Epsom salts every morning, with dramatic results (beg the doctor for powdered magnesium instead, which tastes far nicer with less gruesome effects). O therwise t he regime is sheep's-milk yoghurt and non-gluten bread. Spelt equals svelte. Make sure to see osteopath Wolfgang; he'll spend at least half an hour unravelling your neck and shoulders. They are also very keen on hay compresses applied to your liver, a treatment in which you are left to rest in a womb-like trance, smelling like a stable. There may be a road between the hotel and the lake, and you may feel utterly lonely and low at times, but when you realise you've lost more weight than your Ryanair hand luggage - and your skin is glowing like a beacon - you'll swiftly become one of the many converted. TESTER'S WEIGHT LOSS 81bs in seven days. AGONY FACTOR 9/10. Largely because the rooms are so weird. BOOK THROUGH +43 4273 2511; www.mayrandmore.com . A seven-night FX Mayr Energy Balance programme costs from £1,150 per person, including consultations, treatments, all meals and activities. (Accommodation, not included, starts at £635 for the week.) Book this programme and receive a 10 per cent discount

PARKSCHLOSSCHEN
GERMANY
A 10-day panchakarma, an intense Ayurvedic detox, can easily take lOlb off you. Strict and super-cleansing, it's also pretty damn challenging. There's castor oil or ghee to start the day, to help loosen toxic deposits of ama, rice soup for lunch, a nice declogging enema to further shift that ama, and absolutely no caffeine, alcohol, meat or dairy. If you're nervous about going all the way to India, this is your convenient, sanitised alternative. Europe's only five-star Ayurvedic spa lies about 30 minutes by taxi from Frankfurt and what's more, it's pretty - romantic, even - with lovely gardens, chirping birds and smiley, happy people about the place. Natural materials predominate - marble, wood, slate - with silk wallpaper and cosy, purewool carpets in the 60 big, old- fashioned bedrooms. A Buddha gazes serenely over the thermal-wat er indoor pool. There are steams, saunas, a gym, cooking workshops and twice-daily yoga. Set up by a rich German businessman who lost shedloads of weight at a Maharishi Ayurvedic centre and resolved to start something sim ilar but rather more comfortable, the hotel emanates evangelistic conviction . Be warned: few staff speak m uch English, but the Ayurvedic team, headed by Dr Gerd-Steffen Bigus, can and will explain all. Treatments include abhyanga, a delicious four-handed massage with oil, shirodhara, the continuous pouring of oil on your forehead, and garshan, dry massage performed with silk gloves - which sounds a bit creepy but is actually totally pressure perfect. Nervous? You can always try the spa's standard weight-loss regime first, featuring exquisite vegetarian food asparagus and coconut soup, courgette-ginger ragout, Asian-vegetable salad on cucumber carpaccio - but we dare you to go the whole Ayurvedic hog. There's no TV (disastrous) and hardly anything to read, so bring books, magazines, a Kindle, iPod - anything, in fact, to distract you from the hunger. TESTER' S WEIGHT LOSS Sib in five days AGONY FACTOR 6/ 10. Castor oil cleans you out a treat but truly tastes revolting. BOOK THROUGH +49 6541 7050; www.parkschloesschen.de. An eight-night Ayurveda package costs from £2,790 per person, full board, including medical consultation and t reatments

SHRINK TO FIT

PARKHOTEL IGLS
AUSTRIA
This is the template for how spas will look next. The lgls is sleek, spotless, flooded with natural light and has views of the Alps from every w indow. Of the half dozen Austrian places implementing t he research of practical, down-to-earth but revolutionary Dr FX Mayr (1865-1965), who believed t hat a healthy digestive system is t he foundat ion of good health, and a clogged colon the cause of much ill-health, this is by far the most advanced. Modern Mayr medicine makes very good sense, and it works. This isn't just somewhere to come to lose weight through the powerfully detoxifying diet of a stale spelt roll and goat's milk: numerous post operative or post-health-scare pat ients pitch up here. The medical w ing of the spa was founded by Dr Gartner, a pupil of FX himself; he's in his seventies now, but duri ng busy times he still lends a hand to t he four doctors who now run t he department. Cutting-edge equipment and an association wit h the University of Innsbruck means the diagnostic facilities rival t op hospitals. Guests are mostly wealt hy Austrians and Germans, but also include Russian oligarchs, portly Saudis, burntout City boys and those w ith conditions their GPs couldn't cure, such as the pale, handsome young British artist who recently sought help for metal poisoning caused by t he lead content of his paints. The smattering of Americans who have discovered it cannot believe how, in 48 hours, you can get a fu ll battery of blood analyses, head- totoe ultrasound scans and ECG tests that , in the USA, would take three times as long and cost five times as much. For the t ypical guest who wants to shift a stone and revamp the way they live, a stay means brilliant Dr Barth insisting on the importance of getting up off that massage bed, taking responsibility for your health and being active. Sports are emphasised strongly, but in the most unintimidating way. And the diet is sensible, w ith protein at every meal, although t he results can be disappointing for those wanting dramatic shifts. Meanwhile, you will have a lovely time, w hether you're in your minimalist bedroom, flicking through TV channels, lying in the bath looking across t he rooftops t o the mount ains, in the library looking at art books or in a blinding white- on-white treatment

room being w rapped like a mummy in herb-soaked detox bandages. TESTER' S WEIGHT LOSS Sib in seven days - sensible weight loss is w hat it's about . AGONY FACTOR 0/ 10. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.co.uk/condenast) offers four night s on t he Modern Mayr Swift Programme from £1,470 per person full board, including consultations, treatments, flights and transfers. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a discount of £150

HOTEL PIRCHNER HOF
AUSTRIA
Here's to Hildegard van Bingen. Who? The sassy 12th-century nun turned 21st-century health guru, of course. You wouldn't need to ask if you lived in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, where clued-in health freaks know all about the medieval abbess who died - in her eighties, in 1179 - leaving records of a lifetime of visions that revealed the health-giving, curat ive and slimming powers of hundreds of herbs, plants and natural foods. Made a saint in 2012 by Pope Benedict, she's not just holier than thou but hotter than ever. Health food shops in Europe sell Hi ldegard products - tinctures, teas, skin creams, salves and in the Tyrolean Alps, the naturopathic Pirchner Hof (a small but comfortable 1970s-built four-star hotel, run by a family whose grandmother introduced them to the fantastic benefits of the nun's diet) has launched a variety of Hildegard-inspired naturopathic stays. Expect three smal l but unexpectedly sustaining daily meals in the pine- panelled dining room served by j aunty wait resses in dirndls - creamily dense, protein-rich spelt bread, thin vegetable broth and fennel tea - weight loss isn't huge (and it's agony watching normal guests feast on puddings or cakes) but what falls off, stays off. And by day three, after cossetting massages and wraps, yoga, aquagym, sessions in the infrared sauna, and outdoor heated pool, twinkly night-time swims, gazing up at t he mountains (where they even do night skiing in w inter), you're surging deliriously w ith unexpected energy, channelling Heidi-type joy and Nordic-walking past wat erfalls in Alpine scenery of the utmost beauty. And feel your pulse race as you work out how affordable t his is -

even the EasyJet flights to Innsbruck are only £60 return if you book a few months ahead . TESTE R' S WEIGHT LOSS 31b in four days. AGONY FACTOR 2/ 10. Fennel t ea is an acquired taste, but spelt bread is gratifyingly filling. BOOK T HROUGH +43 5337 62749; www.pirchnerhof.at. A sevennight stay costs from £755 per person, full board, including all activities. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book t his and receive a five per cent discount

16 Spa Special June 2013

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A sanctuary for mind, body ond soul, the Red Lone Spas exclusively ot Sonders •esorts offer the ultimate in relaxation. Treatments combine European traditions with a distinctive Coribbeoro flair and utilise ngredients indigenous to the region Ul'wrnd in our garden sanctuaries and en1oy compl1mcrolory ..ise of hot and cold pl ge poo1s, steam baths and saunas.
Hot Stone Mos.sage

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SHRINK TO FIT

Tl SANA
ITALY
If you want t o fight fat fast but somewhere w ithout monastic, clinical undertones, then Ti Sana - gentle, personal and deeply effective - is the place for you. Weight loss at Italy's most insider health spot, which only o pened last year, is all about extreme detoxing via juice fasting. You'll be collected at Milan airport and after a 30-minute drive to the red-roofed ru ral village of Arlate, check in to one of the 22 sleek, chic rooms - lots of wood, glass and stone, plasmas and free W i- Fi set in an 18th-century courtyard building. It was restored by the parents of glamorous Italian vegan Erica D'Angelo (her perfect body is something to aspire to), w ho now runs the show with buckets of warmth and essential, it's-all-worth-it support . Sink into an uncomplicated rout ine of four organic fruit-and-vegetable juices a day (opt more for the vegetables if you have blood-sugar issues) for however many days you can spare; if you're serious, give yourself at least a week. It's extraordinary how well you will sleep, and despite sometimes feeling a little weak in the evenings, you'll wake up bursting with energy. There's an infrared sauna for sweating out toxins, a no-fuss, super-hygienic DIY colonic irrigation machine (self-adm inistered, but don't freak out, it's not in the least bit scary and far less embarrassing than sharing t he experience) and riveting live-blood analysis, which will diagnose your hydration levels and adrenal stress - as well as unearthing any toxicity or parasitical presence. Endearing fit ness instructor Mario, who looks like a Florentine pageboy, oversees a mercifully unthreatening exercise regime of morning walks along the Adda river and daily yoga, t 'ai chi or rebounding classes trampolining to most of us, and remarkably good for your lymphat ic system. Erica, an ex-advertising executive, first tried a juice fast and vegan diet when casting around for a programme that would be ethical, easy and effective. 'After three weeks, I had lost almost 201b. I thought, "OK, here is my answer!"' You' ll leave thrillingly thin, but without denting

your wallet too much - unlike many other European detox outlets, which is good news on all fronts. TESTER'S WEIGHT LOSS Sib in four days AGONY FACTOR 3/10. It gets a bit boring, but while you would think you'd feel starved, you don't. The juices contain so many vitamins and minerals that your body doesn't send o ut hunger signals. Clever. BOOK THROUGH Wellbeing Escapes ( +44 845 602 6202; www.wellbeingescapes.co.uk), which offers a seven-night detox programme from £1,929 per person full board, including consultations, act ivities, flights and transfers. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive an £80 spa credit

VIVA MAYR
AUSTRIA
It's only a short drive away from the original Mayr & More but if you care about your surroundings, this is the one to plump for. The building is borderline Mies van der Rohe: t here are walls of glass everywhere and bedrooms are clean lined and bright. There's an open-air restaurant with wicker armchairs and the glorious, ever-sparkling lake is right outside. Floating in the water is a massage in itself. In the heat of summer, staff jump into the lake too (off their own pont oon), and all you can hear is their joyous, ringing- bel ls laughter. This is a happy, uplifting place, despite t he fact people come here with serious complaints allergies so bad they can't leave the house; arthritis so crippling the weight of t he duvet is painf ul. N o wonder they don't care about the howl ing expense. Stressed-out bankers, acto rs who can't sleep, brides manic t o lose pounds - guests come alone and leave with a handful of new friends. You can't help but j oin in the chat around the herbal-tea stat ion. Everyone here is on a different journey, and comparing the whys and wherefores is as compelling as any reality TV show. Diets vary from fasting (st age one: liquids on ly), to morsels of spelt bread served with spreads made from goat 's cheese and jazzed up wit h mackerel and avocado (stage two), t o little portions of protein with vegetables ('Are you o n real food?' people ask each other jealously). If you want t o exercise (the gym is vast and hi-tech) be sure to eat solids. Another key difference t o t he original Mayr is the emphasis on ed ucation. Here, t he rules are seriously drummed home. T here's a book. There are evening lectu res. There are daily doctor appointments. And there are a lot of rules. Chew your food slowly, preferably 40 times; this is where good digestion starts. Eat less prot ein, which w ill reduce your body's acidity (a

breeding grou nd for disease). Introduce the daily consumption of linseed oil (you get little pots of it with each meal), as it's high in Omega 3. No raw after four, not even avocado . And skipping supper, or eat ing litt le and early, is the secret key to a long life. 'Cancel dinner,' says Dr Harald Stossier. TESTER'S WEIGHT LOSS 41bs in seven days (but tester not very overweight). AGONY FACTOR 5/10. T he food you do have is delicious. BOOK THROUGH +43 4273 3 1117; www.viva- mayr.com . A seven- night stay costs from about £2,325 per person, full board, including consultations and t reatments. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a complimentary Viva medical vitality check and airport transfer 0

18 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

THE PURE IN DUL GENCE OF LE SPA WI LL REJUVENATE B ODY AND SOUL
Alluring decor, soothing waterfalls, mosaic tiled pools and lavish treatment rooms combine to create an inviting and tranquil ambience in this unique Thalassotherapy Spa. The only one of its kind in Europe, Le Spa features four outdoor and three indoor seawater treatment pools - each having a different salinity level and temperature to offer distinct and specific benefits. A traditional Hammam experience will leave you feeling revitalised. Privacy and discreet personal attention are guaranteed in the 3,000 square metre, award winning Le Spa with 34 individual treatment rooms, where guests can be pampered with a choice of over 130 Thalgo and Elemis treatments. Le Spa is a truly extraordinary therapeutic and relaxing haven.

FREE HALF BOARD UPGRADE OFFER
Pay Bed & Breakfast and receive free upgrade to Half Board. This is for all bookings received by 31 st May for summer 2013. Reservations can be made through most tour operators see your local travel for details and booking conditions or contact: Le Meridian Limassol Spa & Resort Tel: +357 2586 2000 Fax: +357 2563 4222 email: promotions@lemeridienlimassol.com www.lemeridienlimassol.com

Y!e MERI DIEN
LIMASSOL SPA & RESORT
CYPRUS

The island's only international Five Star Chain Hotel on the beach

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SPA's h ighly effective products can help all of us counteract life's daily drnllenges by brillian tly delivering glowing skin. The dancers at English National Ballet rely on ESPA lo revitalise their skin and restore their bodies post-show.

and deliver pure aromas, heavenly textures and an uplifting experience. T hat English National Ballet dancers have chosen ESPA products just reinforces their values of 'performance, quality and beau ty'.

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SKINCAR[

NATIONAL BALL[T'S PRODUCT PICKS

Sue H armsworth MBE, Founde>· and C EO of ESPA, does not believe anyone should have to d1oose between skincare that delivers results and skincare that is natural and truly pleasurable lo use. She knows that whether dancers are performing around the globe or juggling
live s against weathe r, pollution and tin1e constraints,

Sue H armsworth recogn ises that being a dan cer at English National Ballet can be harsh on the skin and hair due to the daily application of heavy stage make-up an d hairsp rai: ' ESPA products work incredibly well under these exu·erne conditions,' she says. \ V e bring you the
dancers' verdict on the products' performance and shmv h ow they c an \\lark for you ..

they dese rve products that will visibly in1prove our skin

Soothing Bath Oil. Lead Principal Daria Klimentovi1 says, }\fter a long day dancing, it's extre mely relaxing and soothing to unwind using th is product - h eaven!' for Lhe non-dancers am ongst us Lhis Sandalwood and Rose Geranium blend helps calm the mind, nourish the b ody and encourage sleep. Relaxing Salt Scrub. Soloist James Forbat (pulured kfl) says this p roduct is a 'great way to invigorate your skin after wearing Lycra ballet clothing all the rime,' while Artist of the Cornpanyj enn ie H anington says it makes he r 'skin incredibly smooth' and she 'doesn' t need to 1noisturise aftenvards' . \Vheth er you have an audience of thousands or not, we say your limbs dese1 ve this lavender-en riched, sooth ing, nourish ing and relaxing mi1 -acle.

B[AUTY rnlTORS' S~OWSTOPPrns
Deluged with products from d ifferent com panies, it takes an outstanding product to impress the UK's beauty edi tors. H ere's their ESPA shortlist. .. Smooth & Firm Body Butter. This richly hydrating body butter melts into skin lo help nourish and refine skin texture and restore skin's suppleness, help ing d im in ish the app earance of stretch marks. It also has a wonderful aroma. 24 Hour Replenishing Moisturiser. A deeply replenishing m oisturiser to nourish even sensiLive skin wh ilst helping delay the early signs of ageing. Contains Myrrh, Frankincense, Neroli and Vitamin E-rich Peach K ernel Oil. It's a tru e winne1 : Men's Dual Action Shave Mud. No t only does th is product allow a smooth shave, it doubles up as a deeply add ictive cleansing mask.

CURTAINS UP
T h is year sees two major new launches for ESPA: a pionee ring skincare range called LIFESTAGE, which uses the latest in technological a d va nces to target all the signs of ageing; plus a delicious new bath and body collection , which ha rnesses the p urest essential oils to tra nsform routine cleansing and moisturising into a real pleasure. ESPA's LIFESTAGE is a pioneei-ing new range that combines stage-released 'Natural Encapsulation' technology \Vith potent n atu ral ing redie nts. D esign ed for those aged (t,µica lly) 45-plus, the LIFESTAGE Net8 Serum, Stage Release Moisturiser and Stage Release Eye Moisturiser ha rness the power of I 0 pure and concentra ted actives to fight lines and rej uvenate and restore ski n . Key ingredien ts include C ar nosin e, a natu rally occurring dipeptide that protects against glycation, an agei ng process th at can lead to a loss of skin suppleness and elasticity; Liquorice Root Extract, which evens skin tone, calms redness and helps min imise age-spots and p igmentalio n; and H imalayan Fleece Vine, which contains antioxidant-rich Resveratrol, renowned for prolonging the vitality of skin cells. The ingredients are 'stage rele ased' in to the epidennis for up to eight h ours to achieve their ultimate p erformance potential. ESPA's Bath & Body Essentials ra nge is an instant upgrade lo you r everyday routine. The Body Lotion, Body Wash, Hand Lotion and Hand Wash use 100 pe r cent natural fragrance and the finest essen tial oils lo pamper the skin a nd uplift the senses. There are two richly a romatic blends the sultry Bergam ot, J asmine and Cedarwood or the zesty Lem on, Ylang, Ylang an d Tonka Bean both d eservin g of a sta n ding ova tion.

BACKSTAG[ [SSrnTIAL
W hethe r you're a dancer dealing with the phYsical
d em ands of perfOrmance or an urbanite facin g the

everyda,· challenges of weather aHd workplace, lip balm is a beauty essen tial. Now ESPA has created its own versio n, wh ich is beautifully packaged in a compact with mirro r. ESPA's Mandarin Lip Balm is an ultrn-soothing, divine-sm elling product with a perfect texture - as pleasurable as it is effective.

SL[[PING 8[AUTY
It's well known that dancers h ave very litLle downtime, so p roducts have to work h a.rd to beautify when they can . N o wonder so m any dan cers arc addicted to the Pink Hair and Scalp Mud. 'M y hair gels dry with hairspray and gel,' says Stina Quageb eur, Artist of the Company (pulw~d above ), 'but an overnigh t treatment with this gets it super-shiny and gloss)'.'

STAG[ R[ADY SKIN
Invigorating Body Reviver. This award-winning scrub comes in a shower-friendly tube and its thick indulgent formula banishes any dryness to leave sofl and glowing skin in its place.

Replenishing Face Treatment Oil. Lead Principal D aria Klime n t ova (pictured 1ighl) says, ' I use a lot of make-up for m y performances and so my skin is very d ehydrated. This o il was the pe rfect Lrealmen t for n1e.' Artist of the Company Jennie Harrington (pictured lefl) agrees, saying, 'It really made a difference lo the texture an d look of my skin .' For the rest of us the Vitamin E-rich oil will nou rish, intensive!)· m oisturise and reduce fine lines. O h, a n d it smells great to o.

johansens
Luxury Hotels • Spas · Venues

condenastjohansens.com
Park Hyatt, Maldives

FOREVER YOUNG
ii)gliI!lll!J!•lltfl.aJ A
glamorous forty-something TV presenter battling early-menopause demons
The remedy The anti-ageing programme at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily

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ven anonymously, it's hard to write the following without battling an appalling sense of disloyalty to my mother, who is doubtless this moment in her vegetable garden stringing onions without a thought for beauty serums or eternal youth, but here - and forgive me - it is. The menopause changed her beyond recognition. It came hard and early, at 43, slap in the middle of her tradeunion-strike-leading, lentil-stew-making prime, and aged her 30 years overnight. It is important to communicate the extent to which, before this, her physical youth had defined her in my eyes. Teachers routinely mistook her for my sister as she peda lled alongside me to school, with her red hair flying and not a scrap of make-up - unneeded! - while the other mothers revved their engines at the gates. But not her. Not my fierce beauty. It wasn 't so much the physical change in her that hit me (although it did), but something else more noxious that went in deep - the dread notion that things are ever-moving beneath the muscle and flesh; mysterious forces beyond our control that, when the mood strikes, will reach up through the glands and arteries, through the skin and spit, and steal your identity. Hysteric that I am, since then I have seen 43 as a kind of death. These days, there are countless ways of foo ling yourself that you have dodged the bullet (HRT, rrty Botox and fillers, juice fasts, endless supplements), but the prospect of undergoing one treatment to rid the body of toxins only to fill it with another has always struck me as a paradox too far. There's no doubt that my career as a television presenter, and all the relentless focus on the physical that goes with it (Twitter is a hell-hole in this regard), has fed my sense of doom. No matter how much the BBC talks about not being ageist, it is lying. I have sat in meetings devoted entirely to my hair. And with the advent of unflattering high-definition cameras, the make-up rooms once fun places to hang out - are now markedly more hushed, with make-up artists wielding silicone sponges shaped like large eggs, stippling on foundation. But now, at 41, I find myself happily engaged and hoping for a child for the first time. The hour has come to face what really lies beneath. How healthy or unhealthy am I? Oh, the horror, the anxiety. There is only one place for this kind of funk: Italy. And not the detox clinics of northern Italy, where therapists in white coats administer enemas wearing the inconvenienced expression of the hard at work, but wild southern Sicily where

A{ti TV career; and all the relentless facus on the pfrysical that goes with it, has fed sense ef doom. No matter how much the BBC talks about not being ageist, it is lying

lemons grow fat as handbags and salt is still hauled direct from the sea to sprinkle on plates of little white tracina. Th e sevenday Vita Health Better Ageing Programme is held at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, an architecturally sympathetic Rocco Forte hotel where other guests holiday surrounded by orange groves and families swim off the private, white-sand beach. A range of tests for both men and women are done on arrival - checking hormone and adrenal levels, vitamin deficiencies and the condition of the heart and arteries using 3-D mapping - but the results come with an emphasis on the positive, on things that can reasonably be done to soften nature's blows. The foods to cook (a chef teaches you); the specific supplements to take (they are recomm ended, not pushed); the non-invasive beauty treatments that work, such as the ultrasound facial, which coaxes vitamins into the skin using sound waves (I found this incredibly effective). Meals and snacks are pretty constant, and made from fresh fruit and vegetables grown locally, oil and wine from nearby vineyards, and fish from the adjacent bay. A nd this is key. Therapists know exactly where to harvest the best rosemary for a body scrub; concierges offer to bring olive oil from the grove of a friend. On a misty morning, a taxi driver took me to a village bakery, where he bought egg buns hot from the oven and introduced me to an ex-girlfriend's grandmother, who sat rolling marzipan in the kitchen, overlooked by a curling postcard of Italian-directing legend Vittorio de Sica holding sexpot Gina Lollobrigida in a fi rm embrace. At no point on this trip - unlike every other boot camp and detox I have put myself through in the past - did I feel held back from life or treated like some kind of invalid. So, after years panicking about my health, my results came back: I'm in moderate nick for my age. I haven't escaped, but neither am I for the scrapheap. R eturning home five pounds lighter and fresh-skinned, I am optimistic and, crucially, rational. The penny has dropped: there are tools (many as simple as comprehending th e extent to which refined sugar accelerates ageing) for improving our lot. Our genes are not necessarily gods to be bowed to. My health is in m y hands, which cam e as a shock and a relief beyond words. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; WWW. healingholidays.co.uk/condenast), which offers a five-n ight Better Ageing Programme from £2,900 per person, including meals, spa treatments, flights and transfers. T RAV E LLE R SP ECIAL Book this and receive a complimentary Vita Health wellness consultation

June 2013 Spa Special 23

FOREVER YOU NG

VITAL ENERGY RETREAT
IBIZA
Think donkey to racehorse. Ace nutritionist Vicki Edgson's week-long retreats are a total turnaround; she transforms the bleary-eyed, bloated and depleted into slimmer, springier versions of themselves without starvation or tortuous exercise. Set in a sprawling whitewashed villa in the north of Ibiza, far from the throbbing beats of the up-all-night south, the only raving you'll be doing here is about the food. The retreats have a relaxed, house-party vibe; there's no need to pack your hairdryer, Louboutins or make-up bag. And you don't need to hold in your tummy every time you don swimwear. Scrapedback hair and bare feet are the order of the day. Time is spent laughing with kindred spirits, lazing aro und the pool and generally letting go of your everyday angst. Oh, and eating. The food is a revelation; locally sourced and o rganic, it's prepared by A rgentine chefs and is mainly vegetarian and pescatarian. Edgson is also big on sprout ed and living food, so lunch is usually a sensational salad drenched in freshly pressed olive oil from the neighbouring farm. A ll ingredients are selected to reboot flagging metabolic and digestive systems, and t o give you an almost-instant vitality boost. It's miraculous but you can eat as much as you want, and you leave pounds lighter with a stomach as flat as a pancake. After a week, your skin will be glowing, your hair gleaming and your spirit soaring. But be prepared for a little toxic kickback; people on the retreats have been prone to flashes of rage or sudden sobbing spells as their bodies release years of pent- up tension. Fortunately, there are plenty of secluded areas to escape to overlooking t he hills around t he villa, allowing you to re-establish your emotional equilibrium. As well as one-to-one sessions wit h Edgson, who int uitively helps you reset you r life goals with humour and panache, t here are t reatments with some of the best healers on the island. Cranial -sacral osteopaths, awesome masseurs, hatha and vinyasa flow yoga and meditation t eachers are all on call . Before you know it, you're shedding pounds and clearing your mind. With trips t o Cala Nova, lbiza's best beach, and kayaking around the unspoilt north coast, you'll finally discover what it is to feel your best. And noth ing makes you feel younger than that. TAKE HOME Honestly Healthy, the book by Edgson and her partner (and goddaughter) Natasha Corrett , is essential homework. M ove Jamie and Nigella over on your kitchen shelf: this clean cookery book includes innovative recipes and promotes an alkalising diet, which works wonders on improving skin and overall wellbeing. BOOK THROUGH www.vickiedgson.com. Seven nights cost from £1,995, full boar; including activities and transfers. f.94 Book this and receive a 10 per cent discount

li;i.W:llU4:@4ilt

24 Spa Special June 2013

CONSTANCE HALAVELI RESORT
MALDIVES
You'll lose all sense of time at this relaxed and cosseting island haven, but there are clever ways of reversing it a little, too. At the overwater spa, halfway up the longest jetty in the Maldives, rejuvenate your jaded spirit and zap negative energy with brilliant holist ic massages and rituals by organic brand ILA (the two-and- a- half- hou r ILA experience, with head-to- t oe Himalayan salt scrub, marma massage, reflexology and lym phaticdrainage, starts your stay off nicely). There are soothing house massages - go for t he Abhyanga Ayurvedic for depth, or the four-handed Meditative Indulgence if you're tired. And wrinkles, dryness, crow's-feet and skin that's seen too much sun can be salved with clever facial, eye and body treatments by Swiss anti-ageing specialist Valmont; there's even a cure for straggly, thinning hair (the Strength of the Solano treatment). All of this is done in mahogany-lined treatment rooms which, like the spa deck with its hot and cold pools, have uninterrupted views across the Ind ian Ocean (mat ching the colour of your pet rol-blue and indigo spa gown). Thrillingly, th rough t he face hole of t he massage bed, you can watch violet, jade-green and sunshine-yellow reef fish swim below you until t he Balinese t herapist's hands send you into shut-eyed oblivion. Once your face is hydrat ed, your body healed and spirit lifted, the fan t astic diving, snorkelling and wild swimming in the piercingly clear waters will keep you in the moment - especially if you head to the spot where (unusually) whale sharks can be found all year round. Later, choose the Valmont After Diving signature treatment, created for those who've spent a lot of time in the sea. Beach villas have giant outdoor bathrooms, and the decks of the water villas are perfect for morning yoga (ask for a mat) and spotting black-tipped reef sharks and manta rays a few feet below. Turn off the air-con so you can detox naturally in the heat. There's plenty to help you relax: one-to-one yoga and meditation, a gym, backgammon on circular day-beds draped with muslin, white- roped hammocks to swing in. Sip coconut wat er straight from the shell, drink a mockt ail with your feet in t he flour-like sand while wat ching a red moon, or head to Jing for elegant Asian-fusion food ( red Thai curry cappuccino, ocean t rout teriyaki). It's as decadent as you want it to be, but the real indulgence is just stopping and letting go. TAKE HOME Don't forget your hair, especially after all that sun. Valmont is a top-league Swiss company, 25 years in the making, and its Regenerating Cleanser (about £35) is a nourishing, floral shampoo that keeps every strand smooth. BOOK THROUGH Kuoni (+441306 747008; www.kuoni.co.uk), which offers seven nights from £2,799 per person, including breakfast, flights and transfers i i;t·W§l MI ·jl Book this and receive a complimentary Thai massage per person

i ;J.iA #iif

FO REV ER YO U N G

LONGEVITY WELLNESS RESORT
PORTUGAL
So here you are: burnt-out and exhaust ed . You're only 35, yet you feel 100. But the spritzy staff at Port ugal's newest spa say t hey can t urn back t he clock, f ix you up. Their mission is disease prevention, achieved by scrut inising you r toxic lifestyle habits. This is a serious business, on a hill in the sun ny A lgarve, an hour from Faro and wit hi n walking distance of the cobbled spa town of Caldas de Monchique, famed for it s alkaline springs. The t reatments are transformers, and the philosophy is utterly doable in real life. On arrival, you are submitted to a battery of tests to assess your BM I, water and fat levels, and cardiac fitness. From this, they deduce t he magic num ber of your biological age (Ruby Wax was 19, which should give everyone hope). Treatments range from int ravenous-nut rient t herapy, where vital nutrient s are pumped into the body via the bloodstream, to ozone t herapy (a bit Star Trek, but repeat guests claim they don't get colds or flu, and have renewed energy for months afterwards). There's a huge range of other therapies and analyses, including food intolerances and acupunct ure, as well as a detox programme, skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing cosmetic proced ures. Osteopath Riccardo Rosso is a com bination of spiritual healer, cranial-sacral therapist and psychologist; he is like a pianist who is in t une with every note of your body. He probes your mind and manipulates weary limbs to release energy blocks and make you feel brand new. It is all very well thought through and makes you feel genuinely looked after. T he doctors' approach is refreshing; they don't frown on the way you live your life, but advise and inspire you to take a healthier path. It's like an all-over body MOT with medical back-up. TAKE HOME Elemis Pro- Collagen Body Serum (£4 8.50) - like a pair of Spanx in a bott le. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.co.uk/ condenast), which offe rs a seven-night Essential Detox programme from £2,565 per l erson full board in cl udin~ daily activities, fl ights and transfers. i:f.JljiljMMilj;QQilt!iltH Book this and receive a complimentary 40-minute facial

VILLA PADIERNA PALACE HOTEL
SPAIN
What do Michelle Obama, A ntonio Banderas and Flavio Briatore have in com mon? T hey've all put their feet up here, an Italianat e palazzo half an hour from the bling of Puerto Banus. It's slightly crazy, in a Las Vegas kind of way: a wonderfu l rendition of the opulence of ancient Rome, via Renaissance Tuscany, set on a huge manicured golf course in Spain, wit h st atues, tinkl ing fountains and 1,000-thread-count sheets. A nd t he spa offers glorious pampering. Charming Dr A lberto Cerrada wi ll give you an initial consultation, but it feels more like a life-coaching session than a military drill. The emphasis is on achieving and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Before you get down to the serious anti-ageing stuff, you can warm up in the thermal baths with a visit to the hammam or laconium sauna or an exot ic, coconut-and-vanilla-scented steam before throwing yourself into the icy plunge pool t o t ighten saggy flesh. It's fun and rejuvenating. Then you move on to all sorts of tricks: ultrasound and radio- frequency treatment s to iron out engrained crow's- feet; seaweed baths to renew leathery skin; facials to lift, firm and cleanse deeply. The lympho-energetic massage, which uses essential oils and a Chinese cupping technique up your spine, is great . And check out the oxygen bubble massage, performed in a tent wit h pumped oxygen, which is especially beneficial for those who suffer from migraines and respiratory problems. Despite the serious undertones of the spa, this is the perfect long weekend: there's golf for those who play; chilling for those who don't; fruit platters for t hose being virtuous; and truffle risotto for the naughty. TAKE HOME A jar of La Prairie's Skin Caviar (£492) - it costs almost as m uch as you r stay but promises to take three years off in a few weeks. BOOK THROUGH +34 952 88 9150; www.hotelvillapadierna.com. A one-night package, incl udi] a four- hour S ~a Duet therapy for two, costs from about £79S ji;H #i!M;l#i::J +IM! Book this and receive a 30 per cent discount

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26 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

C A LCOT M A NOR
GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Yes, children keep you young, but gosh they can make you feel so old, too. Enter Calcot: a white knight in the never-ending story of parenthood. Set in the bosom of the Cotswolds' rolling countryside, it's all herb gardens, dry-stone walls and honey-hued charm on the outside and extreme comfort, with pretty, timber-beamed bedrooms, on the inside. This place is a godsend: a hotel t hat has surprisingly up-to-speed and on-trend beauty therapies. Deposit t he children at the Ofsted-registered creche before retiring, guilt-free, for a range of pick-me-up delights. Start in the gym or pool, wal low in the steaming outdoor hot tub (next to a log fire; order a glass of Champagne ahead) or hit the steam room and then go mellow with massages, including Aromatherapy Associates treatments and focused neck, back and shoulder blasts. Hot beauty brand Redial has also landed at Calcot. The Bum and Leg Shaper tackles the wobble and makes your skinny trousers fit (every member of staff is begging to try it), and the Boob Job leaves you perky without a needle in sight - one woman apparently needed a new bra afterwards. Snappy facials target specific concerns such as age spots, fine lines and slack skin. The Freeze Facial instantly unfurrows cross-looking brows and opens up squinty eyes, with a neuropeptide that mimics the paralysing effects of snake venom. It doesn't have the long-term effects of Botox, but in the short term it does the trick m iraculously well. The th ing about Calcot is that whatever treatment you plump for, you can't go wrong: the therapists are gentle and down- to-earth, and they listen to how you are feeling and what your body needs. Round off your day with supper at the revamped Conservatory restaurant while the staff stay on kid-watch (monitors connect to reception so you don't have to listen out). For a cosy lunch the next day, head to the Gumstool Inn. British family fun doesn't get any better than this. TAKE HOME The Overnight Repair Mask ( £48.50) is the hero of British brand Aromatherapy Associates' anti-ageing collection. With therapeutic oils, rose and frankincense, it's great for deep hydration and f ighting the effects of long-haul flights. BOOK THROUGH +441666 890391; www.calcotmanor.co. uk. Doubles cost from £385, includiJ breakfast and dinner. li;i·\TJ:fi!!:fi;i#i$$(Qr.· 4 Book this and receive a £100 spa voucher and complimentary room upgrade

LA RESERVE GEN EVE
SWITZERLAND
Any spa that helps you lose three kilos in four days without a yelp of pain or a nanosecond of discomfort gets our vote. This grown-up hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva is very good at all of that. Its four-day Better Ageing Programme is aimed at retuning the body without agony. There are no early-morning boot camps, no colonies, no starvation rations. Instead, you start the day with room service, some wimpy tea and a big plate of perfectly ripe mangoes, pawpaw and other exotica. You may be feeling fat, tired and sluggish, and your blood pressure and stress levels may be through the roof, but La Reserve takes your weary bones and tenderly restores you. The incredibly pretty spa is large, lush and tranquil, with a swimming pool, endless treatment rooms, and highly trained therapists. Days are planned around your needs. Exercise is key, with an hour's personal training adjusted according to age and fitness. Your hand is held all the way; you're encouraged to do time on the cross-trainer and the treadmill, and to take turns on equipment to strengthen abs, pees and all those other bits usually in dire need of a wake-up call. You can be run ragged around an indoor tennis court with six-foot-something Zoran lobbing the balls, or power up and down the pool. After the sweat, your day is blissfully filled with a round of Better Ageing massages, balneotherapy, wraps and scrubs. As you are pummelled and soothed, toxins and stress seem to melt away. Allow Lucian Reteo, the Romanian chief masseur, to work his fearsome magic. His speciality massage, lasting almost two hours, kneads your body as if it's an obstinate piece of dough. Lunches at noon are fat-, wheat- and refined-carbfree, but also filling and delicious. Dinners are less inspiring (bland soups, vegetables that could do with spicing up) and on the light side, with only a bottle of sparkling water to cheer you up - but at least there is dinner. And so the four days pass without a thing to worry about except the need to turn up on time. You'll sleep like a baby. And on the morning of the fifth day (if you haven't been cheating in your hotel room), you'll find you've lost weight, your blood pressure has slid way down and your spirits have soared. You'll want to do it all over again, right then, right there. TAKE HOME One of La Reserve's signature candles (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and cedarwood; £48). BOOK THROUGH +4122 959 5959; www.lareserve.ch. The four-day Better Ageing Programme costs from £3,859 per ~erson full board, including consultations, treatments and activities.ii;f.f4$i44?1#i4#t!!t.!4 Book this and receive a 20 per cent discount

FO RE V ER YO U N G

ESPA LI FE ATTHE CORINTH IA
LONDON
This is a heavenly holistic big-hitter cocooned within palatial su rroundings just off t he Embankment. Not only does the spa look the business, but it delivers, too. It's al l about the importance of long- term wellbeing and keeping your body ship-shape as the years go by: medical issues are discussed, goals set and life problems turned inside out there's even an on-site lab for blood tests. Individually tailored programmes are put in place, ranging from one day to several months, with a staggering attention to detail. The collected wisdom of the t eam is mind-blowing. Natu ropath (and A-lister guru) Max Tom linson sorts out your insides with his encyclopedic knowledge of vitamins and supplements (he recommends Cardinova Eskimo-3); Stephen Price, personal trainer to the athletic elite, transforms your metabolism in the cool state-of- the- art gym; and acupuncturist James Mutkin is a whizz at trad itional Chinese medicine. Osteopath Bhart Shemar is also outrageously good - a former A&E nurse, he's a master at dealing with dodgy backs and painfu l hips, be it with a delicious deep-tissue massage or the (excruciating) t rigger-point release therapy with needles. There's also a range of age-defying t reatments; opt for the lif t-and-firm facial, involving special collagen-stimulating massage techniques. If you don't want to go the whole hog, simply immerse yourself in the spa itself (a whopping four floors worth); its design is dazzling, with black Italian marble, polished chrome and pewter artwork. Curved walls and treatment pods line t he corridors to enhance the flow of energy (sounds strange, but it works). The t hermal floor, with flickering fires and all sorts of pools, also has an ice fountain, black- mosaic steam room and a fabulous, glass- encased amphitheatre sauna. And do try the sleep pods, where you can curl up, listen to music or just snooze - it's like returning to childhood. Afterwards, have your tresses tended to by Daniel Galvin,

who's also taken up residence in the spa, and pop downstairs to the hotel, which still rings with that great excitement of being new (it on ly opened two years ago) . O rder a cocktail at the Bassoon Bar or stay the night. Rooms are minimalist and super-comfy. The food is excellent; there are two restaurants but head to the Northall and tuck into the amazing tuna carpaccio. This is an all-round soother in the city . TAKE HOME ESPA's new age-enhancing skincare range is already making waves. For galloping crow's-feet and dark circles, try t he St age Release Eye Moistu riser (£50); it 's minimising, bright ening and firm ing. BOOK THROUGH +44 20 73213050; www.espalifeatcorinthia .com. A one-night Relax and Rejuvenate package for two people costs from £590, includinr reakfast and an 80-minute massage per person.

il;i·iiJ$1MM#i:!:--iPi!if·!I Book this and receive a 10 per
cent discount

ES PA C E HEN R I C HEN O T
ITALY
The god of Italian detoxing, Henri Chenot, has raised the bar at Palace Merano with his brand new anti -ageing programme. This deluxe detox centre in the foothills of the Italian Dolom ites is now geared to cleansing your gut, shrinking your waistline and busting pesky freeradicals that threaten youthful vigour. You'll be blasted with enough antioxidants via vitamin drips to scare any signs of ageing into submission . Plus, for t he non-squeam ish, there is ozone therapy. Watch your blood, the colour of blackberries, being sucked up int o a container, sloshed with ozone and returned to your body a vibrant strawberry red . It's freaky, but within hours you wi ll have a healthy blush and you'll feel the throb of unfettered energy - th ree sessions rev the immune system and leave you mildly euphoric. Using his classic detox as the baseline, the anti -ageing programme is powerful. You embark on a thorough diagnostic analysis of how your body is fighting the ravages of time; you're put through a battery of blood tests to det ermine your hormone levels (and whether menopause is on the doorstep or a distant threat); you discover your body density via a scanner and learn your spine's 'age', as well as your risk of osteoporosis . It can all seem quite depressing, especially when the bioenergetic check-ups, which zap electro-magnetic currents through your meridians li ke jump leads, proclaim that you have the energy of a cadaver. However, the delightfu lly kind and cohesive team, includ ing Dr Claudio, the spa's new anti- ageing expert, are so gu ng- ho about the chances of reversing your stressed state that as each day passes, you realise anything is possible. Initially you feel hungry, headachey and huffy. Then the Merano magic happens, and as the weight sloughs off, you are revitalised. Down in the labyrinthine spa visit Marco, the most brilliantly intuitive osteopath

imaginable, who will elevate you to new structural heights. Afterwards, pop along to the beauty therapists for a session of Citolift. Th is laser face treatment, which pulses rejuvenating cream deep into the dermis, is miraculous - skin is inst antly smoother and plumper. For anyone over 40, it's a punch- the- air resu lt. TAKE HOME The wildly expensive vitamins prescribed by the doctor and the new Henri Chenot Cellu lar Regenerating Cream (about £135), which seems to magically illuminate your skin with exact ly the kind of dewiness we all want to achieve. BOOK TH ROUGH +39 0473 271000; www.palace.it. A seven- night detox programme costs from £4,164 per person full board, including all spa treatments, consultations and compulsory medical visits 0

28 Spa Special June 2013

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here's a fantastic array of spa ho lidays available toda~; but with so many to choose from , how d o we know which on e is rig ht fo r our needs? That's wh ere Healing Holidays comes in. They have years of unrivalled experience, expert knowledge and a true, clear passion for the best spa T hey will work tirelessh· to find the wellbeing break
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SPA SP~CIALIST
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most transformational. Your goal may be to bring a friend and in dulge yourselves, to lose th e weight you Ve always wanted to, to treat your back pain, h elp your sleep or reset your goals and d reams. Wh atever your needs, the right spa holiday should have you return lo your life h ealed, refreshed and

out your body with some of the world's best massages in T hailand, get fit and toned in the Californian wilderness, cleanse yourself in sunny Sicily, learn how to manage your stress levels in th e other-worldly landscape of O man or turn back the clock with a tailored anti-ageing programme in Spain.

Like us o n Fac ebook for your chance to win luxury s pa p r oduc ts from one of the world 's leading s pas .

Healing~ -tol1days

Clockwise from top left: Banyan Tree Spa Al WaG, Ras Al Khcimah; BASLER si1kflower-print dress, £285; Banyan Tree Vabbinlaru, Maldives; Banyan Tree Spa Sanduary, Phuket; BASLER pink uepe scalloped dress, £385; Banyan Tree Spa Mayakaba, M exko

Destination spas don't get much better than Banyan Tre e Spa Sanctuary in Phuket. ILis, after all, next d oor to wh er e the Banyan 'free Spa story began and, as its name suggests, this luxury rea-cat is all about the spa. T he d ivine Spa Pool Villas are so dreamy in design that you won't want to step a foot outside. The spa tnenu reads like a dissertation in pa1npering, with signature u·eatments such as the highly recom mended Asian Blend Massage to stim ulate circulation an d relieve tired muscles. For deep relaxation the Thai Classic Massage is a no-braine1: Word from BASLER a l Westfield London is L o pack bright colours and beautiful p rints for strolling along the nearby shores of Bang T ao Ba)O

SPA INNOVATION
For an Asian spa with a L'ltin Arnerican twist, ch eck into the lush idyll of Banyan Tre e Mayakoba on the Yucat{ tn Pen insula. This is Riviera Ivfaya's first all-pool villa resort and a unique cross between m odern Asia an d tropical Mexico. It is also home to one of Banyan T ree's most original spa in novations -

P

rriving at a Banyan Tree Spa is equal to finding your perfect spot in paradise. H aving pioneered the \ tropical garden spa concept, Ba nyan Tree is considered to be the world's leading Asian spa operat01'. It celebrates everything natural and its san ctuaries cocoon you in a sensory world of aromatic o ils, herbs and spices combined with ancient healing powers and Asian traditions. Intimate, serene and romanlic surroundings set the scenes for exceptional spa treatm ents full of rubs, scrubs, wraps and facials and whole-day pan1pering sessions.

ELEGANT RESORTS PICKS FOUR OF T HE BEST SPAS FROM THE ULTIMATE PAMPERING PROFESSIONALS, B ANYAN TREE H OTELS & RESORTS, WITH FASHION T IPS FROM B AS LER

of a kind

TRAVELLER PROMOT ION

the scene for a unique desert romance. Above and beyond The Rainforest exu·avaganza, signature treaunents include the Royal \ Vadi (a must for any guest). lt begins with an aloe lavender healer body gel, followed by a delicate apple and cucumber
scrub and cuhninates in a soothing massage and

treatments include Harmony Banyan, a massage

rejuvenating facial. BASLER recommends flowing skirts and bright kaftan-style tops. No heels there's just too much sand.

conducted by two therapists working in unison on each side of d1e bod): Relaxation has never felt so complete, especially when preceded by a honey turmeric body scrub and fin ished with a head and foot massage. The deep-tissue Vabbinfaru massage is also fantastic. Using strong pressure and a blend of lavender
and geranium oil, it reduces te nsion in the body -

something that Banyan Tree Spas across the world excel at. BASLER advises barefoot chic, perfect for a
private dinne r for two on a sandbank unde r the stars.

GLOWING INSIDE AND OUT
For the ultimate island spa retreat, it doesn't get
much dreamier than Banyan Tree Spa

Vabbinfaru. This is Robinson Cmsoe castaway territor); albeit ultra-luxurious with a full -blown spa. The pool villas are elegamh· rustic, d esigned in d1e spiral of a seashell, and d1e outdoor spa pavilions come with side-by-side massage beds. Signature

Book a holiday to a Banyan Tree Spa retreat with Elegant Resorts and you could win a £750 voucher to spend at BASLER at Westfield London. Visit elegantresor ts.co.uk/banyantree or call 01 244 897 502 for more information. Quote 'Westfield'.

The R ainforest is a unique hydrothermal experience that adds a new dimension to the brand's interpretation of holis tic rejuvenation. D esign ed as a c ircuit, the re is

an array of hydrothermal therapies, including hot and
cold thennal cabins, an aroma steam room, he rbal

sauna, rasul, ice founta in and vitality pool. \ Vestfield London says snap up a red-hot dr ess by BASLER and show it off at La Copa bar as you watch the sunset with a Mojito in hand.
The Rainforest exp erience has also been unveile d at

Banyan Tree Spa Al Wadi. T his has helped cement the UAE on the spa-destination circuit. Situated in the u·anquil Wadi Khadeja region Gust 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport), the tented pool villas set

GETUPANDGO
The individual A hea rtbroken stress cadet whose anxieties are stopping him from s leeping The remedy Th e action-packed outdoor exercise reg ime at Wildfitness in Ke nya

0

n the third day, I feel it: myself. Not the anxious, overwrought thirty-something on the verge of burn-out, but the real me. The childhood me. I've missed him. When I get to Wildfitness in Kenya, I'm what they refer to as SOA (sick on arrival). Physically drained after months of being overworked, a poor diet and insomnia; emoti onally exhausted from a painful marriage. I'm a static shadow of my vibrant younger self. But it's to him, my inner Mowgli, that I've turned in hope of rescue. And by coming here, I've given myself the best chance of recapturing him . In the words of its found er, Tara Wood, Wildfitness is all about 'bringing natural movement back to your body and reconnecting you to nature'. Exercise is at the heart of this philosophy, but gym workouts are anathema. Instead, it focuses on primal fitness: getting outside and climbing, running, hangin g, throwing and crawling for all you're worth. 'The idea is to re-engage with nature, and the evolutionary principles that kept us lean and fit for thousands of years,' explains Wood. In other words, they're going to jump-start my dormant hunter-gatherer, making me sharper, stronger and happier as a result. It's the hum an-body equivalent of restoring a computer to its factory settings. There are a few rules first though: caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, carbs and sugar, if not banned, are certainly frowned upon. Which is hard, because I've been leaning heavily on all five over the preceding difficult weeks. But there's not really any choice in the matter. Even if you don't mind being frowned at, they're near impossible to get hold of at picturesque Baraka House, where th e course takes place for me and the other participants. The house itself (Wood's former fam ily home) is both peaceful and spacious. Built on a small hill along Kenya's wild Indian Ocean coastline, it has the bush at its back and a private white-sand beach at its feet. The regime is tough but good. The course is designed to use the natura l environment around us, almost as children would when playing. There are three sessions a day - the first at 6.30am, the second late morning and the third before dinner - and th ey're im pressively varied. One morning they have us sprinting up and down sand-d unes at dawn , on another we're paddling down a mangrove stream. O n a third we're racing barefoot down a dusty track between villages ('just watch out for snakes and fa lling coconuts'). In the afternoons, we

When I get there, I'm what they refer to as S OA (sick on arrivaO. Plrysically drained after months of being overworked; emotionally exhaustedftom a pairiful marriage

have circuits on the beach, boxing, open-water swimming lessons and plenty more besides. I won't lie: the first two days are pretty difficult. The caffeine and sugar withdrawal symptoms, combined with my preexisting marriage withdrawal symptoms, leave me fee ling very low for much of the time. But then something changes - and I'm able to pinpoint exactly when it happens. 'I can' is a phrase thrown about a fair bit at Wildfitness (along with poles, driftwood and any swimming costumes the local primates can get their hands on). On th e third day, I'm faced with a wooden assault course and the longest set of monkey bars I've ever seen. My automatic assumption is that I won't make it across. But slipping on 'I can' li ke a loincloth, I attempt it anyway. And whether it's the support of my 10-strong tribe, the lack of a hangover for three straight days, or simply the abundant sunshine, I swoop all the way down to the end with no problem. I'm stunned. And then, just to prove I hadn 't imagined it, I go back and do exactly the same thing again. My inner Mowgli has woken up. I' m buzzing with a clean, raw energy. After that, my mood remains high, and I start to really imm erse myself in the experience: the exercise, the camaraderie with the others, the joy of being in, and engaging with, such a stunning environment. I'm sleeping well, I'm eating well, I'm training well: I'm feeling better. Every session is spent together as a gang and each day we grow closer. Our group consists almost entirely of Brits: a banker on sabbatical, an entrepreneur, a retired diplomat. But what we did and who we were at home - or ' in the human zoo', as Wood describes it - becomes refreshingly irrelevant when we're all sweating, eating and laughing together in the wild. By the fifth day, I notice that the bags under my eyes, which I thought were permanent, have evaporated into the African a.ir. Despite the fact that most meal times are taken up with communal fa ntasising about, variously, bacon, chips and jam roly-poly, a ll the others are looking significantly better, too. On the final day, I catch myself mid-clicbe when I glance in the mirror and for a split second do not recognise the person looking back. Perhaps it's the sunburn; perhaps it's the absence of bags; perhaps it's a twinkle behind the eyes. Or perhaps it's because I haven't seen my true self for a Jong time.And now, I'm back. Ready to kick ass. BOOK THROUGH +254 725 143393; www.wildfitn ess.com. A nine-day Kickstart programme costs from £2,125 per person, full board, including all activities. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a £200 discount ~

June 2013 Spa Special 33

GET UP AND GO

SIX SENSES YAO NOi
THAILAND
This t ropical Thai out post is t he most cosseting, sexy, get-fit, get-Zen retreat o ut there. T'ai chi o n a talcum-white beach; yoga at sunrise in a pavilion bui lt int o a bu rbling rainforest with a view of t he ocean below; kayaking and windsurfing in the Andaman Sea. It's a gorgeous natural playground. Plus, there are tennis lessons and personal train ing with pros (t he gym is small but state-of-the-art) . Fitness plans don't just get your heart rate rocketing, they're bespoke, rigorous and grown-up. The functional regime gives you a massive physical overhaul, with no distractions and no excuses. There's also a detox and juice-cleanse package, and a programme for helping bad sleepers wit h a com bination of meditation and massage. There's no boot-camp bossiness, instead t he spa manager Sophon 0-ln and his assistant Sirintra Anusri constantly check on your progress and are end lessly patient at lett ing you change your daily routine if your beach- t empted, latesleeping body sees fit. But just because you set t he goalposts and there are no group schedules to adhere to doesn't mean you're let off light ly. T he training involves hellish burpees, jumping squat s, push-ups on balance balls and Madonna-st yle asanas that don't stop for many, many breaths. It 's a serious wake-up call t o your true level of fitness. But just when you are ready to give up, the sheer beauty and romance of the heavenly surroundings hook you, because this is no ordinary hotel there are rai nforest ed grou nds, organic gardens, epic views of t he sea (studded with incredible limestone islands), a panoramic pool and a blissfu l beach. And we haven't even got t o t he actual spa yet; Six Senses, whi le no longer in the hands of Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, remains renowned for its holistic know-how and int uitive therapists. Do try the almost chiropractic oriental massage with Yaya, and the foot acupressure with Aoi. And at the end of the day, fall into a deep sleep in your villa, with its private pool, sunken bathtub and outdoor shower. The result s? This is the new you: kilos lost, skin glowing, a sleeker physique, clothes t hat fit better, and a keep-it-up understanding of t he sport s and stretches that are most beneficial for your body type. Cou ld you want for anything more? Yes. Ask the fitness-driven yogis for a specific regime to t ake home with you. Guest practitioners, including Malaysian-bo rn

Josephine Ong have the kind of expertise you'l l want t o bottle. HOURS OF EXERCISE PER DAY At least fou r are recommended: don't be lazy. AGONY FACTOR 5/10. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays ( +44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.eo.uk/condenast), which offers seven ni, hts from £1,999 ~r Qerson, incl uding breakfast, flights and transfers.J;f.S!iij!fiei-1:.§t _f.!! Book t his and receive a complimentary acupressure and a yoga or wellness consu ltat ion

SHOO KA BOOT CAMP
DEVON
You wake at ?am, adrenalin co ursing through your body, to the hideous strains of breakbeat garage: a 'gentle' alarm clock to remind you that in 30 minutes you will be doing circuits. By 7.30am you are pouring sweat in the barn, being put through your boxing paces, suffering the rigours of Tabata trai ning (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, repeat ed ad nauseam), or leaping from lunge to squat to star jump. A child-size portion of quinoa porridge is followed by another round. Then a microscopic snack (a dollop of spicy guacamole on a rice cake) and another circu it, a small lunch and a three- hour uphill hike . After a lean supper, you plunge into a freezing pool for two of the worst m inut es of your life - followed by t he best half an hour, in a hot tub - to ensure your muscles aren't so stiff the following day that you are unable to sit down. Welcome to Shooka, the bitch of boot camps, choreographed by St uart Saxby, a muscle-bound , ex-RAF Act ion Man who specialises in kicking butts into shape; th is take- no- prisoners trainer has a smiling face but a sad ist's heart. His RAF sidekicks are Bear, a softie who runs the house and answers cl ients' needs (except for smuggled KitKats), and Will, a teacher of Krav Maga, a particularly brutal form of self- defence developed in Israel. On day one, they measure and weigh you and give you a fitness test. T hen the fun begins. In Devon, you are whisked to the beach at Dawlish, where locals laugh and point as you crawl on your belly on the wet sand . You stay in Ashcombe Country Cottages: furnacewarm, stone-built, with a pared-back country aesthetic (for all-out luxury,

book into the company's Klosters chalet instead). The menu is diminutive ( 1,200 calories a day) but excellent and includes walnut-encrusted cod on a broad-bean mash, stuffed aubergine, scrambled eggs and steak. By day three, you will be unable t o walk, lift your arms or crack a smile. By day four, you will rise from the ashes, a born-again primate with muscles of sprung steel. And seven to 12 pounds light er. HOURS OF EXERCISE PER DAY Five. AGONY FACTOR 9/10. BOOK TH ROUGH +441626 572500; www.shooka.co.uk. A seven-day boot camp costs from £985 per person, full board, including all activities. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a £100 discount

34 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

FLORBLANCA
COSTA RICA
Costa Rica is one of the healthiest places in the world - fresh air, fresh fish, the Pacific Ocean, howler monkeys and parrots, all wit h a backdrop of palm t rees and tropical plant s. The Nicoya Peninsu la has been identified as an area where people live measurably longer lives. Florblanca is a series of smal I private vii las (hardwood floors, open-air bath rooms, chill-out areas with hammocks) sandwiched between two of the best surfing beaches anywhere: Santa Teresa and Hermosa. You can explore t he rainforest, or gallop on horseback across miles of beaches; t here's also a swimming pool, open-air yoga and Pilates in a studio with bats in the rafters, but everyone who has moved to Santa Teresa has come here for one reason - to surf. Don't be put off by thinking it's too difficult. It just takes patience, perseverance, some guts and a great teacher. Californian Richard Guy is ridiculously good-looking, very funny and an extreme hippy. He visited Santa Teresa as a 26-year-old and never left. He is the coolest guy in town and knows everyone (so you are embraced by the local surfing community, which isn't always the case). Wake naturally at dawn, feeling the dull ache in every muscle from the day before, and happily watch the sun pop up over the sea. O rder the Carbonator, a smoothie of banana, yogurt, almonds, honey, apple and basil. Meet Guy, jump in his Jeep and get ready to hit the ocean. Learning to surf is tough, a workout like nothing else - almost like skiing without the chairlifts. Most of your time is spent paddling out against the force of the waves; t he rest is spent tumbling off the board as you try to master standing up. It's exhausting. Even carrying the board back to your room becomes difficult . But no matter how wiped out you are, when you catch a wave and ride it, overwhelming joy propels you right back out again - and again, and again. Your body morphs into muscle in just a week. You become ripped. The fact that you are burning thousands of calories is not even a consideration: you are hooked. It is immeasurably uplifting. When you are t oo spent to

continue, downtime consists of deep-tissue massages, reading by the pool and the occasional paddle in the sea; until about 4pm when you grab a boogie board, tie it to the back of a quad bike and burn back to the beach on a dirt t rack covered in molasses (to st op the dust) to mess around in t he surf again until the sun goes down. Dinner (t una t artare with avocado, seafood in a spicy coconut broth with brown rice) tastes amazing because it is delicious and super-healt hy, but also because you are so hungry. HOURS OF EXERICISE PER DAY Six, but they're self-infl icted. AGONY FACTOR 0/10. Totally worth the ride. BOOK THROUGH Seven nights cost from £930 per person, includin' breakfast (+4411 506 2640 0232; www.florblanca.com).$i;f.§J$1_0;€'4iAf-Si Book this and receive a complimentary room upgrade and a 25 per cent discount on full body treatments

360° LET I
INDIA
This is a journey in every sense . First you have to get here : the flight; a slow but comfortable train (Delhi to Kathgodam); a death-defying Jeep ride ( Indian-style, with lots of horn-honking and heart-stoppingly windy roads); and t he first of many footsteps to take you deep into ancient hill cou nt ry, where houses have been su btly spruced up to Western standards while remaining back-to-basic sweet. The idea is t o keep th ings simple, spend ing three nights walking and staying in such houses, before a blast of the good life, and more hikes, at 360° Leti. But simple by no means equals uncomfortable. Porters magically become chefs and waiters, and you are looked after superbly. Early-ish starts with championship breakfasts (from eggs to parathas and pakoras) prime you for walks through spectacular, sparsely wooded valleys. The roll ing hills gather with the cl imb (as does your heartbeat) and the forest temples at Jageshwar are worth the t rip alone. Amid the overwhelming scenery a picnic lunch of melanzane alla parmigiana or shepherd's pie with sweet rhododendron juice will keep you going. Soon, the spiritual journey begins. Being this close to such a simple way of life - sowing, harvesting, worshipping - puts the modern condition into sharp relief. There is something thought-provoking about the experience (why are we all so stressed when we have so much?). This inner calm prepares you for the drive up towards the heavens where 360° Leti sits on a plateau in glorious isolation, a splendid refuge from the elemental world outside. The respectful architecture fu ses old stone and hardwood with walls of panelled glass. And the prize is the view. Enjoy a (breath lessly short)

swim in the glacial runoff by a waterfall or rise before dawn and climb further to see sunrise in the shadow of the Himalayas. The altitude alone may make you feel light- headed. But it's more than that. There are unseen and powerfu l forces at work to revitalise you completely. HOURS OF EXERICISE PER DAY Three to eight. AGONY FACTOR 0/ 10. BOOK THROUGH Indian Explorations (+441367 850566; www.indianexplorations.com), which offers a seven-night trip to India with four nights at 360° Leti from £3,125 per person, fu ll board, including all activities, flights and transfers

GET UP AND GO
dewy). And don't be fooled by the tiny-looking Cambodian therapists: Prea furiously unknots muscles tense from months of work at a computer. The massage leaves you flying. The main house - the once-daily yoga spot - is a sleek, open-plan space dotted with large, stone Buddha heads. Gragg, exquisitely lean and toned (you can't believe she is 42), is joined by other teachers, including impish yet reverent Andrea Maltzer who can spot a twisted hip or lazy limb a mile off and encourages genuine beginners to master asanas quickly by unravelling the flow into simple steps. Your body will love it. Choose between beginner and confident levels (you end up panting if you push yourself). There's no overloaded yogi philosophy to weigh you down, although Gragg does gently highlight ideas such as mindfulness and letting go of your ego. And t here is so much more interspersed with the yoga. Rise at 4am to watch the sun come up behind Angkor Wat, and visit a group of Buddhist monks who leave you reflecting on their pot ent calm. Hikes are also an option, as well as dusty bike rides through villages with giggling school child ren. The bicycles are t he simple, do- the-job type; bums and thighs certainly know about it . And there's shopping - lots of it. Gragg researches everything meticulously and has rooted out the best art, photography and clothing; and don't miss the night food markets (lotus fruits, green coconuts, coriander and lemongrass, ginger and galangal - all overwhelmingly scented and fresh) . Grab your favourites for the cooking classes where you'll create chicken curries and fish amok, raw-vegetable spring rolls (not deepfried, Gragg teaches a clean and lean approach to nutrition) and green - mango salad. Inspiring, lively and uplift ing, these retreats draw a creative, intelligent and witt y crowd . Burma, the Galapagos and Kyot o are next on the radar. HOU RS OF EXERCISE PER DAY One to two. AGONY FACTOR 2/ 10. BOOK THROUGH +1415 299 7038; www .escape toshape.com . Seven nights cost from £2,450 per person, full board, including all activities and t ransfers. Malaysia Airlines ( +44 871 423 9090; www.ma siaairlines.com) flies to Siem Reap via Kuala Lumpu r. ij: Book this and receive a US$200 discount ( about £130) and a two-hour Escape spa treatment

ESCAPE TO SHAPE
CAMBODIA
Aficionados have been following Erica Gragg, known as the yoga mermaid, for more than seven years because her formula is a such a winner: wondrous locations (Cartagena, Marrakech, Laos, Mexico) and fast-paced, lively and fun vinyasa flow yoga ( lots of sun salutations). This year's hit? Cambodia. You stay 10 minutes outside Siem Reap at Aussie- run (so very upbeat) Sojourn Villas, where lotus blossoms and waterfalls create a meditative retreat, showers are alfresco and the bright, light bed rooms in the little villas are decorated with Cambodian silks. The new Origins Spa, a haven of nat ural ingredients and herbal infusions, has carefully tho ught-out treatments, includ ing a honey and tamarind facial with a fresh cucumber pack (it leaves skin blissful ly

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0UAAt.§11

FITSCAPE
SPAIN
This is an all-singing, all- dancing boot camp that whacks even the wobbliest of backsides into shape. You can be seriously unfit, yet after a week here, TRX training becom es your best friend and burpees are a doddle. It's exhilarating, challenging and inspiring (the teachers are masters at dealing with gym dodgers and bad eaters). Base is a stunning 18th-century converted monastery, an hour from Malaga (there are also outposts in the Italian Dolomites and the A tlas Mountains). Marvellously rural ( the nearest bar of chocolate is a drive away), the place sings with Andalucian style in the beautiful stone bedrooms, log fires and idyllic garden. Workouts take place outdoors and they are brutal. There's no such thing as a gentle start - you're taking on circuits a few hours in. Groups are of 10 to 15 people, and are a mixed bunch: sluggish teenagers, stressed-out mums, crazed fitness fanatics, charming geriatrics and everyone in between . But that's the fun of it: the pain is shared. There are th ree personal t rainers (gentle giant Tom Harrigan is a favourite) and they will put you through your paces, big time. There are morning runs, races up t he driveway, 13km mount ain hikes, boxing in the pavilion and star jumps by the pool. It is int ense but everyone can go at their own speed, so it's not intimidating. One-to-one sessions are also available; present any issue (weight loss, marathon training, injury recovery), and these guys will sort it out. And the food is delicious. Chef Michael Arthur has spent years perfecting his healthy dishes (gluten- , sugar- and dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian) and has come up with a feast packed with flavour: pear crumble for breakfast, a crispy fish fillet with tahini for lunch , and a raw brown ie with almond

yogurt as the final flourish of t he three-cou rse dinner. Even alcohol is allowed, but most guests go without it. Calories, peoplel Aching muscles are sorted in a jiffy with amazing deep-tissue massages (ask for intuitive therapist Jo-Anne Nighy). Or you can simply surrender to a long bath and an early bedtime. You will sleep like a baby and wake anew, oddly excited about the hardcore workouts to come. HOU RS OF EXERCISE PER DAY Five to six. AGONY FACTOR 7/10. BOOK THROUGH +44 20 8968 0501; www .fitscape .co.u k. Seven nights cost from £1,695 per person, full board, including all activit ies and transfers. Book this and receive a £200 discount

36 Spa Special Jun e 2013

''

ADVERTISEMENT

PANGKOR LAUT R[SORT
It's easv to replenish on this elegant private island, set in a lwo-111illion-year-old rainforest where the air is pure and healing. Kick back on soft-sand beaches, and let your eyes rest on jewel-like waters th at shift in colour with the skr The only decision you'll need to make is which healing Asian therapies to choose at the awardwinn ing, four-acre Spa Village, where you get a divine complimen tary 45-111inute bath ritual with each treatment.

:Frain £1 ,675 pet" pe;rson ~for~ night\ including lligblS, transfers, accommodation in a Hill Villa 11nd brcu&st with He>.ling Holidays. Book and receive a oomplimentvy 50"1ninote spa trcl\tmtllt each every day.

BL SS OUT
IN
Soothe your body and re-order your mind on a Malaysian spa holiday with YTL Hotels

TANJONG JARA R[SORT
The Spa Village at this casually chic hideaway on Malaysia's unspoiled east coa st oO ers treatments inspired by traditional Malay healing therapies that have been passed down th rough generations, so you'll be in safe hands. Be sure lo book a session with Pak Yahya, the local village's Malay healer. You'll stay in elegantly crafted buildings inspired by JVl alay palaces, and experience a war111th of sc1 vice throughout your stay that's hard to beat.

From £1,289perperson sbming for IC:Yel'I nights, including
Bigh~ tnunfen,

acoommoda'tion in a Bumbung l'OOm and breakf~t with Healin8 Holidays. Book and reoe.ive a complimentary 50-minute sp~ ~tmen1 eath every diy.

GAYA ISLAND R[SORT
Let nature be \-Our h ealer at this tropical hillside resort, which is set in a natural marine conservation area off the coast of Borneo and fringed with a pristin e beach, rocky outcrops and coral reefs. Yo u'll find the Spa Village a111ongst a lush set of mangroves - here, prepare to be cosseted with a range of transformative spa programmes inspired by the cultural healing traditions of Sabah's indigenous people.

From £1,5!0 per person sharing for ten Jliihts, including Ilighu. lransfers, aocommodation in a Bayu Villa .and breakfast with Healing Holidays. Book and rec:eive a oomplimenwy 50..minutc spa ttutmcnt each t.nd every dly.

To book any of these offers, contact H ealing Holidays (020 7843 3592; healing holidays.co.uk/condenast) and quote 'Conde Nast Traveller'. Terms and conditions and date resLrictions apply to all offers. Booking period from 6 May to 31 O ctober 2013.

GET UP AND GO

THE ASHRAM
CALIFORNIA
Meals are served with chopsticks t o prevent you bolt ing the tiny portions; bread, alco hol, coffee and cigarettes are banned; there's no internet; the nearest taxi is miles away. T his is the California camp that made O prah Winfrey cry and from which Julia Roberts is rumoured to have fled after a few days. In the foothills of t he Santa Monica Mountains, it's a week-long deprivation overhaul t hat inspires cult-like devotion - you need to book at least six months in advance. It's intimate and low- key (only 12 guest s at a time), and don't expect anything glam . You share a bedroom (wit h few perks aside from the fluffy duvet s), and everyone collapses into bed by 9pm. After a welcome snack of crudites on arrival on Sunday, you are weighed and measured before being taken off on a fi ve-mile warm-up hike, a brutal trail through jagged hills and valleys. A 5 .30am rise for yoga to a soundtrack of Dylan and Marley eases you into the day. A mouse-size breakfast of cin namon oatmeal is followed by the first full hike in 25·c heat. These daily walks are tortuous, typically 10 to 12 m iles on dirt tracks through dry brush blazing with desert flowers and cacti. A s the week goes on, they become bone-crushingly long. Day three (Toxic Tuesday) is particularly hard as t he effects of caffeine and sugar withdrawal set in, but if anyone struggles, the instructors (taut, tanned Californian dudes wit h names like Sky) offer inspiration, humour and snacks . They also bandage your distressed f eet. After a lunch of salad or tofu and quinoa, you play water volleybal l or loll poolside until your daily massage. At 4pm everyone is rounded up for weights or Pilates, followed by yoga. Dinner is a treat of warm spinach salads, avocado sushi rolls and lettuce-wrap tacos.

Afterwards, guests flop on sofas for the evening's event, including talks with healers, nutritionists and tarot-card readers. Towards t he end of the week, it all starts to make sense. You blitz through Thursday's 14- mile uphill hike, leaner and livelier, and JJ, a half-Scott ish, half-Navajo-Indian instruct or from New Mexico, fires up the group with Brazilian beats. By the final day, you've clocked 70- 75 miles and become a t ransformed, certified groupie. HOURS OF EXERCISE PER DAY Seven to eight. AGONY FACTOR 10/10 . BOOK THROUGH Six nights cost from £3,180 per person, fu ll board, includ inj all activities ( +1818 222 6900; www .

theashram.com) .ii;i·\i)8MM_;i#i:@i!it·SM
US$500 discount (abou t £330)

Book this and receive

a

LIME WOOD BOOT CAMP
HAMPSHIRE
If the phrase 'boot camp' strikes fear into your heart, if t he hedonist in you requires attention as much as t he ascetic, get down t o t he New Forest, preferably with a couple of friends. This is the boot camp for people who don't do boot camps, su rrounded by 145 square miles of heath and woodland , where ponies, donkeys, pigs, cattle and deer roam freely. Right in t he m iddle is the smart Li me Wood hotel and gorgeous Herb House spa. A refreshing early-morning walk, yoga in t he herb garden, time spent chilling in the hydrotherapy pool, a deep-tissue massage and a Tri-Dosha Holistic Glow facial - these treats are all part of the bespoke Forest Fit programme. It's for women only (a maximum group of six), lasts a realistic amount of time (two and a half days), makes credible demands and is designed so that you can carry on the good work at home. On day one t hey soften yo u u p, with a delicious, healthy lunch, followed by a country walk, revitalising yoga session and spa treatment of your choice. On day two, though, they slip in the knife. You won't get yelled at, or even weighed and measured (though you can have a body-fat analysis if you want), but you st art at ?am sharp with a power hike, and continue all day with an exhaust ing but elating cycle of punish ment (spin ning, kettle bells, fit ball, water workout, Pilates, circuit training, sand -du ne running) and reward (breakfast in the hotel's Scullery, a spa treat ment, t ime out for the sauna or the outdoor hot tub) . Circuits take place in t he forest, during which innocent logs become huge weights you must repeatedly squat lift, picturesque bridges are the location for push-ups and t ricep dips, and grassy clearings the scene of endless, killer side- lunges. Day three involves an hour's cycle on gravel tracks through the forest to get to lunch at Lime Wood's sister hotel, The Pig, and a much more slower return journey (it's uphill all t he way). Fit ness freak Dawn Pizzey rallies the troops, and John Liddington dispenses t he sort of nutritional advice that stays with you (a glass of wine is as fattening as a cheeseburger). If you wish, you can stick to t he delicious food on offer at Raw & Cured ,

the spa's healthy food bar (tomato and date salad , a courgette wrap, 'swamp water', a j uice of green leaves, apple, carrot and fennel, or a raspberry and oatmeal smoothie). But dinner is at Hartnett, Holder & Co, Lime Wood's lovely new restaurant, where A ngela Hart nett and Lu ke Holder's easygoing take on It alian/ British cooking begs for a glass o r two of wine to accompany dishes includ ing local venison with red cabbage and apple slaw, calves' liver with sage and onion stew, and whole t urbot with brown shrim p and lemon butter. Go on, beckon the sommelier (you know you want to). You'll have to endure Liddington's baleful looks as he sips his orange juice, but t his is a sumptuous boot camp so what does he expect ? HOURS OF EXERCISE PER DAY Two, eight and fi ve. AGONY FACTOR 5/10. BOOK THROUGH +44 23 8028 7177; www. limewood.co. uk. A three-day Forest Fit Sumptuous Boot Camp costs from £1,750 per person, full board, including fitness sessions 0

38 Spa Special June 2013

Much of their success is down to d1e inspirational people (both residential and visiting) tha t ES PA at R esorts World Sentosa employs. T h ese a re all leading experts in their fields, collectivclv drive n to guide you lo yo u r poten tial. F ro m naturopaths:, nutrition ists and voga masters to pe rsonal trainers, celebrity chefs a nd spa therapists, they a r e train ed to ES PA's exacting standard s a nd a re on ha nd to help, ad vise, motivate and exp and your mind by e ncouraging you to think diffe re ntly a nd uy out ne w things, whether it be qigong, zumba or natu ropathy. There 's an extensive range of workshops, talks and cookery classes (all the E SPA Lifestyle Ren=t meals stem from a collaboration between the resident nutr itionist a n d Singapore's celebrity c hef, Sam Leong) and each ES PA Lifes tdc Re treat becom es your own personal j ourn ey.

\Vith th e new ES PA Lifestyle Re treat packages now op en for bookings, you can be one of the first to discove r a new way o f life at argua bly Asia's m ost indulge nt destination spa. For further information, p l ease contact ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa at +65 6577 8880 or email espa@rwsentos a.com

Amum ~XOTIC

W

h en ESPA at R esor ts World Sentosa open ed last sumn1e 1~ it im mediately put

T he ES PA Lifestyle Re treat packages in clude a staggering selection of holistic activities and worksh ops, cle ve rly tailored to ind ividual goals. E SPA offers four goal-driven Lifes tyle Retreats, addressing common concerns - they are 'Fit For Lifo', '\ V eight Ma n age1ne nt', ' Intro To D etox' a nd 'D estress'. But even a day immersed in the ES PA way of life can m a ke a h uge dineren ce. What's more, the setting is sublim e and the facilities top-notch . The re's no thing halfhearte d about the vision o r fin al creation - th is is a s cmnprehcnsive as a ny spa gets. E xotic ga rdens a re dotted with pools (Vitalit~; Plunge and forest O nsenstyle ones), Sleep Pod s, Relaxa tion Pavilions, Rock Saunas and Ice Fountains. The re 's a state-of-the-a rt gymnasiu m, Ze n Studio, Crystal S team Rooms a nd celebrity chef spa cafe Ta ngerine TM, not lo m ention Singa pore's first a uthentic H amma m , a ll in addition to the 24 stunning U'eatment rooms a nd suites.

Singapore on the spa rada>C By far the coun try's largest luxury spa {as well as Asia's

flagship ESPA spa), it offers I 0,000 square me tres of h ead -to-toe perspective-changing pamperin g. This is a destina tio n in itself and with the recent lau nch of one, L wo and three-niglu ES PA Lifestyle Retreats, spa aficionados a re already flying to Singapore for the ES PA expe rie nce alone. T he ESPA at Resorts Wo rld Semosa retreats e ncourage you to step mvay fro m d ay-to-d ay life and recon nect with yourself. T his is 100 per ce nt you-time, inspiring and educating you towards a better q uality of life. Integrating holistic treatme nts with fitness, nutrition , spa the rapies, motivational workshops a nd beaut); the ES PA Lifestyle Retrea ts a re goal-orie ntated and life-changing.

Conde Nast Traveller readers can enjoy $100 spa credit with o booking of any ESPA L"estyle R etreat package of two-days or longer. Offer valid until 31 December 2013. Please quote 'Conde Nost 2013' when making a reservotion.
T~1111 ond conditioosopply.

PARK~om IGLS, AUSTRIA
Set in a pretty mountain town an d surrounded by its own park \.Vi th tnature u-ees and a herb garden, Parkh otel lgls offers holistic, m edically supervised programm es based on Modern Mayr Medicine, where nut1ition, exercise and treatments focus on the health of the gut. For the best results, retreats of two weeks or more are recrn n mended, but for the time-poor the effective four-nigh t Modern Mayr swift programme gives you p roper tirne-out to relax. From £ 1,470 per person, single occupanc); for a four-nigh t Modern Mayr swift programrne, including nights, transfers, accommodaLion in a Superior room on a full-board basis, medical con sultations, a SO-minute massage, four therapeutic treatments an d more with H ea ling Ho lidays. Valid until 30 Novem ber 2013. Book a Modern Mayr swift programme and receive a£ 150 discount.

Healing Holidays recommends its spa picks for 2013 ...

S~L~CT

ONS

LONGEVITY WELLNESS RESORT, PORTUGAL
Set in the lush, green Mon ch ique mo untains in the sou th of Portugal, this contem porary award-winning wellness resort offers some fantastic progran1 n1es for wellness, stTess, weight n1cu1agen1ent and anti-ageing. Ch oose the D etox & Stress Managem ent prog ramme to help you control stress and anxiety and adopt a healthier lifestyle, or for a focused cleanse to rebala nce body and mind, the Essential D etox programme team s medical con sultations and detoxifying wraps and th erapies with train ing sessions.

~USION MAIA, VIETNAM
At th is sleek, Zen-lifestyle reson on Vietnam's white-sanded central coast you'll have a m ininrnm of two spa treatments each day included in your Sta); so you won't have to worry about hidden extras. Instead, relax and let the talented wellness sp ecia lists ease body a nd soul with healing massages, body and beauty treatments and spirit-liftin g \"oga, breathing and m editation. There are aromatherapy workshops and tea-appreciatio n classes, and you can have your breakfast anytime, and an) w here you choose. From £ 1,5 4·9 per person sharing for seven nights, including Aigh ts, transfers,
a ccommodation in a pool villa , all spa trea tmen ts

From £2,565 per person sharing for a seven-night Essential Detox progra mme, including fligh ts, transfers, accom mod ation in a suite, 1neals, access to the ~111 and spa, daily group activities an d the detox prognurnne with H ealing Holidays. Book and receive a complimentarv 4-0-m inute Taster Facial for an instant skin p ick-me-up. Oflc r valid for bookings and travel before 31 D ecember 20 13 .

HRME DI SATURNIA SPA 6 Gm RESORT, ITALY
An elegant destination spa and golf resort in a m edieval Tuscan village, L his award-winning retreat is set on the site of a rich thermal spring, whose sulphurous waters have been used by generations of bathers for their healthgiving properties. Soak in the m to naturally d etox, cxfoliate, enha nce your circulation, relax your muscles and improve your breath ing. For aftc1 ; there arc pampering and holistic treat111ents and fitness classes to be enjoyed From £1,525 per person sharing for a seven-n ight Rem ise en Forme p rogramme, includi ng Aights, transfers, acco mmodation, daily breakfast, a Gommage an d T hermal Plankton treatment, a Nu trirnelis treatment, a Saturnia long massage, a Saturnia four-hand massage shower and a foot m assage with H ealing H olidays.

daily with H ealing Holidays. Book a seven-night stay and receive a complimentary Fusion ista Explorer Tour with wellbeing and cultural activities tailored to your tastes.

~VELLER ADVERT ISEMENT
S~A WELLNESS CLINIC, SPAIN
This immaculately designed wellness clin ic set high above the peaceful town of Altea fuses 01iemal therapies and revolutionary Western techniques in a range of ground-brea king wellbeing programmes. Book seven days or more to help you sleep well, give up smoking, manage your stress, detox or lose weight. The clinic has plenty of gorgeous areas for chilling out, including a roof-top infinity pool. from £ 1,695 per person sharing for a four-nigh t SH A discove1y holiday, including fl ights, transfers, four nights in a deluxe suite, SH A-prescribed diet, daily activities, access to the gym and wet areas of the spa and treatmen ts included as per the progranune. Pre-book four nights' acconunodatio n and receive EUR 125 credit per p erson to be used on treatmen ts or EUR 250 per person for seven nights. Booking window until 15 September 2013 and valid for reservations until 3 1 D ecember 2013. Cannot be com bined with any other promotions.

FE A TURE

This pared-down eco-chic resort is set on a p rivate bay and backed bv d1e H ajar M ountains. Come for a three, five or seven-night well being break that combines a daily choice of activities and treatments dedicated to \•our needs. You can cl10ose to focus on slow living, de-stressing, fitn ess, detox or adventure - the latter tnixes private sessions of paragliding, hiking or moun tain b iking and treatments such as a deep-tissue m assage and herbal steam . From £ 2, 145 per person sharing for a seven-night programme, in cluding flights, transfers, accom modation in a pool villa, breakfast, a personal wellness consultation, use of the gym and spa facilities and specified spa treatments and activities for you r p rogramme with H ealing H olidays. Book and receive a com plimentary sha red sun set cruise.

SOAK IN rnm TO NATURALLY O[TOX. [XrnLIAT[ rn~ANC[ YOUR CIRCULATION. R[LAX YOUR MUSCL[S AND IMPROV[ YOUR BR[ArnlNG

SPA VILLAGE RESORT TEMBOK, BALI
T his warm and inviting wellness retreat is set in the dramatic coastal landscape of Bali's north east, a world away from th e tourist hordes. There a.re traditional Balin ese spa treatmen ts a nd healing therap ists, and a range of invem ive School of Life programm es to help you reflect, replen ish and ren e\V . Take a healing ans workshop, enjoy a session with a visiting painter o r illu strator, treat Yourself to some life coaching or learn the delicate art of squid fishing. l"rom £ 1,880 per person sharing for a six-night Academy Package, including flights, transfers, accommodation in a Kamar room, full board and daily classes in Balinese healing arts wid1 H ealing H olidays. Book an d receive a complimentary 50-minute sp a treatment per person per da):

To book any of these offers, con tact H e aling Holidays (020 7843 3592; he alingho lidays.co.uk/ condenast) and quote 'Conde Nast Traveller'.
Terms and conditions and date restrictions app ly to all offers.

Healing ~ ol1daL-

Clockwise from top leh: LUX* Makives; spa at LUX* Merville Beoch;spo treatment at LUX' Grand Goube

L

UX* ME is mo re than j ust a spa. A serious spa, that d oesn 't take itself too serious!); the L UX*

moo rnAT LOV[S YOU BACK
With regards to food , \'O U can expect it be healthy a n d nutritious while also tasting fantastic. LUX* ME's main principles include the following: to use h igh quality virgin and cold pressed olive oil, to bake food and not fry it, use un- refined whole grain s a nd flour ;md fresh, seasonal, local vegetables.

ME e xperie nce offers an integrated approach to relaxa tion and rej uve nation on your holida)~

You can find their world-class resorts in three jawd ropping locaLions: MauriLius, the Maldives a nd Reunion Island, to the east of Madagascar.

PrnSONAL CONClrnG[
Cmnbining fitness, beauty, n utrition, yoga and

m edita tion, th e LUX* ME personal concierge can L ailor a wellb eing experience to suiL individual need s whelher you just want a litLle ' me lime', or to fully ind ulge in ways to improve health and lifestyle. A t)µi cal day m ighL begin with a gentle yoga session, set in stunning areas of natural beauty, a few h ours relaxation in the spa, the n in the afte rnoon guests can er~oy a cookery lesson on Lhe beach and e nd with a fun even ing meal \vit.h the family and a glass of wine. T he LUX* ME Vitalite progra mme imo one holistic offering. Simple, flexible and perfectly tailored to each guest's individual needs, it provides an ideal o pportun it,· L o e njoy Lhc V"d rious exceptional treatm ents and p rogrammes available at LUX*. From rejuvenating fi tness a nd yoga classes to gourmet cooking lessons a nd p ersonalised spa treatments, guests can discover L he many ways to complete wellbeing. Conde N ast TraveUer readers "ill receive a ny Vitalite program me a t the reduced price o f 300 Euros.

For Lhose wanting to take a deeper step in Lo wellbeing, there are retreats designed Lo immerse gueslS in yoga, fitness, nutrition, a nd spa treatme nts to enliven a nd un ify m ind, body and soul, ran by world-class experts.

Pick from five, 5 star resorts: LUX* Maldives, LUX* Belle Mare, LUX* Grand Gaube, LUX* Le Morne and Tamassa. For more information vis it luxislandresorts.com or call +230 698 9800.

b rings together an array of indulgent experiences

SUNSHINESAVIOURS
The individual A w om a n in her mid-40s w ho's lost he r way post ca ncer The remedy A n Ayurvedic retreat at t he Fo ur S ea so ns Resort Ma ldi ves at La nd aa Giraavaru
am alone. All alone for seven days on an Ayurvedic retreat in the Maldives collecting shells on the purest, whitest beach in the world. I am in heaven, happy as a clam. Yet this is so unlike me. I am not the quiet type. I need constant chatter. I collect friends like billionaires collect enemies. But two years ago I made a new fr iend, a frenemy: cancer. Surgery, chemo, radiation - 1 had the works. Twelve interminable months later, just when I thought I was done, just when I was fee ling good again, it came back to bite me in the lymph glands. I am no longer the girl I was. Now I need stillness, distance, quiet. So th is is why I am alone, 12 hours from home, away from my beloved husband and child, on a tiny island that's no more than a sandbank. Life's a bitch. But sometimes the bitch can change your life fo r the better. My last two years have not been a blast. It hasn't onl y been the cancer. The day after eight-hour surgery to remove the tumour in my neck, my shell-shocked mother calls to say my father has septicemia and is in a coma. The doctors don't think he 'll last the night. I am lying in a New York hospital bed hooked up to a morphine drip. My husband flies home and goes straight to my fa ther's bedside. He holds a phone to his ear while, sobbing uncontrollably, I say goodbye to the man who gave me life. By some miracle my fa ther recovered fro m the ordeal. But I never did. By Jan uary of th is year I'd given up. I saw no one. I was secretly smoking, and the one time I did go out, I took ecstasy. I ignored all calls, inhaled chocolate and booze. I couldn't sleep but lay in bed for days plotting ways to die. 'Jeez,' my fri end Todd said to me on the phone from LA , one of the few whose call I picked up, 'when are you going to take your cancer seriously?' Indeed , when was I? Everyone tried to help me, sending me details of colonic clinics in Austria and boot camps in California. They all sounded hideous. Then, somewhere, I read about the Ayurvedic retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. I was intrigued. It was so fa r away, good far away. I li ked the sound of Ayurve da, the 5,000-year old Indian medical doctrine steeped in common sense. And I've always loved the sea, the way a sherpa loves the mountains. How bad could it be? Dr Peeyush Kumar, the spa's Ayurvedic doctor, looked at me warily fro m across his thick wooden desk on my first day. We discussed my treatment plan in a tin y pagoda while exotic birds squawked around us and lizards scurried at our feet. I promised I would stick to the plant-based diet he'd prescribed. 'You are a Pitta,' he said, referring to one of the three body types, or doshas, assessed according to skin, build, character and lifestyle. 'No alcohol, no caffeine' he continued. Could I fit in one last cocktail, an espresso? And abo ut th ose sunrise yoga sessions, could we make them sunset ones? 'See how you go,' he said gently. I retreated to my water villa , my eyes still smarting from the flashbulb glare of the brilliant white sand. I sat on my villa's pontoon, feet dangling in the pale turquoise sea, while a stin gray, a lemon shark and their fan club of little fishes swam past me. I could see the bar on the beach. A lcohol suddenly didn't seem that important. Maybe I'd give it a go. My daily routine was prescribed. The doctor, realising he was dealing with a sloth, shifted my appointments to the afternoon so I was able to lie in bed watching the daily s eaplane zigzag across the sky. I gradually ventured to the beach where I was brought ice-cold bottles of the island's n atural water, cool sprays to spritz hot sk in, froze n fruit in tiny bowls and shot glasses of cucumber juice. I took idle walks along the sandbank where the sea converged on both sides and bits of coral scratched my feet. Before my afternoon treatments, gentle therapists from Bhutan, Indonesia and Malaysia washed my feet then, eyes closed, chanted a prayer. E ach massage was different: musky oils poured onto my scalp, then body; rice bags were slapped on my skin, then rubbed all over; I had flower baths and even a fe rtility treatment (I didn 't have the heart to say that my ovaries had shriveled and died during chemo.) I did yoga and practised meditation with a solemn Indian yogi on mats looking out to sea. I cycled a round jungle-like paths and ate my delicious vegetarian mea ls a lone. It was turning out to be the best thing I had ever done. After my last appointment, D r Peeyush led me to a pagoda and told me to lie down on a flower-strewn yoga mat surrounded by candles. A mask was placed over my eyes while my heart thumped. O ut of nowhere, a choir, accompanied by the vibrating tune of a singing bowl, chan ted prayers wishing me health, happiness and prosperity. When the mask was re moved I saw 30 of the spas therapists grinning down at me. To say it changed my li fe sounds gratuitous, but it did. BOOK TH ROUGH Kuoni (+44 1306 747008; www.kuoni.co.uk), which offers the seven-night Explore package from £6,988 per person fu ll board, including consultations, treatments, yoga, flights and transfers

Surgery) chemo) radiation - I had the works. Twelve months later, it came back to bite me in the lymph glands. I)m no longer the girl I was. Now I need stillness) distance) quiet

June 2013 Spa Special 43

S UN S HINE SAV IO U RS

GOLDEN EY E
JAMAICA

-

The coolest cat in the Caribbean . You can zoom across the bay on ajetski at 60mph in the early morning sunshine then sit on the terrace at the Bizot Bar, watched by beady-eyed birds as you inspect super-healthy toasted granola and bowls of yoghurt and berries. Ian Fleming bagged one of the loveliest, jungliest spots on the island. If, like Jay-Zand Beyonce, you r~nt Fleming's actual house, you can sit at the desk where he bashed out all 14 Bond novels and take a copy of Casino Roya le off the bookcase to read in the open-air bath. Across the creek, the 20 one- and two-bedroom beach houses and lagoon villas (more Maldives than Caribbean) are the vision of present owner and record-label legend Chris Blackwell, and are similarly lusciously languid. They come with a Logitech Squeezebox sound system and stacks of reggae CDs; you'll want to nab the lot, the music makes you melt (as do the hip flasks of house rum). Spend drowsy afternoons in the Field Spa, a lagoon-side lair accessible by kayak that was once Naomi Campbell's bedroom. Blackwell's watchwords are 'local': aromatic herbs and other organic ingredients are grown on a nearby farm (a 'seed-to-spa' philosophy), with ginger, pumpkin and yam for cleansing facials; wild lime, bitter orange and coconut oil for massages. Ask for Newton, the young boy who wanted to be a maths teacher but could only afford to attend a massage course, where he discovered his other talent. Meditation, open-water swimming and yoga are all possible, and there's a daily morning run led by local speedsters (thankfully not Usain Bolt). Food is tastes-good-for-you wholesome, such as black-eyed pea salad, seafood dumplings and jerk-chicken club sandwiches. For breakfast, 'For Your Eyes Only' is two poached eggs looking up from chopped spinach, while Busha Browne's Marmalade is made by the fabulously named Winston Stoner. And someone called Fishman supplies the kitchen with .. . guess what? Sitting in the treehouse-style gazebo listening to Lee 'Scratch' Perry fight it out with the tree frogs, it's impossible not to feel pretty damn cool yourself. INSIDER TIP Going to market for papayas, coconut water and Rastafarian-made chutneys is as fun as you might expect - 'Baby girl, you buy right!' is said amidst much laughter as a very large woman picks up two huge melons. FLIGHT TIME Nine hours 30 minutes. BOOK THROUGH +876 6229 007; www.goldeneye.com. Doubles from £370, including breakfast. Book this and receive a 20 per cent discount on spa treatments

D-HOTEL MARIS
TURKEY
You could rock up to this under-the- radar hotel high on a hillside in south-west Turkey and do not hing more than watch different views of the sunset from one of the five - yes five - private beaches, all of them peaceful, clear and ripe for perfectly buoyant ocean swimming. A lready you feel rather smugly enshrined in happy, healthy vibes. The hotel itself is not a looker - a bit 'office block' - but inside it's punchy, angular and immaculate, with smiling staff and floors so spotless it wouldn't be a problem if you had to eat off t hem. Everywhere you look there are spect acular views, out over pine forests, the deep blue Aegean and itsy-bitsy islands. The D-Hotel has terraces, rather grand fourposter sunbeds and giant sunken bath tu bs, and grazing plates of mezze with piles of warm pitta bread that you can't stop picking at. If you need to get moving, t here are tennis and basketball courts, outdoor and indoor pools and a bucketful of water antics: wakeboard ing, windsurfing, water- skiing, a sailing school plus a dive centre. Lazy bones can just take a boat jaunt for refreshing dips in the sea. Then t here's the mega ES PA spa. It's in what used to be a giant conference centre with not a window in sight, but don't worry: it's sensational. The rooms are large enough to house t heir own showers and loos, and treatments have plenty of local flair - t ry the Aegean Sea Shell massage where warm oils are kneaded in with seashells, stress knot s are pummelled and shoulders left un-hu nched . T he star of this show is a plush white marble hammam where Turkish therapist s scrub and polish you - it's the cleanest, sq ueakiest fun you'll have with no clothes on. A golf buggy will ferry you back to you r room, which isn't the height of romance but who cares when you are so relaxed you can barely clutch your bottle of wat er? INSIDER TIP If privacy is paramount to you, it's well worth becoming an 'executive club member' - which sounds depressingly airport lounge but will grant yo u access to the quietest beach, where you may well find yourself utterly alone apart from beamingly attentive staff. FLIGHT TIME Five hours ( perfect for a four- nighter) . BOOK THROUGH +90 252 4412000; www.dhotel.co m.tr. Do ubles fro m about £265. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a complimentary room upgrade, ES PA gift box and 20-minute hammam scrub

SHANTI MAURICE
MAURITIUS
Surf slapping on sand has to be the most gloriously relaxing sound in t he world, right? Your shoulders drop and you're grinning deliriously as soon as you get out of t he taxi. On a wild and lovely stretch of beach, shaded and secluded , Shanti Maurice is the most delicious place on the whole of Mauritius. Kylie came here to convalesce post- chemo, which says a lot. Plunge from your turbo-deluxe vil la straight into t he warm ocean; feast on zingy fresh sea- bass carpaccio in your thatch -roofed dining sala; plop into your own private lap pool : the Shanti is happy-inducing to the max. It's feasible as a fam ily dest ination, as there's a safely gat ed playground and one part of the beach is lagoon-calm, but with it s 'lost- city' ambience - hidden among clambering, twisting branches - it's much more of a spot for duos on downtime. The spa, like its sister property in the Himalayas, puts an Ayurvedic spin on it s treatments. The rooms are bu ilt around a cou rtyard garden and there's a lap pool, a breezy, open- sided wooden pavilion where days start with a yoga class, and traditional wooden beds with brass jugs for sleep- inducing shirodhara, where warm oil is poured continuously on you r forehead (incredibly grounding). After a massage at dusk, emerging into th e jungly tropical night (bring mozzie repellent) with the prospect of barbecued lobster and chilled Chablis at the lantern- lit beach-shack restaurant, your dear-headed smileyness could be enough to make yo u pass out

with pleasure - if that wasn't rather a waste of money and t ime . INSIDER TIP Pilates teacher Mr Dheeraj Singh Patwal was taught by Joseph Pilates himself. He'll get your whole body moving and grooving, and uses Gratz apparatus as well as leading mat-work classes. FLIGHT TIME 11 ho urs. BOOK THROUGH Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.eo.uk/condenast), which offers seven nights on the Nira Bliss programme from £2, 710 per person half-board, includinj wellness consult ation, spa treatments, flights and transf ers.HeMT Book this and receive a complimentary welcome head massage

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SUNSHINE SAVIOURS

ONE&ONLYTHE PALM
DUBAI
Hot and hassle-free, Dubai has pu rpose. Especially if you scurry to this retreat of glamorous su perserenit y, far from t he traffic jams. It's finely tuned but also totally chilled out, with marble floors and arches, waist-h igh lanterns and huge bowls of water overspi lling sof tly. T he villa suites are smart, private and stylish to the point where you barely want to step outside t hem. The main pool is a design wonder: huge and flanked by fabulous, so-larget hey-make-you-feel-thin day cabanas and fat pal ms, a view of sea in the distance . Staff are can-do and speedy, and the ESPA spa, a stum ble away, is open t il l well into the star-spangled evenings. After a day lazing on your terrace, the pristine white-sand beach or by t he pool, it's bliss to totter along as night falls, cl imb ont o a heat ed massage bed and lose yourself in an hour of restorative reflexology, shiat su pummelling or skin-brightening facials - the therapists really know what they are doing. For those wanting more of a top-to-toe t ransformation, there are tightly focused three- and five-day programmes (anti-stress, energising, det oxing), personal t rainers, a glossy hair salon and a 'pedi:mani:cure' stud io by Bastien Gonzalez (this man once flew 14 hours from South Africa to Morocco via Dubai to deal with a foot emergency). And by pedicures we mean medical pedicures - lots of poking and prodd ing and exfoliating - which give grubsome feet a ' t a-dah' overhaul and leave naked nails gleaming like shiny seashells. At the One&Only T he Palm you hide away, uncoil, breathe t hen re-emerge feeling cured - it's that simple . INSIDER TIP Chefs here real ly understand a woman's need for a

snippet of tapas, a fillet of unmessed-around-with fi sh and zero-cal lunches, such as cucumber sou p with mint, to offset those moreish mouthfuls of seared halloumi cheese. FLIGHT Tl ME Six hours 45 m ins. BOOK THROUGH Elegant Resorts (+44 1244 8975 17; www .elegantresorts.co.uk), which offers seven nights from £2,335 per person, including breakfast, flights and t ransfers

THE SCARLET HOTEL
CORNWALL
The swish of the surf, the swathe of t ablecloth-flat sand, t he swoop of the cliffs .. . the view from you r balcony t akes you down a notch or t hree even before anyone has laid so much as a finger on your chakras. And there's no mobile-phone reception either. T he no-children-allowed Scarlet Hotel stitches itself seam lessly into t he slopes above golden Mawgan Porth bay, a series of curves and terraces, all glass-and-timber cladding. It not only strives to be ult ra-green - sustainable wood, recycled water - but to be det erminedly un- hotel ish, so there is no reception (staff just appear) and food is served anytime, anywhere . No surprises, t hen, that the spa beats it s own pat h. Never mind treatment menus, super-scientific facials and selection- box massages; here, you're taken on an individually t ailored Ayurvedic adventure. True, it's a bit incensey (treatment rooms are tented cocoons, and there are swinging pods in t he darkened relaxation room) but the therapists are amazingly intuitive and will deftly unpick your stress and ease you r tension. This is no quick-fix, one-size-fits-all solution, but a delicious, three- to four-hour bespoke plan t hat might include some or all of t he following: a salt and- seaweed scrub and white-clay wrap in t he hammam; seawater hot t ub; yoga in the su n-t rap cloister garden; meditation (give it a go); and a pressu re-point massage (wonderfu lly releasing, like bleeding a radiator). Most delicious is the Marma Abhyanga treatment with hot poultices, a deep, stretching massage that reaches into every screwed up corner. By t he time it finishes you'll be poached to a pool of liquid calm; when you reach the relaxation room, you'll forget you've brought a book, let alone be able to read it. O nce you're chilled and uninhibited you can drag yourself to the rhassoul for a bit of m ineral-mud playtime. Crikey, you might even try the transformational-dance class. The Scarlet is so laid-back, it f eels like a private members' club, but fun rat her than

fashionably knowing. There are witty sculptu res and heaps of corners to curl up in with your Kindle or just doze and wonder if you can be bot hered to dress for dinner. The food is creative (m ullet with saffron gnocch i, chocolate-truffle cake with peanut crumble) , t he wine list adventurous and the bed rooms Scandinavian-sexy (be warned, they have a t hing about sem i-open bathrooms). And t here's also Jasper, the hotel dog, t o fro lic with on the sands - animals are very t herapeutic , remember. INSIDER TIP Wallowing in the outdoor, seaweed-infused hot t ub, preferably at sunset, wh ich is moist urising and exhilarating. FLIGHT TIME One hour from London . Flybe (www .flybe.com) flies to Newquay and Exeter airports. BOOK THROUGH +441637 861800; www.scarlethotel.co.uk. Two nights cost from £352 per person half-board, including a massage and rhassoul treatment. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book th is and receive a discount of £55 per couple

46 Spa Special June 2013

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SUN S HIN E SAVIOU R S

CARLISLE B AY
ANTIGUA
REA DERS' A W A RD
It's December, it's freezing, and your whole crew has been ill. There is no better place to flee than the Caribbean's slinkiest, all-bellsBEST FOR and- whistles family outpost. Before you know it everyone will be FAMI ~ pootling about building sandcastles in the warmest, freshest breeze. No one bats an eyelid about any squawkings. The set-up is bolder and more resorty than you might expect for a place that is consistently applauded as being a style-sett er - picture a series of bright, white th ree-storey boxes spread along a butt er-smooth bay, the ocean crashing directly in front of the suit es. And herein lies the magic: that beach. You can eat on it (bento-box treats), play on it and snooze on it. It's right there. The John Lewis-style reliability of the set-up is an irresistible draw for whacked-out parents. Good things seem to come on tap, from banana milkshakes and pu rees whizzed up in seconds to canvas hammocks and a busy-bee children's club. And then there is Linda in the spa. It's a small spa with a big punch, and Linda has healing hands; she will make you laugh, wrap you in hot towels and unknot anxiety. There are facials using super- brand Natura Bisse ( Kate Moss, Madonna and Gwyneth are all converts), and the Diamond Gel Cream is like a refreshing glass of water for your skin - rich but not heavy, moisturising but not shine-making (it should be good, it's £226 a pot). Book in for an hour a day to dabble with wraps, scrubs, facials and massages. Every mother deserves it. INSIDER TIP Don't assume the set-up is only for families: as long as you can avoid the school holidays, the new Escape Weeks provide a quiet, personalised combination of yoga on a pontoon by the sea, Pilates in the garden pavilion with sisters Maureen and Miranda, nature walks in the tropical gardens, a choice of tennis, sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing, and spa treatment s. And that su nshine. FLIGHT TIME Eight hours. BOOK THROUGH Carrier (+44161 492 1354; www.carrier.co.uk), which offers a seven-night Escape Week package from £3,120 per person, including breakfast, daily spa treatment, th ree daily activities/cli nics, flights and transfers. TRAVELLER SPECIAL Book this and receive a US$300 spa credit

48 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

T

he Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA is like no other. Set am ongst 850 acres of tranquil Scottish

countryside, it has become the U K 's most cove ted destination spa. A nd not just beca use of

its spectacular surroundings. The health a nd wellness benefits that can be achieved afierjust one visit are n othing short of miraculous. This is all down to its

experienced team of h ighly qualified experts, including traditional C hinese medicin e acupun cturists, he rbalists, osteopath s and personal muners. As you migh t be a ble to tell from the line-up of specialists, The S pa al Gleneagles by ESPA approaches h ealth in an integrative a nd holistic war The a im? To help you feel your a bsolute best, both inside and out. But this docs not mea n you will feel a ny less pampered - ea ch treannent or package is d esigned w ith even the

most discerning syba rite in m in d. And tha t goes for the spa deco1 ; too, since aw;u ·d -winnin g interior designer Amanda Rosa worked together with ESPA to create the unique a nd tran qu il spa ce, from the c rystal steam room and the chic wooden sauna cabin, to the luxurious treaon ent rooms (of which there are 20 in total). So sere ne is the spa that guests a re advised Lo arrive at least one hour prior to their treatm ent lo allow enough tiine to savour it. Be sure to try the reclin ing beds in the relaxation lounge, wh ich have six different music ch annels for you to choose from . This level of detail also extends to its range of innovative wellness treatm en ts on offer. U sing the la test in scie ntific advances and combini ng this with effective Easte rn philosophies and trad itions, ES PA has c reated a tempting selection of results-driven signature treau nents to suit a range of issues, including fertility problems,

I

2014 Ryder Cup) account for some of the acres of this b reathtaking countryside. But if golf is not for you there are a host of other activities that will tem pt you outdoors; horse 1iding, fishing, ofi:road drivin g an d wildlife photograph,· are j ust some of the manv exciting activities that Glenaeagles ofle1 : And once you have worked up a suitable a ppetite, whe re be tter to satiate this than al one of the hotel's four spectacular restaura nts, one of which has two Michelin stars. l s th ere anything this lux ury prope rty doesn't do to the a bsolute highest standards? In a word , no.

Clo<kwise from top left: guests take advantage al the Spa's inspirational setting; Vitality poo~ Reloxationareo

weight loss, insomnia and, of cotu-se, stress. After you r initial consultation with the in-hou se naturopath , your pmgra rnm e will be tailored to your specific need s, assisting you on your path to optimum wellness.
But as tempting as it m ay be to cocoon yourself in the sp a, no n·ip to G leneagles would be com plete without exploring the great outdoors. T h ree clmrnpionship golf courses (including the PG A Centenary Com~e, soon to be H ost Ven ue of the

For m o r e informatio n, c all 0800 169 2984 or visit gleneagles.com

A STrnPTING A SIT MAY B~ TO COCOON YOURS[L~ IN rn[ SPA. NO TRIP TO GLrn[AGL[S WOULD B[ COMPL[l[ w1rnou1 [XPLORING rn[ GR[Al OUTDOORS

SUNSHINE SAVIOURS

VIVANTA BYTAJ - BEKAL
KERALA
Up until now, if you were seeking a lush Ayurved ic retreat in India, there was really only one choice: Ananda in t he Himalayas (still a lovely, peaceful destination spa). But a fresh, new rival has hit t he scene. It's at the opposite end of t he country down in an unsung corner of Kerala, where Ayurveda (the 5,000-year-old system of healing through food, herbs, yoga and massage) is practised according t o the book. But instead of painful ly hard massage beds and oceans of garage-smelling o il, here t here are palm -filled gardens, infinity pools, empty beaches and private vil las (try and reserve one of the Premium Indulgence Villas - not the highest cat egory, but they're the most charming). Set back from the villas, across a humpback bridge, you'l l find the whacking great spa - t he biggest in any Taj hotel - with t reatment rooms t he size of gigantic studio apartments. Resident physician Dr Prasanna (calm, cool and intense) wil l greet you, and you will feel relaxed and healt hy just speaking t o him. Ayurveda is often a bit too much about kooky spirituality for some, but at the Vivanta it's more about pampering and decompressing. The six signature 'experiences' span from Samattva, a whopping th ree hours of yoga and colour therapy, to the less-intense two-hour Abhisheka, in which Arabian Sea water is pou red over you - it's actually incredibly sooth ing and famed for its healing powers . For some local quirkiness, try the vigorous (and surprisingly sweet-smell ing) mustard-oil Warrior Massage, or book a head massage with curry leaves for hair growt h and shine. If being covered in cond iments perks up you r appet it e, the spa's juice bar magics up crispy salads and grilled fish, plus there's a restaurant for hardcore health bunnies who want t o eat only what the doctor orders (curried lentils to calm your karma, perhaps). Otherwise, venture back across the bridge for barbecued prawns on the beach. INSIDER TIP Dr Prasanna is big on fire, specialising in ceremonies where he chants and you kneel over a fire pit; it's nowhere near

as weird as it sounds if you go with the flow and you'l l leave with a zippy spring in your step. FLIGHT TIME About 11 hours 30 mins. BOOK THROUGH Enchanting Travels ( +44 800 098 8486; www.enchanting-travels.com), which offers a six-night India t rip, including two nights at T he Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, from £1,335 per person, including breakfast, city sightseeing, internal flights and transfers

BANYAN TREE AL WADI
UAE
Evening sand storms, a hot wind at dusk, more stars than you th ink you've ever seen .. . and a hot el t hat looks like a gigantic Arabian sandcastle built in the middle of the desert. There is cinematic-style romance at A l Wadi (at night, paths are dotted with lights shaped like mini watchtowers), although its not remotely wishy-washy. It 's licked and polished and shiny and indulgent. Because Banyan Tree knows how to do things properly and, most importantly, its roots are in spa treatments. The details are just right - hot neck towels, plump

pillows, lemongrass tea and female therapists with goodwill and happy fingers. Interestingly it's a much more established and larger set- up than t he Six Senses Zighy Bay (just a two-hour drive away in Oman), with hydrotherapy pools (a fun spot for chit-chat), hot and cold t ropical showers, water jets, saunas and eucalyptus st eam s that zap head colds like a venus flytrap. A hammam session leaves you feeling rag-doll relaxed. All the massages seem t o run over - t hat never normally happens, does it? Who cares that there isn't a beach, because there are litt le surprises aplenty, such as a watering hole where Arabian oryx (one particularly moody one has been kicked out of t he herd - don't go near him) and gazelles gather with iridescent blue birds. The falconry show is actually interesting (they swoop in at speeds of up to 200mph), and there are beautiful A rabian horses on which you can whoosh across the saffron dunes at top speed. The villas are a fantasy in privacy - one wing is your bathroom and dressing room, the other your bedroom and sitting room - and there's a t errace and a startling blue infinity pool for doing lengths. A breeze blows sand int o the bot tom of your pool before dri nks at the Moon Bar (which has low seating, little ind ivid ual wood-burning stoves, Mojit os and shisha); by the time you return from eating one of the spice- perfect cu rries, the sand has completely disappeared. INSIDER TIP It's amazing how som nolent whizzy service can make you. Your butler is contactable by mobile phone and appears in seconds - literally, seconds. Perhaps he sleeps just outside? FLIGHT TIME Six hours 45 minutes . BOOK THROUGH Kuoni (+441306 747008; www.kuoni.co.uk), which offers three nights from £989 per person, including breakfast, flight s and transfers 0

SO Spa Special June 2013

TR AVELLER PRO MOTI ON

rnU[ R[LAXATION
Those in need of time-out m ay prefer to relax on the beach, basking in the gorgeous Caribbean sunshine before spending the afternoon being pampered to perfect.ion (taking full advan tage of the complimentary daily spa treatm ent) at the renowned Wellness Centre. Adorned with j ust about every sp a award imaginable, The \ V cllncss Centre lies a t the h eart of the resort 's philosophy. Set in a Moorish-sty le pavilion by the pool, it oozes relaxation at every turn. And you can even decide what treatments to indulge in prior to your holida); allowing you lo completely and utterl y unwind when you a re there.
Adre nalin j unkies, on the other hand , won't be d isappointed either. Sailing, water skiing, hiking and e xercise classes are just a few of the many ways to raise your heart rate. And we can' t help but get excited about the yoga and Pilates classes, led by a host of e xperienced an d inspir ational teachers - they'll have you doing downward-dog in n o time. An d what holid ay would be cmnplete without a delicious collection of mouth-watcringly good rcstauran ts to choose from? Gourmands will enjoy th e East-meets\Vest Tao, boasted one of the fi nest restaurants in the C aribbean. Or lo continue the Zen-like feeling, stay in your dressing gown and grab something from The Deli. You can rest assured that all of the menus have been devised with nutrition and flavour in nlln d.

But if your dream holidm· is to opt for a book on a beach, then you couldn't b e beller placed - with the

Clodcwise from
main image: the minify pool; Shiatsu mas5119"; the resort and bea<h

crystal-clear Caribbean ocean as a backdrop. But our guess is that once you gel lo this wellness haven it won'l be lon g before you place yourself in The Body Holiday's expert hands. As not only will they give you back your m ind, you'll also walk a way with a better version of rnur body too.

I

ive us your body and we will give you back your mind. ' Sound too good lo be true? Spend j ust a week at The BodyHoliday in St Lucia and you'll soon find that this is a p romise that won't be broke n. H a ving maste red the art of a luxurious beach-cum -sp a holida); T he BodyHoliday is hard to beat.

G

For more information, call 0845 867 7910 or visit thebodyholiday.com. Book befor e 30 November 2013 and receive a $150 spa cred it. Quote 'BHCNS13'

W hat makes The BodyHoliday stand out from the crowd is the unique cmnbination of one of the world's m ost coveted beach locations on the spectac ular island of St L ucia, an extensive portfolio of treatments carried out by a team o f highly qualified and dedicated spa therapists and a n array of activil.ies that will get your heart pumping. And by tailo11ng your holiday to your exact desires, you can partake in as much or as little of the resort's offerings as you wish.

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SUN IS SHINING
Weathe r is sweet. A day o n the beach makes y ou want to m ove y our dancing feet. Sty led b y Fiona Lintott. Photographs b y Jenny Zarins

SCALLOP-EDGE BIKINI, £190, MARYSIA SWIM ATWWW.SHOPBOP.COM. BRACELET, £55, ORIT (WWW. ORITLONDON.COM). ENERGISING BODY OIL, £30, ESPA (WWW.ESPAONLINE.COM). OPPOSITE, BEAD EARRI N GS, £56, A ZUN I (WWW.AZUN l.CO.UK). ELIXIR ULTIME FOR HAIR, £34, K ERASTASE (WWW. KERASTASE.CO.UK)

_/

BODYSUIT, £451, VIVIENNE WESTWOOD RED LABEL (+44 2074391109). TERRACOTTA SUN SCRUB, £36, GUERL AI N ( +441932 233887). OPPOSITE, BLACK BIKINl,£690, HERVE LEGER. EARRINGS, £70, AZUN I (WWW.AZUNl.CO.UK). HYDRA BEAUTY CREME, £50, CHANEL AT SELFRIDGES(WWW.SELFRIDGES.COM). HAIR AND MAKE-UP: DESMOND GRUNDY AT CAROL HAYES MODEL: LAURIE BING AT ELITE LO N DON

56 Spa Special June 2013

GREAT ESCAPE

Slip into a sunshine state o f mind in the US c ity with the s lee ke st spas and ho tte st feelgood tre nds. B y anti-ageing expert Shannon Leeman and nutritionist Vicki Edg son

he USA's healthiest hub? It can only be Miami. A great, big, beautiful beach. Endless blue skies. A small-town vibe that mixes the Art Deco with the retro, trashy and stylish. Restaurants open for a night and close in a season. Flashes of turquoise and white. Fresh breezes. Salsa, samba, Latino. Four Bentleys to pick up o ne person with luggage. And bodies to die for. Everyone is gorgeous. Every girl was their hometown beauty queen. Miami is laid-back, down-and-out cool, but also up-to-speed and exuberant. The spa scene here mixes holistic undertones with the very latest in cuttingedge science. Cult exercise classes take you to th e next level of torture, and the names of therapists, surgeons, trainers and beauty experts are closely guarded secrets. This is our little black book of the best th e city has to offer.

T

HEALTH-KICK HOTELS The Delano (www.delanohotel.com) is back. Again. This South Beach institution (Roosevelt stayed here with his mistress; George Clooney was a more recent guest) is constantly updating itself so that it feels like the buzziest, most on-pulse place to stay in town. It's what you'd expect fro m Philippe Starck - oceans of whiteness, sushi on demand , a glam nightclub with a strict look-you-up-and-down door policy and enormous day-beds by the swimming pool. And now there's a fa ntastic new medi-spa, Club Essentia, under the guidance of expert Dr Ivan

Rusilko (physician, model, bodybuilder and author). H ere you'll find a brilliant mix of classic treatments (stre tching massages, lemon-basil scrubs) alongside minor, non-invasive procedures (Botox, peels, fillers) and health hits, including diagnostic tests, intravenous nutrient drips, anti-inflammatory injections (arthritis alert) and even a hormonerevitalisation programme. A weekend might not be long enough. For a more ho listic approach, The Setai (www.thesetaihotel.com) exudes restrained, grown-up Asian elegance. Inspired by Thirties Shanghai, the rooms are boldly beautiful, with plenty of jade, bronze, teak and granite, and the lemongrass-scented spa is a temple of excellence (try the re-energising Ancient Balinese Massage). Sunrise yoga with Thai instructor Porn is a great start to your day. If you are here on business, how about the Mandarin Oriental, Miami (www. mandarinoriental.com)? Set in Brickell Bay (the Canary Wharf of Miami), it has a stellar spa with ESPA treatments where you can decompress during a sensory massage. It's calm, quiet and finely tuned: a real escape, with the on-it service Mandarin is famous for. Afterwards, tuck into delicious Asian noodles on the restaurant terrace overlooking the glittery water. For somewhere less exP-ensive, there's the cool and original Standard (www. standardhotels.com); the Miami outpost is fa r superior to sister hotels in New York and LA. The spa, a first from hotelier Andre Balazs, is the stand-out feature, occupying the entire thir d floor and including a unisex hammam, pool, steam rooms, saunas and mud alcove in which to slather yourself. You can join in chakrajuice detoxes, learn how to meditate, go yogic or plump for a treatm ent. The

cellulite-busting Standard Spanking is a rigorous, wake-up massage, and the anti-ageing facials fee l like they repair. Other left-field highs include Celesti al and Acupuncture Alignment (fusing astrology and acupuncture) and Past Life Regression hypnosis, fo r those who are fee ling more adventurous. Finally, far away from the South Beach whirl , and ideal fo r those seeking peace, the Acqualina (www.acqualinaresort.com) is a polished, serene surprise, more upscale Italian Riviera than revved-up Miami. You get seamless service, immaculate lawns, three swanky swimming pools, the II Mulino restaurant straight fro m New York and a colossal, oceanfront ESPA spa. Even if you don't stay here, you can dip into this relaxing, other-world zone. There are endless treatment rooms, Finnish saunas, crystal steam rooms, ice fo untains and experi ence showers, and - most importantly - expertly executed facials and deeply effective body treatments (acupuncture, and cupping and moxibustion heat therapies). And there's a fitn ess centre. And yoga classes.

ON THE HORIZON
Exciting news: COMO (www.comohotels. com) is heading to Miam i. Due to open in autumn this year and located in an original Twenties building in th e heart of the Art Deco district, the hotel will have 74 rooms and suites, a seafood restaurant and a bound-to-be-serene Shambhala wellness centre. COMO is at the forefront of holistic healthcare; the company draws in masses of experts from across the globe, including some of the best yoga teachers, and its addictive ginger-andhoney tea is worth flying for alone (you can get the recipe, but it's simply not the same back at home). Hopes are high. >-

GREAT ESCAPE

BEST BEACHY BOOT CAMP Miami's Canyon Ranch (www.canyon ranch.com) is the seaside sister of Arizona's famous destination spa. It may not look that enticing, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in substance. Come to be massaged and wrapped, but also healed and di agnosed, with foodsensitivity tests, reflexology sessions, oxygen facials, acupuncture, nutritional consultations and energy work. Then head to the gym, where an exercise physiologist will pinch your fat bits (for real), stick you on a treadmill and create a personalised plan for a tauter, tighter you. Workshops range from Chinese medicine tongue diagnosis to improving your posture. The sunrise yoga is lovely, then there's Zumba, cycling circuits, Buff Ballet Booty sessions, Pilates and salsa - you could spend all day bouncing from class to class (so don't come if you're exhausted). The food is very health-conscious - menus don't just list calories, but also break down dishes into fat, carb and sodium content. And, unlike in Arizona, biodynamic alcohol is on offer, so if all the healthy living gets too much you can let loose, gently. A great bolthole - come as winter kicks in to reboot in the sunshine. SERIOUS TURNAROUND Known as the Harvard of Good H ealth, the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa(www.pritikin.com), founded in the 1970s and wi th outposts in LA, preaches a lifestyle-change programme that has been closely studied by the scientific community for its phenomenal results. For people with diabetes, heart

There are more than 100 classes a week in three locations (Miami Beach, South Beach and Midtown), where confident, di rectional teachers offer the latest trends, from hatha and ashtanga to specific workshops aimed at detoxing your body, conditioning your abs and aligning your spine. You can also do Pilates or send your kids along to try the basics.

disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight issues (in other words, anything to do with your ticker), this is a one-stop health centre with an incredible medical pedigree.

NEW FITNESS BUZZ Surfset (www.surfset.com) is Miami's latest active addiction . With a circuitstyle workout using weighted sandbags and a training machine designed to mimic the feel of surfing on the ocean, classes have recently launched at fitness hotspot Crunch . Led by Victoria Fernans-Moore (she has taught Madonna, Cindy Crawford and Donatella Versace), exercises are followed on and off the board, and are designed to give you that ultra-lean, super-toned surfer's body you thought was impossible. WILD WORKOUTS Drip sweat with an ear-busting, highoctane spinning class at Flywheel (florida. ft ywheelsports.com). Numerous sessions are held throughout the day and they give you shoes at the door to fit the speciality bikes. Fitness fans are also flocking to the newest class, FlyBarre, a fusion of core, circuit training, dance and strengthening (it's seriously hard work, but designed to tone all over). Top tip: if you're staying at The Standard, ask Flywheel to deliver a bike to you and se t up a private session. Exercise junkies should also try another exciting a rrival in the city: the >-

CRAZIEST SPA TREATMENT Book in with George at the Biltmore hotel (www.biltmorehotel.com) for the FST (fascial-stretching therapy - fascia!, relating to fascia, the connective tissue between joints). Being tied down with giant elastic bands may not be everyone 's cup of tea, but this is the ultima te in body stretching without effort. You'll grow a n inch. TOP YOGA CLASS The Green Monkey (www.greenmonkey. com) is the place to 'ommm': pack your best yoga clothes and join the 6am start.

BEAUTY PARADE
Pluck off and dye: if you really want to look like you belong in Miami, here's the best hits for your bits
BEST BROWS
Queen of face framing, Natalia at Brow Rehab (www.browrehab.com) is happy to wax, thread, tweeze and dye until she is satisfied with the arch, colour and exact shape of your brows. She is t he freaky perfectionist you should seek out when it comes to t he art of the tweeze. 'I am not a fac t ory: brows are an art form for me,' she says.

BEST WAXING
You need to be beachbody ready in Miami. W hatever you do, do not go hairy. V isit the South Beach Body Waxing Co (www.sobewax .com), where they will tackle everything from your face to your feet (and all the bits in between) . It's as popular with men as it is with women, which t ells you somet hing about the M iami male.

BEST FALSE EYELASHES
Former acupuncture practitioner turned eyelash expert Alexandra Briand is obsessed with naturallooking perfection. Sessions at Sultry Eyes Lash Studio (www. sultryeyeslashstudio.com) start with an in-depth analysis of your eyes and last a m inimum of two hours, with up to 200 lashes matched and then glued to each eye to enhance and extend.

BEST HAIR COLOUR
Small but perfectly formed hairdressing outfit 7 Salon (www. 7salonmiami.com) is a local secret when it comes to modern hair- colouring t rends. W ith an excellent team of stylists, t he salon specialises in faceflatteri ng shades and will take care of any request, from soft, buttery highlight s t o a full- on colour change.

BEST BLOWDRY
Miami's hot new hair place, B Dry Blowdry Bar (www.bdryblowbar. com) is so popular t here are queues to get in. This is where the city's party crowd go to get all big and bou ncy for the weekend. Individual iPads showcase a menu of styles (B Sleek, B Glam, B Chic, B Beachy, B Lavish), and a flat $35 fee covers all. The last appointment is at l lpm - handy.

60 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

Clo<kwise from top left: Marbella Club's dynamic seawater paol; massage overlooking the Mediterranean; Marbella Club's Thalasso Shitao massage with hot stones

science

LO

a wide range of treatments, using

p ure seawater sourced from a depth of three 111etres,

an d then filtered and purified naturall); unlike other
spas in the region.

The signature fea ture at the MarbeU a Club Thalasso Spa is the d~1rnm ic seawater pool. Soothingly heated to body temperature, guests enjoy powerful massage jets to the neck, shoulders, back and legs, to comp letely rehLx and prep are for further treatments. Spa Director Magdalena Szaszkiewicz has drawn on years of
expertise, to offer ta ilor-made exper iences to guests,

like the purifying and deep-cleansing algae and mud wraps, or the Shaping Body M assage, which helps define swimsuit contours perfectly. T he Marbella C lub T halasso Spa supplemen ts these treatments with the use of luxu1ious skincare b rands, like the tradition ally Eastern M01jmrn, with its n atural Berb er ingredients, harvested from N011h Africa and rich in tl1e Argan Oil, and T H AL' ION n iarinc cosmetics, fu ll of aJgac's powerful active ingredien ts. Witl1 12 state-of-the-a11 treatment rooms, stearn baths, a sauna and a stunn ing hammam , the Marbella Club Thalasso Spa was named winner at T he World Luxury Spa Award s for Best Luxury Resort Spa in Spain in 2012. Feeling relaxed and recharged, guests can enjoy the historic charm and famous faces of the Marbella Club H otel. Active individuals have access to a host of facilities, fro m the golf cou rse to eq uestrian centre, while a short stroll b1ings guests to chic Puerto Ba nus, via a p alm-lined beachfront promenade. When the gorgeous sunshine can be relied on year round , complete relaxation is guaran teed. For more information, c all +34 95 282 2211 or visit marbellaclubspa.com

The Marbella Club lets you enjoy a holiday in the beautiful sunshine whilst indulging in the most fantastic treatments at its Thalasso Spa

T

halassotherap); from the Greek word mean ing 'sea', uses the rejuvenating and healing p roperties of seawater to improve health and vitalit)'. At the Marbella Club Thalasso Spa, the un iquely situated centre has the bountiful Mediterranean on its doorstep to offer you the most exclusive and extensive progra111111e of experiences.

rnALASSOHlrnAPY
First developed in 1899, Thalassotherapy is based on the principle that seawater an d blood plasma have the same mineral con tent and that toxins released from the body in a range of treat111ents can then be replaced by beneficial 111arine 111inerals. T he Marbella Club Thalasso Spa harnesses this philosophy and applies the

~IRST D[V[LOPrn IN 1899. n.IALASSOn.lrnAPV IS BASrn ON n.I[ PRINCIPL[ n.IAT S[AWATrn AND BLOOD PLASMA ~AV[ n.I[ SAM[ MINrnAL CONTrnT. n.I[ MARB[LLA CLUB n.IALASSO SPA ~ARN[SS[S n.llS P~ILOSOP~V

GREAT ESCAPE

>- official ballet-barre workout, The Bar Method (miami.barmethod.com), which combines yoga, dance, Pilates and strength training - nothing is left unstretched.

to rev up your metabolism and hangover cures. Containing only raw, organic ingredients, every juice is enzyme-packed and burstin g with fruits and veggies.

GIRL POWER
If the Spice Girls and Cyndi Lauper opened a gym, this is what it would look like. Iron Flower (www.ironftowerfitness miami.com) mixes crystal chandeliers, pink packaging and a baroque design with a bewildering range of fitness classes designed to celebrate the fema le form. Exotic offerings include pole dancing, belly samba (combining belly dancing and samba with Bollywood and Polynesian dance), cheer fit (cheerleading) and popstars (routines inspired by performers such as Britney Spears). There's also a creche for children aged three years and up.

WHERETO EAT
Miami is dotted with organic cafes serving protein shakes and egg-white omelettes, as well as the latest Asian-fusion sensations. Run by South African chef Micah E delstein, NeMesis Urban Bistro (www. nemesisbistro.com) is of particular note - it is th e ultimate in innovative, healthy-eating theatre, with dishes such as kangaroo carpaccio and chamomile-horseradish-glazed salmon. You haven't experi enced Miami until you've been to Joe's (www. joesstonecrab.com), serving the same chilled stone crab and delicious mustard sauce dishes that Joe and his wife, Jennie, fi rst created in the early 1900s. Perfect for those on a high-protein programme, such as the South Beach diet. For nutrient-dense lunches, Whole Foods Market on Alton Road has soup, salad and sushi bars - and who can resist seeing all the latest food ie fads? Vegan popcorn, brown-rice tortillas, seaweeds, goji-berry powder and yacon syrup, a natura l sweetener straight from the Amazon (it tastes li ke melon). Health nuts should also check out popular hole-in-the-wall My Ceviche on Washington Avenue. Ceviche is the new sushi: raw seafood cooked with citrus instead of heat - the ultimate skinnymaking m eal. Go for the fish taco fo r the best fu ll flavour. And Jimmy'Z Kitchen (www.jimmyzkitchen.com) is the South Beach equivalent of fast food. Try the mouthwatering ahi tuna special perfect post-workout.

NAME TO KNOW
For more than 18 years Dr Etti Ben-Zion (www.dretti.com) has been transforming eating regimes (her pore less, porcelain skin and bright eyes say it all). The programmes involve a daily combination of juicing, colonic irrigation ('cleansing is a waste of time without colonies,' she says), martial arts and workshops teaching everything fro m sprouti ng (germinating seeds to eat) to why you should choose alkaline ingredients. Her new Wellness Centre and Miami Martial Arts Academy has yoga and t'ai chi classes, as well as boot camps including Bride-to-Be (for slimming), Superman (to lose fat and gain muscle) and First Wives Club (for 'revenge '). You can also order seven-day fat-burning meal plans. It's so easy when someone else does the hard work fo r you.

MIRACLE THERAPY
She's ridiculously pretty and glamorous, and if you can forgive her this then lifecoach Kelley Kosow (www.kelleykosow.com) is a powerhouse. Smart, slightly neurotic locals can't stop chattering about how she has transformed their lives. She is incredibly inspiring and seems to have the experience, empathy and energy to encourage you to take those first small steps of change towards th e life you crave. She's particularly good with big dilemmas and can do coaching over the phone as well as in person.

politicians and British royalty (she's not saying who). 'The trend fo r over-volumisation is done. My clients want to look better, not di fferent.' Hands, elbows and knees are new areas being focused on here in Miami. Stay perky with Dr Leonard Roudner (www.drlenny.com), affectionately known as Dr Boobner and be lieved to have performed more breast augmentations than any other doctor in the US. Another boost? He's half the price of a New York- or LA-based surgeon. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Leslie Baumann (www.skintypeso lutions.com) may have a sweet, unassuming manner, but she offers the latest knowledge on the best therapies, injectables and lasers. She scientifically determines your exact sk in type (e.g. DSPT - dry, sensitive, pigmented, tight) and recommends solutions. You might not think of heading to Miami for eye surgery, but the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (www.bascompalmer. org; fro m about £1,655 per eye) is the place to go if you're considering laser treatment. Senior ophthalmologist Professor Carol L Karp specialises in LASIK eye surgery for people with pronounced astigmatism and mono vision. U sing local anaesthetic, the process takes just 10 minutes per eye, and despite a little discomfort (your eyes feel dry and a bit scratchy) once the medication wears off, your vision is incredible. Even Moorfields doesn't yet have the advanced laser offered here.

HEALTHIEST SNACK
Certifi ed nutritionist and Miami resident Ginny Simon (www.ginnybakes.com) makes delicious can't-stop cookies and bars that are so healthy you fee l instantly better just by eating o ne. Packed with nuts, seeds, coconut and fruit, they're vegan, organic and glute n-free. You can buy them at branches of Whole Foods throughout the city. Stock up to take home: they're gooey, chewy and wholesome. 0

JUICIEST BAR MEDICAL SECRETS
Dr Diane Walder (www.dianewaldermd. com) is Miami's skincare queen. Practising longer than most other dermatologists in the city (28 years), she specialises in barely
62 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

Miami Beach's newest and coolest juice bar Jugofresh (www.jugofresh.com) serves more than 40 different combinations, including Tummy Tonic, Blood Transfusion and Supa Dupa Vert. Th ere are also shots

HOW TO GETTHERE
Healing Holidays ( +44 20 7843 3592; www.healingholidays.co. uk/condenast) offers five nights at The Setai from £2,369, per person including fligh ts and transfers.

A spa retreat is o nly as good as the view you enjoy

and therapies conclude with inspiring ocean vistas and
waterfront Kyma, or 'wave' suites, showcasing the

gentle life of the harbour from cancllelit rooflop terraces. Whether guests check in to traditional Anassa or hip Ahn)r d, no one ta kes holistic restoration of bod,· and mind more seriously than Thanos. For more informa tion, visit thanoshotels-com

rn~

YOUNG

ON~S

Meanwhile, Anassa has furth er strengthened its family-fiienclly credentials by creating a new activitiprogrammc for you nge r gue sts so that parents can e njoy

guilt-free pampering, knowing they are in the best care. T he unique spa facilities arc supple111ented by farrnfrcsh produce at the rcson's restaurants, ensuring tJ1at

T

he fa111ily-run hotel group Thanos, on the impossibly beautiful island of Cyprus, has transformed its spa facilities for 2013. Comprising of three impeccable luxury resorts, there is so111ething for every visitor searching for relaxation and rejuvenation on the healing shores of the ~ lediterranean. T he majestic Anassa five-star h otel and resort, scl amid oulSland ing natural beaut~; exudes the cha rm of a traditional C)1>1 ·iot '~Hage, while offering the very best in Thalassotherap); ba~ed on the beneficial properties of the seawater at its ed ge. Complementing the Ro111an-style health retreat, the premium Qo\llS Medicosmetic collection of skincare and treatments, O sea and Organic Phan nac); can be enjoyed b,· guests.

treatme nts receive nu tritio11al support at mealtiines.

Book and receive 100 Euro s pa cre d it and room upgrad e per booking. Valid for bookings made before 30June 2013. Terms and conditions apply.

At sister Thanos hotel, Almyra, the setting for a
spa re treat

is chic and contemporary, creatin g a Zen

calm in which lo escape. Recently voted ' Favourite Spa in Cyprus' by pa Finder readers, there are six treat111ent rooms and three spa suites, oflering organic and marine-based therapies, and Vicll\· showers, together with an indoor pool, outdoor infinity pool,
yoga deck, sauna and steam roo1n . Guests he re ,,;u

also be able to enjoy the Qo\IS M edicosmerics' pio neering collagen-enhancing technologi; including a signature Almymspa kin Fitness Facial, which uses an in11ovettivt: activ· ation lcch11ique to refuel L he skin, take
away wrinkle s and restore a youthful complexion.

Along with products fro111Just Pure and Osea.

AM NC
Let Thailand be a calming influence on your stressed-out soul.. .

... AT

C~IVA-SOM

\ Videly regarded as d1e best destination spa in the world and wid1 a well-d eserved reputation for innovation, the serene Chiva-Som is set on a Jovel); lo ng, firm beach at d1e royal resort of Hua Hin. With an impressive range of international consultants throughout the year and a breadth of wellness programmes that's hard Lo beat, it's the regular cho ice of retreat for men and women who want lo turn arou nd their health a nd wellbeing. There are special reu-cats to help you with everything from your sleep or back pain to stress
managem ent and de toxing - C hiva-Som therapists arc especially expe rt at colonies and the Thai

abdom inal massage, Ch i Nci Tsang. For pampering, delicious Chiva-Som facials and cocoons use toxin-free products that blend professional-grade aromad1erap); plant extracts and organ ic oils (you can now buy d1em to use at home at Liberty London).

ftlD £5,015 per pelDl abariac b a ~trmeat, indudingfligbu, ~ wxx:nmvidation in a Thai PaviioG room, filll board and ltlcacd Q'taCmtll1I with Healing Holiday&. .Boot a ~night rdreal db double occupancy and receive an additional cub credit or nm 5,000+ per penoD per llllJ a Chiva-som Heallhy Gil\ Set and a complimenwy private medi1ation, T'ai Chi lleSllion or Thai tor ClDe penDll (o8'er ii valid &om l Miry to so September 2013).

Herbal--.

~VELLER

A D VERT ISEMEN T FE ATURE

... AT KAMALAVA
T his lush a nd lovely holistic spa is a wonderful place Lo de-su= it's sel beside a private lagoon at the quiet end of Koh Samui, a nd strewn with granite boulders and tropical plants. Villas arc contemporary and spacious, decorated with Asi<rn textiles and art, and the glorious hilltop spa offers detox, stress and burno ut, weight loss, fitness and yoga programmes to help you re ne w. Replenish your energy with the Relax & Renew programme, which includes I ndian Head Massage, Asian fool Massage a n d a Lotus Scrub and Wrap, while the Asian Bliss progran11ne combines Ayurveda, Chinese medicine and Thai therapies to help you achieve a more balanced ap proach to life and relieve stress. Alte rnatively, crea te your own bespoke expe rie nce in consultation \vith a naturopath.
~m 0 .9f>O per penon sharing ro:r a seven-night Relax & Renew programme, including .flights, transfers, 11ooommodation in a Hillside room, full board, a v.-ellnw gift paclt and se.leoted tteaimenlll with Hellling Holidiys. Book a seven-night R.cWt & Renew or kivi Bliss programme lllld TtOCive a oomplimcntary spa

voucher worth ,Cl50, wiy check-in/late checl:-out Md complimentary roon.1 upgrade (offer ls val.id fu»n I June 2013 to 31May2014 and subject to availability).

... AT ABSOLUT~ SANCTUARY
This stunning, Moroccan-inspired bou Lique retreat on Koh Samui isn't just a n island paradise it also offers life-ch anging wellness p rogra m m es to help you ma ke healthy cha nges Lo last a lifetime. For a n easy way to feel and look good, the Rej uvenation programmes offer oodles of tempting massages, facial and body treatments and group yoga and fi tness classes designed to help you refresh < md recharge.
I f it's c a lm a n d n·a n sfor mation you're
aftc1~

the re's lots of g reat yoga on

off c1~

from ret reats aimed at both

beginners a nd d edicated practitioners, to workshops conducted by world-renowned yogis. for a total health overh aul, pick a De tox prog ramme tailo red to meet vour ta stes and n eeds - each includes da ily colon hydrotherap); nuLritional supplem ents, special massages a nd yoga exercises that ha ve been sp ecially d esign ed Lo help cleanse you inside and out.

:From p ,020 per pe:rson sharing for ~:ht nights, including .Rights, tranSl'en, acoommodation in a Superior Pool Vie:w room, 1.mlim.ited yoga clwes, a massage, all meals, group clwcs and use of the hcilities with Healing Holidays. Book and receive a complimentary welcome ritual mwage.

Heal1ng ~ H~ rlri~s

THAIL~~ D
To book any of these o ffe r s, contact H e aling Holidays (020 7843 3592; h e alingh o lidays.co. uk/conde nast) and quote 'Con de Nast Traveller'. Terms a nd conditions and date restrictions apply to all offe rs.

a

7 /'," a7 ...n

Always Amtl.{es You

SPA GUIDE INDEX
AUSTRIA
MAYR & MORE LAKE WORT H ERSEE 15 PARKHOTEL IGLS INNSBR U C K 16 HOTEL PIRCHNER HOF TYROL 16 VIVA MAYR LAKE WORTHERSEE 18

PORTUGAL
LONGEVITY WELLNESS RESORT A LGARVE 26 VI LALARA TH A LASSA RESORT ALGARVE 6

SPAIN
FITSCAPE AN DA LUCIA 36

CAMBODIA
ESCAPETOSHAPE S IE M REAP 36

VILLA PADIERNA PALACE HOTEL MAR BELLA 26 VITAL ENERGY RETREAT IBIZA 24

CARIBBEAN
CARLISLE BAY ANTIG U A 48 GOLDENEYE JA M AICA 44

SWITZERLAND
GRANDRESORTBADRAGAZ BADRAGAZ 8 LARESERVE GENEVA 27

COSTA RICA
FLORBLANCA SAN TA TERESA 35

THAILAND
ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY KO H SA MU i 13 CHIVA-SOM H U A HIN 8

GERMANY
CLINIC BUCHINGERWILHELMI LAKE CONSTANCE 14 PARKSCHLOSSCHEN TRABEN-TRARBACH 15

KAMALA YA KOH SAMUi 9 SIX SENSES YAO NOi P H ANG NGA 34

TURKEY INDIA
360° LETI HIMALAYAS 35 VI VANTA BY TAJ - BEKAL KERALA 50 D-HOTEL MARIS M AR M ARIS 45

UAE
BANYAN TREE AL WADI ABU D HABI 50

INDONESIA
COMO SHAMBHA LA ESTATE BALI 7

ONE&ONLYTHE PALM DUBA I 46

UK ITALY
ESPACE HENRI CHENOT M ERA NO 28 LEFAY LAKE GARDA 10 Tl SANA LOMBARDY 18 VERDURAGOLF & SPA RESORT SICILY 23 CALCOT MANOR GLOUCES TERS H IRE 27 ESPA LIFEATTHE CORINTH IA LONDON 28 GLENEAGLES SCOTLAND 10 GRAYS HOTT SPA S U RREY 5 LIME WOOD BOOT CAM P HAMPSHIRE 38 THE RAW RETREAT CORNWALL 14

KENYA
WILDFITNESS WATAM U 33

THESCARLETHOTEL CORNWALL 46 S HO OKABOOTCAMP DEVON 34 SIMPLY H EALING DETOX RETREAT WES T S U SSEX 9

MALDIVES
CONSTANCE HALAVELI RESORT NORTH ARI ATOLL 25 FOUR SEASONS RESORT MALDIVES AT LANDAA GIRAAVARU BAAATOLL 43

USA
THE AS H RAM CALI FORNIA 38 ACQUALINA, THE DELANO, MANDARIN ORIENTAL, THESETAI &THE STANDARD MIA M I 6 1

MAURITIUS
SHA NTI MAURICE C H EMIN -GRENIER 45

SPA REVIEW CONTRIBUTORS
Connie A lfrey, Lydia Bell, Ondi ne Cohane, Britt Coll ins, Harriet Compston, Fio na D uncan, Al ex Gorton, Edwina lngs Chambers, Rachel Johnson, Lucy M il lier, Gabrie l O'Rorke, Anna Pasternak, Caro line Phi ll ips, H elen Pickles, Adrianne Pielou , Lucia van d er Post, Caroline Sylger Jones

66 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

/.1 o/.1hit1t.\/I, Pi/rites r111d Orinttfllfrtrifll mrtssttf!J' Su111r111 :1 hy/Jrid fflrifll trmtmm! 1r1s hem f'l'Nttr:d to rtrL'rthn a11d

THEA DARRI001TE uncovers your world

Dr Michael Prager is o ne of Europe's most skilled p ract itioners of cosmet ic medicine and h is latest facial, The llluminator is needle free and uses a com binatio n of a m ild -peel, electronic pulses a nd a hyd rating mask to g ive you b righter, smoothe r a nd more youthfu l skin. £290, drmichaelprager.com

NUDE

SO NEAR, SO ESPA Wa nt to bring the spa to you? For a little at -ho me zen, ESPA's Soothing Candle w ill fill you r room w ith the divinely relaxing scents of sandalwood, ylang ylang, lavender and patchou li. To complete t he experience, apply o ne of their face-masks (we love t heir Calm & Soothe Mask) for that post-spa skin glow. espaonline .com, £21

0

SPA CONFIDENTIAL

EMMA STONE
The star of Crazy, Stupid Love and Th e Amazing Spider-Man has no flies in her ointm e nt
WHAT'S YOUR KIND OF SPA HIT? I'm a huge fan of day spas. When I'm in Hollywood I'll swing by the Argyle Salon & Spa in Sunset Tower, for either a massage or a facial, and in New York I always visit Bliss Spa - it's kooky and fun, all the treatments have weird names and the printed floor tiles in the bathroom look like grass. EVERTRIEDA DETOX? No way. Everybody on them must be in the worst mood. All these angry, hungry women sitting around crying. That doesn't sound like a vacation to me. HOW ABOUT A BOOT CAMP? I'm just not into someone SIGHT-SEEING OR SUN-LOUNGER? That totally depends on my frame of mind. If I've been working in the city for a Jong tim e then seeing the sea is exactly what T need. WHAT'S YOUR SKIN-CARE REGIME? I'm pretty slutty with products. At the moment I'm obsessed with using oils on my face - o live oil, rapeseed oil, argan oil... WHAT'S IN YOUR MAKE-UP BAG? I have very blonde eyelashes so

yelling in my face. I hate running and any kind of military-style enforced exercise.

Lipstick wouldn't stay on my lips long - I'm always drinking ceffee or water or tequila straight from the bottle

I always use a mascara, then a light founda ti on. I like the R evlon Nearly Naked one because it has SPF (which saves me a step) and it's so light you can see my freckles. I only wear lipstick if I'm going out. If I wore it day-to-day I would look like a total idiot.

DO YOU WORK OUT AT ALL? Under no circumstances do I want to li ft a metal weight over my head but when I do get into a regime, which isn't that often, then I do Pilates, which makes me feel li ke I've joined the circus. DO YOU DIET? I'm just straight up and down - I've got the body of a 10-year-old boy. But I do eat a fair amount and growing up, Twas li ke, 'Please let me grow some kind of curvature!' T hope at some point I will get a more womanly figure.
68 Spa Special Ju ne 2013

WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS PACK? Sunscreen. My mother taught me to forever wear sunscreen. I got my paleness from her and she knows all about sun-dodging. I swear by EltaMD - it comes in a really high SPF, and feels great on my skin. WHEN DID YOU START WEARING MAKE-UP?

When I was 11. I was doing a lot of theatre and we had to do our own make-up before each show. Inevitably it got completely out of control - all my characters ended up with false eyelashes and head-to-toe glitter. But that's what happens when you give a kid free rein. ALICE WALKER

C)

TAJ
GROUP

THINK.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REBORN?
In the course of a few hours. travel back in time. Discover magical Indian traditions of wellness and beauty. And learn that the secret to it all lies within you. Awaken your inner force with experiences to rejuvenate the body and mind.

Call it the salve for the 21st century. Call it a journey into you.

JIVA

FORJIVA SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES, AYURVEDAJOURNEYS AND YOGA RETREATS. PLEASE CONTACT JIVA SPA AT SELECT TAJ HOTELS: Bangalore. Bekal. Chennai. Cochin. Coorg. Goa. Gurgaon. Gwalior. Hyderabad. Jaipur. Jodhpur. Kovalam. Mumbai. Udaipur. Varanasi. Bhutan. Cape Town. Maldives. Sri Lanka. Email: spa.division@tajhotels.com www.tajhotels.com/jlvaspas
A TATA ErarpriM

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