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MARCH 2017

MALDIVES: THE BEST NEW hotels

AUSTRALIAS TOP
RESTAURANTS
THE SMARTEST PLACES TO STAY

PARIS
THE HIPPEST CITY IN
SOUTH AMERICA

Where to go this yeaR: the hottest destinations


Escale Time Zone.
louisvuitton.com
CONTENTSMARCH 2017

FEATURES
70 MALDIVES
Shes the feet-in-the-sand, sunshine
queen, but hasnt been resting on
her laurels. We cover her new hotels

82 LA PAZ
Why Bolivias capital is suddenly
beaming brighter than its big-brother
cities across South America

92 AUSTRALIA
Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane:
which one takes the foodie crown?

102 KLOSTERS
Unlike other glitzy Alpine enclaves,
this old-school Swiss village doesnt
let anything distract from the skiing

112 FASHION
Get splash-happy in this seasons
big and bold paintbox looks
(ISSEYMIYAKE LONDON.COM). OKINAWA BIKINI TOP (JUST SEEN), 162, PRISM (PRISMLONDON.
COM). TIGHTS, 3.99, GIPSY (UKTIGHTS.COM). JELLY SHOES, 26, JUJU (JUJUFOOTWEAR.COM)
SIMONE ROCHA (SIMONEROCHA.COM). PLEATED SHORTS, 175, IKKO TANAKA ISSEY MIYAKE
PHOTOGRAPH: ENRIQUE BADULESCU. BRODERIE ANGLAISE TOP, 750,

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 5


CHANEL.COM
perfection in motion
NEW LE TEINT ULTRA TENUE
ULTRAWEAR FLAWLESS FOUNDATION
CONTENTS MARCH 2017
32

37 54
124 IN THIS ISSUE
10 EDITORS LETTER 122 GLOBETROTTER
Musical model Karen Elson
12 CONTRIBUTORS
124 IN BRITAIN Going on the
17 WORD OF MOUTH The places razzle-dazzle in Liverpool
and people creating a stir around
the world, from Bavaria to Manila 131 FLAVOUR HUNTER Table
to book Bangkoks sweet tooth.
28 WAY OF LIFE Take garden leave World on a plate Pistachio. Eat
in the charming South African the street Reykjavik. Moveable
farmhouse of a green-ngered chef feast David Muoz. Taste buzz
New caffeine xes. Sip trip Arrack
32 ROAD TRIP Southern Bali on a
custom-made MM14 motorbike 157 EVENTS Coming up Have
brunch with petrolhead Charley
37 WHERE TO STAY Round-up Boorman, and join a St Patricks
The loveliest new hotels in Day feast. The lowdown A

60 Paris. Bed-hopping with Gillian


Anderson. The Weekender The
Mash Inn, Buckinghamshire
Jamaican spice-fest in London;
adventurous tales from Ray
Mears and John Blashford-Snell
PHOTOGRAPHS: CARLES CARABI; LAURA EDWARDS; VIVI SPACO

50 SNAPSHOT Architects nd 180 THE VIEW FROM HERE


strength in all-natural bamboo Seascape, New Zealand

53 STYLE FILE Shopping in So


Paulo. Beauty with Olivia Wilde.
Tel Aviv tips from Israels hottest
designer, and more. Jewellery
Shoot for the stars. Mens High-
ON THE COVER speed spear-shing in the Gulf
The St Regis Maldives of Mexico, plus a postcard from
Vommuli Resort Warsaw. Hotel on the scene
Photographed by Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai
Jenny Zarins
69 TRENDWATCH Ready for some
fresh thinking? Discover the urban
retreats that will feed your brain
138
8 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017
EDITORS LETTER

There is nothing like a train. Despite my husbands last-ditch attempts to book


EasyJet ights to Scotland, we have made it to the sleeper. The sleeper train of
dreams. And I could not be happier. My desire to travel this way directly corre-
sponds to the state of my everyday life. The faster, noisier and more furious my
schedule, the more I yearn for the less fast, less furious and less noisy clattering of
the 9.15 to Dunkeld & Birnam.
What is it about trains? While the Scottish connection has a potent cloud of
glamour about it, the railway journey I took from South Africa to Zambia on Rovos
Rail for the 2001 lunar eclipse was arguably more sensational. That train had been taken over pri-
vately for the occasion by a friend of my family, a brilliant, charming aesthete who has his own opium
den and drives a vintage Armstrong Siddeley limousine around Uruguay. Indeed, my whole family
was on this train. And the journey happened to take place the week before I got married.
My husband likes to remind me how he swiped at my dad during one of our incessant rows and
how my father said he wouldnt walk me down the aisle. This I have no memory of. In my head, all
the trips I have ever taken are remembered as a kind of celestial snowglobe of suspended-sequin,
catch-the-light brilliance. It could be my superpower.
The only other time we took the sleeper was to stay with the same friends we are going to see now.
We arrived in the Highlands at dawn to nd a battered Land Rover in the car park. The key was
hidden on a front wheel, although the windscreen was missing, and the headlights werent working.
So we put the provided rugs on our knees, turned on the torches and drove through falling snow to
our friends bothy, wild and woolly up a long and winding track. It was a time of puzzling and skin-
ning rabbits and red wine and mud and the The Vicar of Dibley and barbecue picnics in storms in
ruins. The almost continual horizontal sleet seemed to clean us of the stench of our precious urban
habits. It was the perfect, joyful retort to our silly runaround lives. It felt like medicine.
So have I over-romanticised the sleeper, as is my wont? No! The night is misty as we set off thick
as socks the train station bustling and body-busy. We thread our way to the platform where we nd
our cabins and our bunks, and those crisp laundered sheets just as I remember them! with a certain
dry crispness that is endlessly comforting. There is a pack on each bed containing an eye mask,
earplugs and a small square of soap. The ticket inspector who wears such a lovely jacket I instinc-
tively run my hand over his lapel, both to his surprise and to my mine is entirely accommodating
and the size of a giant Edam cheese. He takes our breakfast orders for hot chocolate and biscuits. The
dining car is full of chatter and clinking glasses, and as we set off, the train rocks to and fro rattling like
a kitchen alive with pots and pans. We are on the move! And adventures tobogganing through bogs,
reeling through the night, giant games of kick the can, and mud, endless mud await.

This is the new issue of Cond Nast Traveller. For those who know there is nothing like a train.

MELINDA STEVENS
EDITOR

MelindaLP

PPA COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR 2016


All information and travel details are correct at the time of going to press and may no longer be so on the date of publication.
Unless otherwise stated, hotel prices are low-season rates and restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for two without drinks

10 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


CONTRIBUTORS
THIS MONTH, WE ASK OUR WILY WANDERERS TO RECALL THE BEST CUP OF COFFEE THEYVE EVER HAD

Jenny Zarins Photographer, Klosters (p102) Chris Moss Writer, La Paz (p82)
It was a simple lter coffee out of a ask, with a cheese sandwich, My most memorable cup was probably in Antigua Guatemala,
at the end of a beautiful kayak trip in a Swedish archipelago a served by a bearded Beat poet his roasts were pungent and
few years ago. Close second would be an espresso pretty much almost trippy. It was the late 1990s. The bar has now gone.
anywhere in Italy. Jennys latest project is a book for Londons A frequent visitor to South America, Chris lived in Buenos Aires
The Ivy restaurant, Ivy Now, out this summer for 10 years and is the author of Patagonia: A Cultural History

Tom Parker Bowles Writer, Australia (p92) Laura Edwards Photographer, Liverpool (p124)
The Azzurro bar at Naples airport does a wonderful ristretto Paris has not always had a great coffee reputation, but recently
short, sharp and intense. Its the rst taste of this magnicent you can sniff out a very good cup in the 10th by Canal St Martin.
city, and a ritual to be worshipped every time I arrive. Restaurant A friend took me to a tiny place called Ten Belles where they
critic Tom has written six books about food. His most recent, The make the perfect noisette. London-based Laura has shot in
Cook Book: Fortnum and Mason, is out now locations from the Basque Country to Kenyas tea plantations

PHOTOGRAPH: GERAINT LEWIS/ALMAY

Enrique Badulescu Photographer, Tulum Fashion (p112) Jacques Erasmus Prole, Way of Life, South Africa (p28)
The nest coffee beans in the world come from Chiapas in It has to be the rst brew we made on the opening morning of
southern Mexico, and the best cup Ive ever had was in San my restaurant Hemelhuijs in Cape Town, served in handmade
Cristbal de las Casas in the highlands there. Enrique was born Basalt cups. The anticipation and excitement was tempered by
in Mexico City to a Romanian photographer father and Mexican the aroma and avour of the perfect cappuccino. South African
mother. A regular visitor to Tulum, he lives in New York City Jacques is an interior designer, chef and artist

12 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


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Meet Milaidhoo,
a new chapter in luxury
Welcome to Milaidhoo Maldives. Our boutique island retreat in
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WORD OF MOUTH ALL THATS NEW AND GROUND-BREAKING IN TRAVEL
EDITED BY IANTHE BUTT
PHOTOGRAPH: FRESHLY BLOOMED 2015, ELLEN VON UNWERTH

HOME-COMING QUEEN
THE FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER IN LOVE WITH THE COQUETTISH GOES BACK TO HER BAVARIAN ROOTS
Known for her oozy erotic style, Ellen von Unwerth has shot the likes of Rihanna, Beyonc, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer. But the
fashion photographers formative years were spent in Germanys super-traditional Bavaria region, where she moved at the age of 10 to live
with foster parents. Ive been fascinated by Bavaria since I was little, she says. How people live, how they work, how they have fun, how they
enjoy their festivities. In her new book Heimat the German word refers to a deep-rooted fondness and sense of belonging associated with
a place she plays up to the idea of Bavaria as a rural idyll, a view held in the imaginations of travellers since they began arriving here from the
mid-18th century. Her vision of her homeland is an Oberbayern still populated with old-world, dirndl-wearing girls clunking steins at the
Theresienwiese Oktoberfest in Munich, munching pretzels at a gasthof in Mittenwald, riding horses, playing accordions, and messing around in
vintage bikinis on Lake Ferchensee. Under her nostalgic gaze, the regions rivers, forests and sleepy villages are riotously technicoloured.
It often feels like the world is unchanged in Bavaria, von Unwerth says. The mountains, the way of living these are heart-warming things.
Heimat (Taschen, POA) by Ellen von Unwerth is out on 15 February; taschen.com

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 17


WORD OF MOUTH

chow down
New Japanese-style restaurant
Ooma is the latest launch from the hip
Moment Group. Moment is also
behind showstopper Mecha Uma,
which appears on the Diners Club
Worlds 50 Best Restaurants list thanks
to dishes such as delicate oysters with
Hokkaido sea urchin. At Peruvian joint
Samba, Cusco-born chef Carlo Huerta
Echegaray serves up coconut- and
citrus-packed avours, including killer

Bottle it
get up, start up moqueca de camaro (spicy seafood
chowder) amid the tropical decor.
Like many great cocktails, Bonifacios ONCE KNOWN AS A STRAIT-LACED BUSINESS For juicy burgers and micro-brewed
nest are found behind an unexpected soda, head to super-cool Raging Bull
DISTRICT, MANILAS BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY IS NOW Burgers at the Shangri-La hotel.
door. Step through the store room of a
7-Eleven inside the towering RCBC THE SHARPEST BLOCK IN THE FILIPINO CAPITAL shangri-la.com; momentgroup.ph
building and enter the dimly lit Bank Bar,
a cosy speakeasy with polished concrete
walls and a gleaming copper counter. Best
on the cocktail list is the Another Club with
pistachio gin. Meanwhile, for pared-
back Scandi style with hanging baskets,
reclaimed wooden furniture and an
indoor tree, try the BGC branch of the
Wholesome Table for kale, ginger and
beetroot juices as well as baked clams with
watermelon and feta salad. momentgroup.
ph/bank-bar; thewholesometable.com

Change of art
Graffiti artists scrawling on the walls,
happening hub dancers pirouetting down hallways,
The new hotel base for tech entrepreneurs offbeat theatre performances and
visiting Manila, the Shangri-La at the on-the-rise musicians busting out
Fort is where you will nd bright young things jazzy tunes: at the just-opened
working up a sweat in their downtime, BGC Arts Centre, you never quite
shooting hoops at the on-site NBA-grade know what to expect. In a real rst
basketball court. On the second oor of the for the Filipino arts scene, the vibe
hotel is Provenance Art Gallery, which here is impromptu, focusing on
hosts small exhibitions of Filipino artists. pop-up acts and little-known rising
Theres also a boutique selling statement talent. All areas in the building
artworks in heavy bronze, while age-old from a 500-seat auditorium to a
milling assembly techniques are used to recital hall are used to create an
produce the chic furniture, hand-crafted out eclectic set of artistic spaces, plus
of local wood, on sale at Philux Home. theres a street-art festival in May.
shangri-la.com artsatbgc.org PHILIPPA LANGRISH

18 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST A HOLIDAY

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

For more information about our villas, please call 0203 582 8269 or visit scottdunn.com/villas

VIVA
LA
La Samantina, Mallorca
VILLA
WORD OF MOUTH
For decades, the undercurrent of intimate
folk music in Los Angeles the adoptive
home of Joni Mitchell and the late Leonard
Cohen was drowned out by the rumblings
of rocknroll and later the thumping beats of
West Coast hip hop. Flash forward to 2017
and 26-year-old Moses Sumney, fresh from
collaborations with soul sister Solange
Knowles and hip hops most in-demand
talent, Chance the Rapper, is leading the
vanguard of young musicians in LA
tinkering with a vintage sound. His ethereal
blend of soul and folk, built on looped vocals
and lo- guitar, has singled him out as
one-to-watch on the citys crowded music
scene. Sumneys rise has been rapid, with
listeners falling for his haunting falsetto on
songs he penned in cabins in the southern
Californian mountains. I go into isolation for
days or weeks at a time, thats when Im
most creative, he says. But his debut album,
out this summer, builds upon a fuller feel
developed through collaborations with
artists such as Kendrick Lamars bassist
Thundercat, who added rich, jazz-lled
touches to Sumneys 2016 EP, Lamentations.
This kind of cross-genre play has allowed
him to step beyond the connes of folk
music, though he admits that some of his
sound was inherited. He spent part of his
adolescence in his parents native Ghana and
says, I think theres so much percussion in
the culture that it just gets into your blood.
BEN ALLEN Moses Sumney plays the Union
Chapel in London on 3 April 2017
moses la hotspots

Little Doms, Hillhurst Avenue


For breakfast try the ricotta cheese
and fresh blueberry pancakes at this
Italian cafe in Los Feliz. littledoms.com

The Lyric, N La Brea Avenue


A small, boxy venue with moody
blue-and-red lighting. I played here
in my early days; its great for an
intimate show. lyricLA.com

Hwa Sun Ji, Wilshire Boulevard


Koreatown is my favourite part of
LA; you never run into anyone you
know. This super-unknown tea place
is a cosy spot. +1 213 382 5302

Bloom Cafe, W Pico Boulevard


Packed with superfood salads, this
cool as folk organic caf is incredible. My go-to is
the grilled salmon bowl with
PHOTOGRAPH: ANTHONY BATISTA

LOS ANGELES IS HAVING AN ACOUSTIC-MUSIC REVIVAL, vegetable julienne, mango, tamaro


AND SINGER MOSES SUMNEY IS STRUMMING THE WAY sauce and brown rice. bloomcafe.com

Counterpoint Records & Books,


Franklin Avenue
The place for rare records: I recently
bought the soundtrack to Waiting to
Exhale and Nina Simone at Carnegie
Hall. counterpointla.com

20 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


WORD OF MOUTH

KNOCK KNOCK
JAPANESE ARCHITECTS MAKE THE RIGHT LIFESTYLE CHOICES
While uniformity denes British homes, in Japan surprise is the watchword. Doors dont
look like doors, walls are curved and sometimes there are no windows. Japanese
architecture has developed from simple, wooden structures and ancient Shinto temples
into modern, innovative buildings that always seem to be one step ahead of the trend. For
Left to right: the design example, the Japanese tapped into the idea of micro-living long before the tiny house
for LArbre Blanc in movement became fashionable. In the 1970s, Kisho Kurokawas Nakagin Capsule Tower
Montpellier; Hiroshi broke new ground with its 140 minuscule capsules plugged into a central core. Not only is
Nakamuras House SH Japanese design clever, it has long been admired by the fashion and art sets in the 1990s,
in Tokyo; Issei Sumas Tadao Andos geometric aesthetic caught Giorgio Armanis eye, resulting in Milans
tepee-inspired huts minimalist Armani Teatro and HQ. More recently, Sou Fujimotos 3D white-steel grids
created for the Serpentine Pavilion in London in 2013 drew huge crowds. Now, Japans
innovative domestic designs such as Sou Fujimotos wall-less home, House NA, and the
surreal Leek House by Terunobu Fujimori, with its rows of sprouting leeks in the roof are
appearing in a new exhibition on post-war Japanese architecture at the Barbican. With
London now 18 times more densely populated than the UK average, the timing is perfect.
One place featured, Ryue Nishizawas Garden and House, squeezes ve single-room storeys
into an area four metres wide. Cities have never been so over-populated, says curator Florence
Ostende, and concern about space is at the core of Japanese design. MELANIE ABRAMS
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945, 23 March25 June, barbican.org.uk

JAPANS GAME-CHANGING ARCHITECTURE


CAPSULE LIVING (1972)
Tokyos Nakagin Capsule Tower is the rst example of capsule architectural design: a
14-storey building with 140 stacked and angled prefabricated micro-apartments.
TECH SPEC (1986)
Japans rst interactive structure: Toyo Itos perforated, aluminium-clad Tower of Winds in
Yokohama changes colour thanks to wind- and sound-sensitive lamps and neon rings.
CHURCH-ITECTURE (1988)
Two overlapping cubes connected by a curved staircase shape Tadao Andos Church on the
Water in Shimukappu-mur. Religious icons are replaced by concrete walls and a lake view.
SKY HIGH (2014)
Hiroshi Nakamuras Birds Nest Atami takes a traditional tea house 10 metres up into a PHOTOGRAPHS: DAICI ANO; IWAN BAAN; LUKE HAYES/VIEW

300-year-old camphor tree in Shizuoka, while keeping it entirely separate on a steel trellis.
BREAKING TRADITIONS (2016)
Clockwise from above left: Also in Shizuoka, Issei Suma challenges domestic design to create a retirement
Sou Fujimotos Small home out of tepee-shaped wooden huts.
Cubes; The Japanese
House by Mitsutaka
Kitamura; Sou Fujimotos
Serpentine Gallery
pavilion; Ryue Nishizawas
Garden and House

22 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


2016 finejewelr y @ t amaracomolli.com

LAKE TEGERNSEE SOUTHAMPTON SYLT PALM BEACH MUNICH MARBELLA


WORD OF MOUTH

COME ON GET HIGHER


THE NEW HIMALAYAN HIT FOR THOSE WHO FIND BHUTAN TOO HECTIC
As the epicentre of the Asian hippie trail in the 1960s and 1970s, Nepal was a magnet for bohemian
souls looking for spiritual enlightenment. In the 1990s the number of more commercially minded trips
to Mount Everest sky-rocketed, leading to hordes of high-altitude junkies, followed by gap-year
backpackers. After the earthquake in 2015, which destroyed so much of the countrys infrastructure,
visitors stopped coming. Now theyre starting to return, with the most ahead-of-the-curve
adventurers making for little-known Upper Mustang. A mountainous northern region connected to
the Tibetan plateau, it has a striking landscape of lunar-like rock formations peppered with red stupas
and monasteries. It has a similar feel to Tibet and Bhutan, but is even emptier. Before 2011 no roads
led here, and only the most hardcore mountaineers looking to hike the Trans-Himalayan range
made it in by foot or on horseback. Today a new gravel road, which starts at tiny Jomsom airport
and crosses 4,000-metre mountain passes, runs to the Upper Mustang capital of Lo Manthang. Its a
thrilling ride and tour operators such as Remote Lands and Himalayan Dream Team have launched
trips by four-wheel-drive or helicopter. A $500 permit fee means the region wont join the backpacker
hit list, and theres a smart place to stay too. In the village of Ghemi, a short drive from the capital, the
Royal Mustang Guesthouse is part of a centuries-old-teahouse, with 16 bright and cheery new rooms
decorated with Tibetan rugs. DEBBIE PAPPYN remotelands.com; himalayandreamteam.com

PHOTOGRAPHS: DAVID DE VLEESCHAUWER

The remote
Nepalese region of
Upper Mustang is a
land of monks and
red monasteries. Stay
at the Royal Mustang
Guesthouse, the
only building for
miles around with
electricity at night

24 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


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WORD OF MOUTH

ITS HAMMOCK TIME


CHANNELLING THE FESTIVAL SPIRIT, A TROUPE OF OPENINGS IS ROCKING MEXICOS BEACHSIDE STAR, TULUM

When the worlds best chef, Ren Redzepi, announces that the worlds most-talked about restaurant, Noma, is launching in the most glorious destination,
Tulum, what do you get? Noma Mexico: the most sensational pop-up the planet has ever seen. The rooess, on-the-beach joint, with tables spread
between the Caribbean Sea and the jungle, debuts in April for a seven-week run. In preparation, Redzepi and Mexican-American Rosio Sanchez, a former
Noma sous chef, spent six months travelling the country from Oaxaca to Guadalajara sampling extraordinary avours and searching for the nest seafood,
chilli and traditional mole. While the menu remains tightly under wraps, their travel discoveries will inspire dishes on the two-and-a half-hour, multi-course
feast. Redzepi revealed the atmosphere will be fun, with a hot, steaming and unpredictable feel. Tables were snapped up within moments, but you can join
the waiting list and hope. If a ticket eludes you, another fresh reason to visit Tulum arrives in May, when cult Australian hip-hop-yoga pioneer Yoga 213
joins forces with LA instructor Steve Ross for a retreat at Amansala Eco Chic Resort. The week-long stay will include daily classes where you can salute the
sun to a bass-heavy soundtrack of Jay Z and Snoop Dogg. Also new on the scene is bar and restaurant Wild Tulum, pictured above left and right, the rst
opening from Karen Young, who has more than two decades experience producing large-scale music festivals such as Serbias Exit. The vibe at Wild is
rustic-meets-modern, blending traditional Mayan design with furniture made by craftsmen in Valladolid. Youngs industry connections mean that a line-up
of hot international DJs will perform in the wilderness lounge. For chic sleeps, head to classic hotel Be Tulum, pictured above centre, which has recently opened
a collection of smart suites, all stripped-back wood interiors, private pools, low-slung hammocks and masses of surf-chic attitude. Noma runs 12 April28
May. A multi-course feast costs about 625 per person, including drinks pairing. noma.dk/mexico; yoga213.com.au; facebook.com/WildTulum; betulum.com

t
The trends taking off and those running out of fuel
PHOTOGRAPHS: JON ATTENBOROUGH

EMOJIS SELFIE STICKS


A burgeoning language and now a work of modern art. The original 1999 Zero Zero Robotics new drone camera uses articial intelligence so it can
designs by Japans Shigetaka Kurita are on display in New Yorks MoMA. document your travels by tracking movements and following you around.
STATEMENT ACCESSORIES FRENCH WINERIES
Dutch designer Daan Roosegaardes eco-chic rings are made with compressed Au revoir, Chteauneuf-du-Pape. A drinking fountain dispensing free red
smog particles, ltered by his air-purifying tower in Beijing, China. wine has opened in Abruzzo, Italy, courtesy of local vineyard Dora Sarchese.
CITY BIKES ELECTION BLUES
Adding to the list of things the Danish capital does better than everywhere Residents of Sevnica in Slovenia are expecting a boost in tourism as the
else: there are now more bicycles than cars entering Copenhagen each day. birthplace of the USAs new First Lady, Melania Trump. BEN ALLEN

26 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


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WAY OF LIFE

Clockwise from top left: a display


case with antique ceramics; the
conservatory; freshly picked
lemons; the valley in Montagu;
the living room with a painting
by owner Jacques Erasmus;
Erasmus in the vegetable garden;
the library; a bathroom

28 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


ROOT MASTER
IN A LUSH CORNER OF SOUTH AFRICA, ONE OF CAPE TOWNS
MOST INNOVATIVE CHEFS HAS COOKED UP A DELICIOUS
COUNTRY CRASHPAD. TAKE IT OVER TO TASTE THE GOOD LIFE
BY JANE BROUGHTON. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICKY HOYLE
WAY OF LIFE

As soon as he saw it, Jacques Erasmus knew it was a rare nd, blew to understand what the house required, to re-imagine spaces.
even though the sash windows were rotten, the T-shape Cape It was like meeting a not-so-beautiful woman. Only once Id looked
Dutch footprint had been crudely extended and tree roots were beyond the obvious and seen her hidden charms did I fall in love.
growing through the oorboards. The location was ideal. With its Gables were carefully restored, poky bathrooms removed,
vineyards, stone-fruit orchards and olive and almond groves, the plaster cornices ripped out to expose river-reed ceilings, and dry
small, historic town of Montagu is wedged between soaring, craggy walls pulled down to open up the elegant proportions of the old
mountains that separate the Little Karoo from the Breede River house. When the oors were lifted, Erasmus discovered, to his
Valley. And although it lies in a rural farming area, its just two horror, that there were no foundations. Putting in proper foun-
hours drive to Cape Town, where Erasmus has his restaurant, dations ate up our entire budget, but it had to be done, he says.
Hemelhuijs. It serves the citys best all-day breakfasts: marinated Each oorboard was numbered before being taken out. Rotten
biltong and herb-whipped soft cheese on toasted mosbolletjie a wood was replaced by matching boards found in auctions.
sweet loaf leavened with grape must and freshly pressed kale, He employed old-school craftsmen who used wooden trowels
pear and orange juice. The remarkable chef wanted a country for plastering to give a softer, slightly imperfect nish. All the
escape, with a garden to supply his restaurant.
The 163-year-old building, Jonkmanshof, has a mixed past as AT NIGHT, THE ONLY SOUND THAT
the premises of the local newspaper, the towns rst restaurant,
an art gallery, a hair salon and guesthouse. But then it fell into
CAN BE HEARD IS THE CHIME OF A
disrepair for several years. When Erasmus and his partner bought FRENCH LONG-CASE CLOCK, OR DISTANT
the property they embarked on a two-year renovation, stripping CHURCH BELLS STRIKING THE HOUR
out everything to reveal original wide-plank oorboards and
pretty chinoiserie wallpaper beneath a centurys worth of paint. woodwork, stonework and ironmongery was done by local arti-
They even found the thatched roof intact, preserved beneath a sans, painstakingly slowly. As the oldest inhabited house in the
battered zinc roof. Erasmus is in awe of that early craftsmanship. town, the heritage council had to be consulted at every turn.
In the late 1800s, especially in remote areas like this, solid poplar But what Erasmus has created has been worth the wait. The
and yellowwood tree trunks were used as beams and tied togeth- single-storey house, set at the quiet, upper end of Bath Street, is
er with wet animal hide, he says. As it dried, the strips would within strolling distance of the mineral-rich, thermal springs
shrink and hold the beams together. Not a single nail was used. Montagu is best known for. I enter the cool, formal entrance hall,
During the work, Erasmus slept on a mattress on the oor to which is lled with porcelain vases, a collection of old turtle shells
listen to the house. I needed to know from which side the wind and original Boeren Delft plates depicting scenes from Chinese

30 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


From far left: Erasmus in the
farmhouse-style kitchen; entrance
to the main house; the library lled
with curios; the master bedroom

mythology (the chef made copies of these for his Cape Town res- ripe, that is what we ate and the surplus would be preserved. In
taurant). In the centre of the house is a library with a colonial day summer we drank the juice of pomegranates picked off the trees.
bed draped in an old tapestry, 10th-century Vietnamese ceramics He wants his garden at Jonkmanshof to be the same. There are
and hand-painted porcelain jars used for storing ginger. The rows pear, apple and almond trees, and more than a dozen varieties of
of books include titles on architecture, garden design and folklore. lemons and limes planted in terracotta pots. In the vegetable
The house has neither television nor Wi-Fi. patch, spinach, kale, aubergines and celery are grown for the res-
Off the library, the living room is painted oxblood red and taurant, but he hopes guests will pick them too perhaps just-ripe
furnished with low sofas, chairs from Pir Rabe Antiques in pears to slice up with a hunk of Roquefort. On hot summer days
Stellenbosch and a neoclassical muurkas (wall-mounted the Orpington hens lay their eggs on the cool bathroom oors.
cupboard) from one of the rst farms in the Cape Colony. Above Linking the kitchen to the garden is a glass conservatory inspired
an antique green marble fireplace hangs one of Erasmuss by an Italian limonaia. Instead of hothouse owers, its lled with
own artworks, a black-and-white abstract piece he painted using indigenous succulents typical of the Karoos thirsty landscape.
a medium created by grinding carbonised bread and mixing On Saturday mornings there is a market across the street from
it with linseed oil. the house, where farmers sell buckets of olives, feta and nutty
The two high-ceilinged bedrooms have four-posters and en-suite cheddar, plus cinnamon pancakes and koeksisters, a plaited,
bathrooms with deep, cast-iron bateau tubs. At night, the only syrup-drenched pastry similar to a doughnut. Theres a lovely
sound that can be heard is the chime of a French long-case clock, pizzeria, a couple of cafs and art galleries within walking distance.
found in Mauritius, or distant church bells striking the hour. But the walled south-facing garden is the best place to spend a
But perhaps given this is the home of a chef it is the farm- blue-skied afternoon, taking dips in the raised pool built to resem-
house-style kitchen that is the most signicant room. There are ble a farm dam. At the end of the garden, the original wagon house
handcrafted clay tiles underfoot, a marble-and-wrought-iron work has been converted into a simple, unadorned bedroom with an
surface and stainless-steel double Smeg cooker, with rows of open-plan bathroom, and decorated with vintage furniture.
copper pots and pans strung up above it, as well as a pantry and To enjoy the house properly you have to appreciate the silence,
a pizza oven built into the wall. the privacy, Erasmus says. Its a place to slow down and enjoy con-
Erasmus is amused that farm-to-table food is now trendy. versations things you usually dont have time for in the city.
Growing up on a farm, everything was artisanal. We ground
wheat to bake bread, made our own yogurt and cheese, and ate Jonkmanshof sleeps up to six and costs from about 460 per night.
whatever was in season. My mothers garden, although beautiful, Book via Perfect Hideaways (perfecthideaways.co.za)
was functional rather than decorative. If the gs and peaches were
ROAD TRIP

The village of Canggu is more a state of mind than a The ultimate salutation. At sunrise, hardcore surfers
dot on a map. Here there are surf schools, the legendary gather on the quiet shores of Batu Bolong beach to
Old Mans beach-front bar and a go-slow lifestyle. ride the rst rollers of the day.

My trusty steed was made from a Honda Tiger Revo 200cc by The tropical Bali vibe: preternatural green; barrel-
Canggu-based outt Malamadre Motorcycles, which specialises roll grafti; palm trees spearing up from the anks
in customised retro streetghters and dirt bikes. of volcanic cones; driftwood washed up on white sand.

32 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


THE ROUTE SOUTHERN BALI THE MOTORBIKE CUSTOM-MADE MM14
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY CARLES CARABI

Rammed with temples, Ubuds Sacred Monkey Forest Balis multiple layers of loveliness. This island has
Sanctuary is as much about spirituality as it is about some of the best waves for surf nuts; white spray
its cheeky monkeys, who pickpocket cameras and wallets. crashes onto the shore beneath sheer cliffs in Bukit.

So many locals still make their living by planting A dip in the sea at Bukits Padang Padang beach; spicy
terrace upon terrace of rice, which is best seen at stir-fried noodles for lunch, and a walk up to the Pura
Tegalalang, just north of Ubud. Luhur Ulu Watu temple for views of the Indian Ocean.
200 17 ILLIN
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WHERE TO STAY
THE SMARTEST HOTEL UPDATES AND THE FRESHEST REVIEWS
EDITED BY PETER BROWNE

SENSATIONAL NEW ARRIVALS IN

PARIS
PHOTOGRAPH: HERVE GOLUZA

A bedroom in C.O.Q. Htel in


the 13th arrondissement

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 37


WHERE TO STAY

C.O.Q. HOTEL
The acronym actually stands for Community of Quality, and the
idea is to showcase French creativity in a laid-back, guesthouse
atmosphere, a concept masterminded by the owner, entrepre-
neur and rst-time hotelier Michel Delloye. Dont be misled by
the name: it has nothing to do with the puffed-up Gallic rooster,
le coq, the emblem of French pride. Theres nothing remotely
showy about this place in the 13th arrondissement. The 50 bed-
rooms dreamed up by young interior designers Pauline dHoop
and Delphine Sauvaget of Agence Favorite are a study in sober
elegance, with deep-blue walls, 19th-century portraits in gilt
frames, and accents in mustard, rust and pink. Go for one of the
bigger rooms with balconies and baths instead of showers, or a
deluxe ground-oor room, hidden away on a terrace around the
back. Quirky Made in France goodies from tricolour mens
underwear to watches are on sale in the lobby, where visitors
can help themselves to a glass of Bordeaux while browsing. And
with 20-odd French vintages stocked in the honesty bar, guests
tend to make themselves at home in the cosy winter garden, lined
with woven rugs and brocante nds. Breakfasts are bountiful
freshly squeezed juices, charcuterie, cheese and granola but ask
for the sublime, soft-boiled organic egg, served with baguette
strips for dipping. For supper, head out to bistro Tempero, a
10-minute stroll away, for superb French classics reinvented with
a Brazilian-Vietnamese twist. LANIE GOODMAN +33 1 45 86 35
99; coq-hotel-paris.com. Doubles from about 130

HOTEL BACHAUMONT
It took three years to retune this one-time grand hotel, more
recently a clinic, occupying a huge Haussmannian chunk of rue
Bachaumont. The location is fantastic for Paris lovers who are just
as into the hip food scene of the 11th arrondissement as they are
the Muse dOrsay and the Louvre. The trade-off for such a cen-
tral stay is that the rooms are Paris-standard stingy in size,
although you do get handsome design by Dorothe Meilichzon
involving lots of mirrors, her signature upholstered headboards
and smart Pierre Frey fabrics. If you jump straight into a suite, or
at least a deluxe double, and give the noisy street-side rooms a
miss, you wont feel hard done by. Otherwise, the smaller rooms
make perfectly good crashpads from which to enjoy the buzzy
restaurant and bar, masterminded by the Experimental Cocktail
Group. These spaces are on either side of a glazed passageway,
tricked out with Phaidon and Taschen wares and trendy little
cacti. More of Meilichzons covetable textiles give the lofty dining
room a grown-up, fashion-y appeal, although its a young crowd
who irt over the roast-chicken rillettes, steak tartare and lamb
shoulder to share. The vibe is still cool at breakfast when witch-
house tunes drift around as creative-industry types attack Alain
Milliat fruit juices, very buttery scrambled eggs and home-made
chocolate-and-hazelnut spread. Stay a few days and make
yourself at home in this car-free rue Montorgueil neighbourhood,
which is almost entirely composed of bakeries, food and
wine shops, bistros and bars. SOPHIE DENING +33 1 81 66 47 00;
hotelbachaumont.com. Doubles from about 240

38 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


LE MONTANA
Most ordinary citoyens have a better chance of being awarded the
Lgion dHonneur than they have of getting into the basement
nightclub at Le Montana, off the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Since
it opened in 2009, it has set new standards in ego-crushing exclu-
sivity and its still turning them away in droves. The upper oors of
the building, however, have evolved in interesting ways, with the
recent addition of a restaurant, six rooms and a roof terrace. The
bedrooms, one on each oor, are individually themed but very
much of a piece, with designer Vincent Darrs ngerprints all
over them as yours will be, too, the moment you touch any of
the glossy surfaces. Theres the luminous Miroir dArgent room
(mirrors and brushed steel); Blanc Graffiti (inspired by Jean
PHOTOGRAPHS: JESSICA ANTOLA; ALEXANDRE BAILACHE;

Cocteaus scrawled-upon studio); Bleu Acide (something to do


with Montparnasse in the 1950s); Rouge David X (as in David
Hicks, with the X pronounced eex); Noir Mtaphysique (walls
painted in de Chirico-esque shapes), and Gris Paris (playful,
feminine and not especially grey). All have bathrooms covered
from oor to ceiling in black tiles. For easy access to a glamorous
club and a spectacular roof terrace, minus the indignities of a long
PAUL BOWYER; HERVE GOLUZA

queue and a pre-dawn reverse commute, a room at Le Montana


is money well spent. For a quiet nights sleep, youll need to spend
a little more on a pair of earplugs. STEVE KING +33 1 53 63 79 20;
hotel-lemontana.com. Doubles from about 340
WHERE TO STAY

ADELE & JULES


Adle and Jules are two halves of a single charming hotel or,
technically, two hotels in one block. Reserved romantics will
appreciate its low-hype offering 30 varied bedrooms in each of
the buildings, a Taittinger-led honesty bar in Adle and a superb
welcome with a proper concierge service. This is combined with a
tucked-away location in a newly but not aggressively trendied
slice of the 9th, close to rue des Martyrs (food shopping), Grands
Boulevards (nightlife) and the Gare du Nord. Designer Stphane
Pouxs style is a deliberate mishmash of urbanity and generous
homeliness, his eye travelling around ikat prints, Indian cotton
quilts and witty, intriguing artworks. Club rooms have balconies
big enough for prolonged nightcaps, a bathtub and twin basins.
If you get a view say of the landmark BNP Paribas building
or Grand Rex cinema the smaller deluxe rooms are charming
too. Breakfast features eggs, sausages and mini viennoiseries,
and between 4pm and 6pm theres a pick-me-up of Dammann
Frres tea, cakes, pastries and fruit. This takes place in a cosy
living/breakfast room lined with decent reading material: not just
the usual glossies, but also shelves of Folio paperbacks. The no-
restaurant issue is very much a non-issue, with local options
including Abri, Vivant, Richer and Saturne. A sibling to long-time
fashion-pack bolthole Htel Thrse in the 1st and Htel
Recamier in Saint-Germain, this civilised, chic four-star deserves
to become a cult hero/heroine as well. SD +33 1 48 24 60 70;
hoteladelejules.com. Doubles from about 145

AMASTAN PARIS
Glimpsed from its quiet street behind the Champs-Elyses,
this elegant little hotel could easily be mistaken for a private
townhouse, which is exactly what the owner, Paris-based entre-
preneur Zied Sanhaji, had in mind for his new project. Beyond
the discreet entrance that leads to the reception is the lobby a
gorgeously assembled, high-ceilinged space with petrol-blue
parquet floors and a gargantuan bookcase lined with
leather-bound classics. But the real hub is the cheerful bar, ood-
lit with natural light all day, and its leafy courtyard garden for
summer soires. The 24 bedrooms vary from small but cosy to
big, attic-like spaces with private balconies. In all, uncluttered
simplicity prevails, with white and blue contrasting walls, contem-
porary walnut desks and immaculate white bed linen; bathrooms
are sensible and decked out in marble, some with standalone
bathtubs, all with large showers. Generous breakfasts fresh fruit,
cheese platters, smoked salmon and baskets of croissants are
served at one long, high table in the bar. The hotel also has a small
pop-up shop stocking a range of art, jewellery and homeware
from lifestyle brands such as Lola James Harper and NOCC inte-
rior design. After midday, the bar morphs into Anouk, an informal
restaurant for light meals (chicken-liver mousse with whisky-
spiked jelly; avocado toast; passion-fruit cheesecake). And youll
be back again after dark for a ashy signature cocktail, such as the
G&T infused with goji berries or squid ink. LG +33 1 49 52 99 70;
amastanparis.com. Doubles from about 170

40 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


HOTEL PANACHE
Surely a stay in Paris should mean an inexpensive hostelry, with
quirky stairs and a receptionist who points you in the direction of
the best tagine or moules, located next to a thrift shop piled
with back editions of Tintin et les Egoutiers. And so it is here, in the
spirited 9th arrondissement, created by Dorothe Meilichzon,
who started off designing toys. The unusual at-iron shape of
Panaches 19th-century building means that each of its 40
bedrooms has a slightly odd configuration, with everything a
little askew, prettily Deco-tiled, dove-grey bathrooms and
bevel-edged mirrors positioned to coax a sense of symmetry. All
is perfectly quiet until (and this is a moment to cherish) you ing
open the windows of your room in the early evening and people-
watch from a little balcony overhanging the sweet clamour of
the streets radiating from the corner below: locals walking their
Jack Russells, antiquarian booksellers hurrying back from the
nearby Passage Verdeau, all the caf conversations of the Grands
Boulevards district. Panache also has a mosaic-decorated restau-
rant serving Middle Eastern-inspired small plates, with a female
sommelier who modishly recommends delicious natural or raw
wines supplied by dedicated French growers whose hard-working,
summer-dusty hands are sometimes photographed for the bottle
labels. Then a stagger up those lopsidedly long-winding stairs
to bed. There is little here not to love. ANTONIA QUIRKE +33 1
47 70 85 87; hotelpanache.com. Doubles from about 100

OFF PARIS SEINE


Part of the citys rediscovery of the Seine, this oating addition to
the Paris hotel scene is a sort of Neverland moored in front of
Gare dAusterlitz on the Left Bank with views across the river to
the Gare de Lyon clocktower. Conceived by boat specialist Grard
Ronzatti of Seine Design and built in Dieppe, the OFF is actually
a catamaran its central water channel visible at both ends with a
turquoise outdoor pool installed for fine weather and a mini-
marina built at the stern should guests arrive by boat. Inside, tall,
wood-slatted banquettes help create the sense of a vintage ferry,
PHOTOGRAPHS: PAUL BOWYER; CELINE DEMOUX; ROMAIN RICARD

bright from the glass skylight by day, dimly lit at night. There are
58 bedrooms on two levels, including four suites by design duo
Maurizio Galante and Tal Lancman. Even the standard doubles,
although compact, feel surprisingly spacious, in part thanks to the
river vistas, the sound of lapping water and the occasional honk of
a barge or whoosh of the Metro crossing the iron bridge from
Austerlitz. In the glass-walled bar and restaurant there are leather
armchairs, beanbags and egg-shaped poufs that set the scene for
the all-morning breakfast buffet; the space is also fast becoming
a rm favourite for cocktails, tapas and updated brasserie food,
backed by a chilled soundtrack and staff who all share a genuine
enthusiasm for the place. NATASHA EDWARDS +33 1 44 06 62
65; offparisseine.com. Doubles from about 110
WHERE TO STAY

HOTEL DE JOBO
The splendidly named Bambi Sloan, who did the interiors of this
ravishing little place in the Marais, isnt quite sure how to describe
herself. She says shes part designer, part storyteller. She might
consider calling herself a history teacher as well. Among other
things, Jobo is an amusing education in certain aspects of French
life, art and culture in the post-revolutionary period. The name
comes from Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleons first wife and,
briey, Empress of France. From this position of eminence, she
indulged her racy and rened tastes leading the craze for leop-
ard skin, for example, and for swans, and, more than anything
else, for roses. All of which are not merely in evidence at the hotel
but effectively dene it. The result is intense but delightful its
too witty, too thoughtfully executed to be oppressive. The deca-
dent toffs with whom Josephine caroused in the years after the
revolution called themselves Les Incroyables et Les Merveilleuses.
Htel de Jobo is both incredible and marvellous. Its also tiny. The
ceilings are low, the corridors narrow and the size of the bed-
rooms ranges from a mere 15 square metres to a modest 40. But
thats more than enough if youre Napoleon and Josephine in the
early throes of fascination, with no need for anything more than a
comfortable bed surrounded by roses and leopard skin and swans.
SK +33 1 48 04 70 48; hoteldejobo.paris. Doubles from about 155

NOLINSKI PARIS
The French, while loftily affecting to despise American culture,
have always been obsessed with certain of its manifestations
jazz, for example, and lm noir, which they loved so much they
named the entire genre. Perhaps its the very intensity of their
love that prevents them from making many decent lms noirs
themselves. But when they do get it right think of Jean-Pierre
Melvilles Le Samoura the results can be sensational. I men-
tion this because Nolinski, in a ne six-storey Haussmannian
building on the Avenue de lOpra, moments from the Comdie
Franaise, is rather like that. Its designer, Jean-Louis Deniot, fresh
from his success with the Chanel spa at the nearby Ritz, has
woven an intriguing nest from elements gathered with magpie rel-
ish from all over the world. (Many are for sale to guests putting
the boutique back into the boutique hotel.) Nevertheless,
theres a distinct preponderance of mid-century urban America
about Nolinski brassy, varnished, hard-edged, angular. And
yet a certain Frenchness also inheres. One example: every room
has a mini-bar housed in a cabinet designed in imitation of a safe
a bank safe of the kind a robber would crack in a lm noir inside
which, among the spirits and sodas, guests will nd a bottle of
jus de cassis. Which is as quintessentially French as a mini-bar
designed to look like a safe is American. A Le Samoura moment:
a collision of two worlds, from which both emerge not only
unharmed but enhanced. SK +33 1 42 86 10 10; nolinskiparis.
com. Doubles from about 350

42 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


LE ROCH HOTEL & SPA
When Le Roch (rock not rosh) opened, the local parish priest
and the headmistress from the school around the corner dropped
by to say hello. They must be pretty chic pastoral types; certainly
theyre tending their ocks in a very smart neighbourhood adja-
cent to the Place Vendme. But somehow the gesture seems just
right. Le Roch, despite its velvety textured swishiness and its
fancy address, has a winningly unaffected aura. You sense it the
moment you step inside off the rue Saint-Roch a quiet byway
hidden among the grand thoroughfares that dominate this part
of the city. Theres an easy ow from lobby through to library, bar,
dining room and courtyard. The space is small enough to seem
intimate, big enough to seem buzzy an agreeable balance that
characterises the hotel as a whole. Designer Sarah Lavoines
PHOTOGRAPHS: PAUL BOWYER; GUILLAUME DE LAUBIER

rooms are elegant but not amboyant, imaginative but not osten-
tatious. She has a particular fondness for bleu de canard and subtle
Moroccan elements: zellige tiles in the bathrooms and thick,
contemporary Berber carpets that feel great underfoot. Staff are
enthusiastic and on-it. Theres no attitude but bundles of know-
how. Benjamin Camus-Durand is, at 25, the youngest head
concierge to have been awarded the Clefs dOr. The spa is a
strong draw. Guests can order their own personalised range of
bespoke skincare products, whipped up by cult brand Codage fol-
lowing a consultation and delivered to the hotel 48 hours later. SK
+33 1 70 83 00 00; leroch-hotel.com. Doubles from about 300
WHERE TO STAY

BED-HOPPING WITH GILLIAN ANDERSON


THE GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER AND STAR OF THE X-FILES AND BLEAK HOUSE SPEAKS TO FRANCESCA BABB

VICEROY LERMITAGE
BEVERLY HILLS CALIFORNIA
A lot of British actors stay here as
its discreet and understated. It
doesnt have a rocking, trendy lobby,
and the rooms are simple and Asian
inuenced. I like comfort, but not
necessarily show-off comfort, and
this place is lovely. viceroyhotelsand
resorts.com. Doubles from about 410

CULLODEN ESTATE AND SPA


NORTHERN IRELAND
I used to stay here when shooting The Fall.
Its just outside Belfast and while there are
a lot of great hotels in the city itself, at the
end of a day lming something like that, I
need to go somewhere calm. Ive had the
same room in the old part of the building
for the past three years. Sometimes you
can walk into a hotel room and everything
I TEND TO BE PICKY ABOUT
feels wrong, but not at this place. hastings A ROOM AND THIS IS GOING
hotels.com. Doubles from 105 TO SOUND PRETENTIOUS
ABOUT THE ENERGY WITHIN IT

RANVAS RAJASTHAN, INDIA


Nagaur Fort is a beautiful, ancient landmark,
and within that fort, right in the middle of
it, is the Ranvas. It feels very, very special.
Ive been to southern India and Delhi, and
once did a lm in Kolkata, but this part
of India was new to me I loved it. ranvas
nagaur.com. Doubles from about 200
PHOTOGRAPHS: FRANCIS AMIAND; JAMIE BAKER/CAMERA PRESS
CLUB VILLA
HOTEL MONTALEMBERT PARIS BENTOTA, SRI LANKA
This is a curious little spot. The A train track runs through the middle
bedrooms on the top oor, with of this place right between the
vaulted ceilings and small balconies, hotel and the beach which is just
are the ones to go for. Its right by wonderful. Whenever one of the old
Saint-Germain-des-Prs and close trains passes by I jump up and down
to the Muse dOrsay and the Jardin in the pool with excitement. I have
du Luxembourg. But its also very a house in Sri Lanka, so the island is a
serene, which is what I really like big part of my life. But Ive stayed here
about it. hotelmontalembert-paris. many times because I nd everything
com. Doubles from about 200 about the hotel incredibly soothing,
from the painted clapboard colonial
Viceroys House, starring Gillian style to the beach at the bottom of
Anderson, is in cinemas on 3 March the garden. club-villa.com. Doubles
from about 180

44 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


WHERE TO STAY

(homemade granola and yogurt, still-warm


croissants and jams), which is delivered to
your door on a tray.

EAT The real reason for coming here is


the nine-course tasting menu from chef
Jon Parry (formerly of Trinity restaurant
in Clapham). Almost everything is cooked
over an open ame on the custom-made
range, including partridges, chanterelles
and barbecued scallops with smoked
tomato. The pretty garden salad, with
yellow cucumber owers, baby beets and
green beans, is sensational, and the apple
and blackberry parfait with sorrel granita
sublime. On the tables are modern gold
candelabras and ink pots used as vases,
lled with mint and rosemary. Books on wild
cocktails and butchery are stacked along
one windowsill; LPs and jars of pickling
vegetables sit on shelves near the kitchen.

WHO COMES HERE? Londoners wanting


an easy escape from the city; smartly
dressed locals out for weekend date nights
and serious foodies ogling the open grill.
Only children over 12 are allowed to stay.

WE LIKE Watching the chef at work.


Between throwing potatoes on the embers,
hell tell you all about his experiments with
re-pit squash, which involves cooking
them in the ground using buried hot coals.
THE WEEKENDER
WE DONT LIKE The lack of a phone
THE MASH INN RADNAGE, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE signal, although there is Wi-Fi.

WHY STAY? For a thumping food x in Raymond Blanc. Its also the inspiration CONTACT +44 1494 482440; themashinn
an atmospheric, muddy-boot base planted for The Mash Inns emblem, the pineapple, com. Doubles from 120 EMMA LOVE
deep in the leafy wolds, but only 40 minutes which appears in a brightly coloured
from London Marylebone station. painting by Nicks son, Jake, in the bar
and as bronze ornaments in the bedrooms.
WHY NOW? For bracing walks across elds Nick is behind the clean-lined, Scandi-
that form part of the 125-mile Chiltern style interiors and also designed the
Way, well-armed with homemade Scotch wooden communal table and Ercol-like
eggs and lemonade from the kitchen. chairs, all hand-crafted by local furniture
maker Bates & Lambourne.
WHAT IS IT? A beautifully renovated, 18th-
century inn with a tiny bar, a restaurant SLEEP Of the ve rooms, the best are
powered by a wood-red open grill and numbers 2 and 3 at the back, for views of
ve cosy bedrooms. Theres a huge, sloping the garden. Industrial lamps sit on tree-
garden and benches with views past a trunk bedside tables; the stone-and-navy
weeping willow to the countryside beyond. stripe throws and cushions on the bed are OUT AND ABOUT
PHOTOGRAPHS: CARRIE BEDDALL

by Nkuku. A row of gold terrariums add Head south to lovely Marlow, a 20-minute
BEHIND THE SCENES Founder Nick Mash metallic shine to the windowsills, painted drive away, to join the Thames Path
used to own The Salusbury pub in Londons in Railings by Farrow & Ball. There are National Trail. Or go in the opposite direc-
Queens Park and The Chamberlayne in ridiculously deep baths (but no showers) tion to the historic town of Thame. While
youre here, pick up handmade chutneys,
Kensal Rise (both sold in 2012), but the in the lovely, geometric-tiled bathrooms.
savoury tarts and award-winning cheeses
family business is Mash Purveyors, which Room 1 is under the eaves and has no from the deli counter at Whats Cooking,
supplies fruit and vegetables from its farms view, but it does have a sofa in a small above, near the marketplace.
to chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and seating area very handy for breakfast

46 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


St. Nicholas Bay
Resort Hotel &
Villas, Crete
This private beach resort
blends airy contemporary
design with high-end
amenities. Accommodation
ranges from bungalow-style
rooms and suites, to villas
with private pools. Relax in
the Poseidon Spa or visit the
Blue Room rooftop terrace for
spa treatments with exquisite
sunset views. Stay 7 nights
from 1380pp including
breakfast and flights.

Amilla Fushi,
Travel with style / Maldives

Carrier
Having featured on the
Cond Nast Traveller
Hot List in 2015, this

Collection
family-friendly hotel
offers quintessential
relaxed island living,
complemented by high end
amenities and nestled in the
Carrier holidays are couture, bespoke, with quality Baa Atoll in a UNESCO
down to the tiniest detail; our portfolio offers a collection World Biosphere Reserve,
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harmony between man
Allow us to craft your next luxury escape, guaranteed and nature. Stay 7 nights
to be the perfect t. from 3930pp including
breakfast and flights.

Capella
Singapore
Set amidst thirty acres
of manicured gardens,
this resort style escape
with glorious views of the
South China Sea provides
an oasis of relaxation
and tranquillity yet, just
fifteen minutes drive from
the buzz of Singapores
renowned Orchard Road.
Prices from 197pppn
including breakfast.

For more information, please call 0161 826 3556 carrier.co.uk/traveller


Smile
all
the
stay.

All our hotels are in dreamlike settings, but if we can go the extra step, rest assured that
we have what it takes to surprise you, over and over again, so youll keep wondering whats next?

MAURITIUS RUNION MALDIVES CHINA TURKEY VIETNAM U.A.E


SNAPSHOT

BAMBOO

PHOTOGRAPHS: PETER DIXIE/LOTAN ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY; DREW ECHBERG; NATTAPON KLINSUWAN; DAVID OLIVER; LEONARDO PALAFOX/DETURE CULSIGN
ITS SUSTAINABLE AND STRONGER
THAN STEEL. NOW ARCHITECTS ARE
PUTTING IT IN POLE POSITION

Top row, from left: geometric pods made from


rattan create a viewing platform for the lemur
exhibit at Melbournes zoo; hundreds of
rods hang from the ceiling like stalactites to
divide the space inside Bangkok hair salon
Klinsuwan; Athens-based architects KLab
designed the bamboo motifs at the Andronikos
Hotel on Mykonos; chunky bamboo stems
were manipulated to create the criss-cross
structure at Naman hotel near Hoi An in
Vietnam; the light shines through screens in
the walls at Greeces Andronikos Hotel.

Middle row, from left: referencing the shapes


of traditional shing baskets, the top-heavy
structures form a grid between the tables at the
Kontum Indochine Caf in central Vietnam;
a beach-side treehouse in Juluchuca, Mexico,
is elevated off the forest oor by bamboo
supports; all the bedrooms at the oating
Bamboo Courtyard Teahousein Yangzhou,
China, have lake views; the cabin on Mexicos
Juluchuca beach is solar-powered and its water
supply is recycled; architect Vo Trong Nghias
open-air restaurant in Son La, Vietnam, is
built from local bamboo and stonewood.

Bottom row, from left: bamboo-cast concrete


covers the exterior of the Noodle Rack
restaurant in Changsha, China; copper
bathtubs and vintage furniture are features
at the Beach House on Mustique; two types
of bamboo provided contrasting effects
when building the Roc Von restaurant near
Hanoi; the rustic Caribbean interiors at the
Beach House were redesigned by Veere
Grenney even the bicycles are made from
bamboo; the childrens den at Soneva Kiri
on Koh Kood in Thailand is a manta-ray-
inspired dome. TABITHA JOYCE

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 51


CAYMAN BRAC
LITTLE CAYMAN

You never know when you will GRAND CAYMAN


bump into one of the locals.
3 of lifes
little luxuries

ca ymanislands.co.uk
STYLE FILE
FASHION-FORWARD NOTES FOR ALL SEASONS

WALK THE WALK


Although the stories it likes to tell about itself are of private jets and chauffered cars, fashions emblematic mode of travel is,
PHOTOGRAPH: JODY TODD

in truth, the humblest, most democratic of them all: walking. From the rareed runways of Milan and Paris to the open-air
catwalk of the street, to walk is to perform, to aunt, to revel in the fact that clothes look best at three miles an hour. To walk
is also, of course, to travel in its purest form. When we go abroad to the 3rd arrondissement, to Downtown Manhattan, to
the Daikanyama district we go to engage in the theatre of the street, the snap and strut of the city; we go to promenade. And
so we choose our footwear with care: we need statement shoes but ones that can pound the pavement. As ever, Russell &
Bromley has come up with the goods. Weve got our trainers, but where shall we go? The answer is simple: follow your heart.

Leather trainers, 195, Russell & Bromley (russellandbromley.co.uk)

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 53


STYLE FILE

Sa Paulos Pinheiros district is shaking things up with cool design


stores. Clockwise from left: ethically made upcycled shoes at Insecta;
stylish accessories at Galeria Nacional; artwork and notebooks at
Diria, and cacti in the shops sunny courtyard. Opposite, Livo Eyewear
SHOPPING IN SAO PAULO
MANY ZOOM RIGHT PAST BRAZILS BUSINESS KINGPIN TO THE BEACHES, BUT THE CITY IS WORTH A STOPOVER FOR
ITS PINHEIROS NEIGHBOURHOOD, WHERE INDIE ARTISANS ARE SHINING AMID THE GRAFFITI-SPLATTERED FACADES
BY LAUREN HOLMES. PHOTOGRAPHS BY VIVI SPACO

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 55


STYLE FILE

MODERN-MACHISMO OUTFITTER MORE THAN JUST A CLOTHES SHOP


You will need to book weeks ahead for Cartel 011 is a hybrid hub which founders TRACK IT DOWN
exceptional made-to-measure tailoring Cristian Resende and Fernando Sapuppo YOU WONT FIND THIS AT HOME
from radical menswear designer Joo use to show off emerging Brazilian design-
Wet & Woods handplanes for bodysurfers
Pimenta. Three-piece suits, military jackets ers, as well as their own brand. Stock up on
are crafted from kiri wood and are small
and macho skirts irt with femininity and stylish tracksuits and sleek monochrome
enough to pop into a carry-on bag. Slot
are crafted from hand-spun natural fabrics. daywear including T-shirt dresses,
your palm through the strap behind the
Its worth visiting if only to check out cropped jumpers and the perfect skinny
micro-mini boards to add extra edge when
Pimentas atelier, which is contained in a trousers plus lightweight wedges and
carving through waves. Andr Bianco and
three-storey redbrick townhouse with funky trainers from the dedicated sneaker
Bob Moraes, the pair of oceanographers
black-and-white family portraits and the lab. There is also a caf tucked away in a
behind the design, also make chopping
tick of vintage sewing machines from tropical courtyard, a co-working space
boards, fabric wall hangings and folding
the basement. 1055 Rua Cnego Eugnio upstairs and a walkway entrance that
furniture. wetandwood.com
Leite (+55 11 3034 2415) doubles as a gallery. 517 Rua Artur de
Azevedo (cartel011.com.br)
BOSSA NOVA BEACHWEAR
With an entrance framed by tumbling trop- SHOES THAT TREAD LIGHTLY
ical foliage, beach-chic Chapu Beachwear For statement shoes, stop by Insecta, a
goes beyond the itsy-bitsy Brazilian bikini. pared-back workshop lined with reclaimed
Instead, it showcases hot-pants with sexy wooden shelves. Hailing from Porto Alegre
mix-and-match tied tops and cut-away in southern Brazil, this eco-conscious
swimsuits with styles to suit every body label upcycles vintage clothing to make
type. There are block colours from vivid vegan footwear. Each pair is produced
seaweed to sky-blue, and limited-edition locally and soled with recycled rubber, and
pieces in oral prints are designed by artist the unisex designs range from sunower-
friends of the owners Talita Carvalho and patterned Oxford brogues to desert boots
Pablo Noronha. Across the road, the pro- in a fantastical avocado print. There are
duction atelier can nip and tuck swimwear also tropical backpacks handcrafted from
for the perfect fit. 1277 Rua Mourato plastic bottles. 499 Rua Artur de Azevedo
Coelho (chapeubeachwear.com.br) (insectashoes.com)
This page, clockwise from top left: chocolate bars at Diria;
jewel-like wooden necklaces; clothes at Cartel 011; eye-catching
prints at Chapu Beachwear; graphic plates at Galeria Nacional.
Opposite: Cartel 011s leafy caf; leather specialist Cutterman

SPECS IN THE CITY Couros wool-felt passport holders and the


Expect high fashion at high-street prices duos own brand of orange-and-clove
LOCAL KNOW-HOW
from Livo Eyewear, quite possibly the candles. They also host monthly exhibitions VICTOR COLLOR DE MELLO
countrys most successful sunglasses start- of emerging artists at their in-house gallery. PHOTOGRAPHER, PUBLISHER AND RESTAURATEUR

up. The winning formula? Italian acetate, 1315 Rua Artur de Azevedo (casa.diaria.co)
Start the day with
Brazilian design aesthetic and a dynamic
a walk in Beco do
presence via an online portal. Here at the INSIDE STORIES
Batman, where the areas
companys cool headquarters, friendly staff Set in an intimate townhouse showcasing of Pinheiros and
advise on Audrey Hepburn-style shades homegrown artists and designers, Galeria Vila Madalena meet,
and reective ravers in between ping-pong Nacional is part gallery, part homeware to watch some
games in the back office. 272 Rua dos shop. Pick up some chunky hand-knitted of So Paulos best
Pinheiros (livo.com.br) plant-pot holders from Oferenda Objetos graffiteros at work.
and leather place mats in the shape of
TANNED AND LOVELY palm leaves by So Paulo-based architect- A lot of love has been
Theres a permanent scent of butter-soft designer Rahyja Afrange. 540 Rua Mateus poured into Helena
leather inside Cutterman, which conjures Grou (galeriancional.com.br) Rizzos Padoca do Man.
the essence of southern Brazils cowboy Breakfasts are great:
country. Rummage for utilitarian back- SERIOUS BREWS tapioca cakes, fresh juices and coffee.
packs, weekend dufe bags, army knives, Coffee Lab is the place to source the best
hand-stitched leather wallets, and camera of Brazils small-batch blends, meticul- Tan Tan Noodle Bar serves the most
straps by indigenous Mapuche artisans. 644 ously selected by Isabela Raposeiras from perfectly cooked dishes. Its always packed
Rua Mateus Grou (cutterman.co) local organic collectives that dont ship so I sometimes buy a takeaway and sit
PHOTOGRAPH: NICOLE FRANZEN

internationally. The 746 is the baristas on the wooden cubes in the street.
HOMEGROWN DESIGN HEROES favourite, but the house blend a rich,
The two Rafas Raffaele di Giuda Asselta smooth classic, lovingly named after the A section of Pinheiros Market is run by
renowned chef Alex Atala, who brings
and Raphael Dias often man the counter labs cleaner Raimunda is also a hit.
regional delicacies such as Amazonian
at Diria so they can share stories about Sleek gifts available to buy include
mushrooms to these street-side stalls.
the designers they stock, nearly all of whom Japanese ceramic drippers, Allpress grind-
are Brazilian. There are Estela Miazzis ers and jars of raw honey. 1340 Rua Visit Victors blog at victorcollor.com.br
watercolor paintings of whales, Lana y Fradique Coutinho (coffeelab.com.br)

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 57


STYLE FILE

MY JET SET STASH

OLIVIA WILDE
THE STAR OF SH AND SCORSESES VINYL TALKS TO TABITHA JOYCE

Do you do anything to get in Do you sunbathe? Which fragrance do you


shape before a holiday? Im naturally fair skinned and prone to pack in your hand luggage?
Dancing is probably my best workout sunburn, so I dont really like sunbathing. When I was pregnant I couldnt
because it never feels like exercise. My Revlons ColorStay foundation has built- stand any type of strong smell, so
favourite class is hip hop or ballet. Ive also in SPF. Its such a bonus as thats one less Im only just getting used to wear-
been spinning for more than 10 years, and thing to do each morning. I do enjoy the ing perfume again. Le Labos
still go to the occasional SoulCycle session. heat though, and my favourite place scents are so refreshing.
in the world is Thailand, where
And do you watch your diet? youd find me in the shade. Do you ever visit spas
I try to! It can be difficult as a mother when Even then Id be smothered in at home or abroad?
your child wants to eat chicken nuggets. La Roche-Posay SPF 30. The treatment I go out for is a
And I absolutely love Coca-Cola, which deep-tissue massage theyre so
isnt ideal. But I do enjoy a good How do you look after your good. If I have a little bit of time to
cold soup, such as cucumber and hair in the sun? myself at home, Im pretty happy
avocado or green pea. I could eat I dont use much product on my hair. I experimenting with hydrating
it all day, and luckily its healthy. let it dry naturally and am generally face masks and painting my nails.
straight out the door. If I feel it needs a Thats a treat in itself I feel like
PHOTOGRAPH: YELENA YEMCHUK/TRUNK ARCHIVE

How do you look after your bit of extra shine or hydration, I work in its me-time.
skin when travelling? a tiny dollop of coconut oil.
If Im on a very long ight I usually Whats your number-one
start by taking off my make-up and Have you ever had sun-damaged hair? travel-beauty tip?
then refresh with Tata Harpers Floral Not really, but I used to be bleach-blonde, which I have been using natural brands all
Essence Moisturizing Toner. I only destroyed my hair. I still cringe thinking about it. my life and Bronners Pure Castile
reapply make-up just before landing My hair has gone from pink to blue to white and Soap is brilliant. You can even use it
that way I look fresh coming off the then to black. Mostly for work, but sometimes for as a shampoo when youre travel-
plane, even if I dont feel it. fun. Now I try to stick to my natural colour. ling or at a festival.

From left: Hydrating Floral Essence Moisturizing Toner, 54, Tata Harper (cultbeauty.co.uk). ColorStay Makeup foundation, 12.99,
Revlon (boots.com). Anthelios Ultra-Light Spray SPF 30, 17.50, La Roche-Posay (boots.com). Neroli 36 eau de parfum, 115, Le Labo
(lelabofragrances.com). 18-in-1 Hemp Rose Pure-Castile Soap, 6.49, Dr Bronners (drbronner.co.uk)

58 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


STYLE FILE

GO-GETTER, JET-SETTER
DODO BAR OR
THE FORMER COMEDY ACTRESS WHO HAS NOW BECOME ISRAELS
MOST TALKED-ABOUT FASHION DESIGNER SHARES HER TEL AVIV TIPS

What are the smartest addresses in the city?


The Norman, a boutique hotel in the heart of Tel Aviv, has
the best ambiance. Its fun to just hang out there, or go to the
restaurant for lunch or dinner. The sushi bar upstairs is also cool.
And staying at the hotel will save you on taxi fares because youll
never want to leave everyone will come to you. My favourite
restaurant in town is Cantina, a lovely Italian place on
Rothschild Boulevard where the diverse clientele includes
actors such as Grard Depardieu and Audrey Tautou, politi-
cians, artists and philosophers. You never know whose table
youll end up on. I always order the carpaccio, calamari brus-
chetta, tomato salad and seafood risotto. Also Ill let you into a
little secret: although its an Italian restaurant, they serve tahini.
Its only for special customers, so let Jo the owner know I sent you.

Name your favourite neighbourhood haunts


The historic area of Neve Tzedek has small boutiques, work-
shops and jewellers. Dallal restaurant, on the corner of the
main street Shabazi and magical Kol Israel Haverim alley, is a
popular place where people gather for the good food. The
mezze is out of this world. Port Said is a hot new spot owned by
top Israeli chef Eyal Shani; theres always a long queue outside.
You basically wait on the pavement with a glass of wine or a
beer and make new friends. Lucifer is a great little pub where
you come to drink and nothing else.

PHOTOGRAPH: SHUTTERSTOCK
How do you pack for holidays?
To this day I am still trying to gure out the best way to do it.
Every time I go on a trip Im embarrassed when I see all the stuff
Ive brought. Beforehand I try to imagine myself at the place
Im travelling to and the looks Ill wear from day to night. In an
attempt to be organised, I make a list although its usually
unsuccessful. Staples that always work include vintage jeans

MICRO BAGS SMALL WONDERS THAT MAKE BIG STATEMENTS

Small minaudire Mini top-handle leather Bonsai mini nubuck tote, Embroidered By The Way Micro Precieux calfskin
bag, 1,440, Chlo bag, 1,450, Gucci 305, Simon Miller bag, 1,420, Fendi bag, 11,450, Herms
(chloe.com) (gucci.com) (net-a-porter.com) (fendi.com) (hermes.com)

60 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


BREAK-OUT SQUAD
The new names shaking up the rails this month

SARA BATTAGLIA
from Hippy Market in the Marais in Paris and a few James Perse Already known for her playful,
T shirts I love to layer them under long dresses. candy-striped accessories and
collaboration with Salvatore
How do you get the inside track when travelling? Ferragamo, this Italian designer has
I always connect to someone local who can show me around turned her joyful and exacting
and take me to the best restaurants and markets everyone attention to ready-to-wear for the
will help you after youve given them a compliment. I also love rst time. Dresses, blouses and
to check out traditional and religious costumes and even high-waisted trousers are all on
our wish list. net-a-porter.com
wear them. On my last trip to Zanzibar I went shopping with an
amazing woman who took me to a market. I dressed like a local
for the whole trip, which I think made staff at my hotel giggle.
They probably thought I was crazy. But I have fond memories
when I look at the photos.

What do you bring back?


Everywhere I travel I always buy a small souvenir to take home:
Y/PROJECT
Young and talented Belgian
an ashtray, a candle, a little salt box. I love that my house is full
designer Glenn Martens is now
of keepsakes with a story behind them.
in the driving seat of this
Paris-based brand. A challenger
Where do you nd design inspiration? to the almighty Vetements
I try to bring my Middle Eastern background to my creations. crown, its ticking all the trend
We have so much to offer: architecture, food, fragrances, boxes this season; shirting, crisp
colours, ornaments and beautiful fabrics. In Mediterranean cottons, street wear, corsets.
culture there is consistent use of handmade embroideries, Too many? We dont think so.
which is always visible in my dresses. net-a-porter.com

The hits of your S/S 17 collection?


This season focuses on jacquard fabric, created so the inside
and outside are both as rich as each other. I adorn it with lace,
studs, eyelets and embroidery for an authentic feel. My look is ATTICO
fun and versatile, to be worn with ats or heels. Founded by Italian street-style queens Gilda Ambrosio
and Giorgia Tordini, this label smacks of steamy summer
Dodo Bar Ors designs are available at matchesfashion.com and nights. Theres an awful lot of fun to get up to in these
sexy, witty, silky evening pieces. brownsfashion.com
net-a-porter.com

Vere mini wristlet, Flamma patent mini bucket Minaudire bag, 590,
995, Anya Hindmarch bag, 365, Mansur Gavriel Valentino (valentino.com)
(anyahindmarch.com) (mansurgavriel.com)
STYLE FILE

Love bracelet,
190, Chlo
(farfetch.com).
JAdior leather ap
bag, POA, Dior
(dior.com)

Petite Malle
reverse
monogram
iPhone case,
800, Louis
Appliqud distressed Vuitton
cotton-jersey (louisvuitton.
T-shirt, 320, Gucci com)
(net-a-porter.com)

ON THE SCENE: JUMEIRAH AL NASEEM, DUBAI


THE MOOD: LOGO MANIA
Until recently the aesthetic of the sprawling Madinat Jumeirah a 40-hectare citadel
connected by three kilometres of winding waterways has been upscaled pseudo-
souk: terracotta villas, Arabesque interiors, terrace restaurants under twinkling lights.
However, the Al Naseem, the fourth and nal of the resorts hotels, which opened
in December, bucks this trend, aiming instead to capture the spirit of modern
Dubai and its pillow-soft super-luxury. The colour scheme is muted: sand, stone
and taupe. Rooms are high-functioning, with opulent fabrics and slick control panels.
Throughout the corridors there are bold Emirati collaborations. At the reception desk
theres a huge sculpture in stainless steel by artist Mattar Bin Lahej. And the in-house
chocolate comes from Mirzam, the bean-to-bar chocolatiers on hip Alserkal Avenue.
The Al Naseem will soon see the arrival of New York burger-ippers Black Tap, and the
rst overseas outpost of the Ferragamo familys Tuscan restaurant, Il Borro. Just as
smart, but with a touch more funkiness than many of its neighbours, this is Dubais
classiest hotel to stop and op and eat till you drop. DAVID ANNAND jumeirah.com.
Doubles from about 270 half board. Emirates (emirates.com) ies to Dubai from London

Embellished jersey dress,


730, Moschino
(net-a-porter.com).
Catwalk look Dolce &
Gabbana S/S 17
Sunglasses, 475, Gucci (gucci.
com). Kiyomi bikini top, 200;
EDITORS PICK
bottoms, 160, both Herms
Fanny pack, bum bag, call it what you will: we
(hermes.com). Opyum Cassandre
are no longer embarrassed to utter the words.
shoes, 770, Saint Laurent by
Thank you Chanel. HANNAH MOORE,
Anthony Vaccarello (ysl.com)
ACTING FASHION DIRECTOR
Tweed and leather bum bag, 2,340, Chanel
(+44 20 7493 5040)

Chanel No 5 LEau, 68,


Chanel (chanel.com)

62 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


#HotTubHoseasons
ABTA No. Y0662

Stay at home
You dont need to go far to treat the ones you love.
Enjoy a 2017 lodge break in the UK with Hoseasons.

Find your hot tub heaven


hoseasons.co.uk
0345 498 6404
STYLE FILE

Libra necklace in gold, pebble,


citrine, opal, tourmaline,
topaz and pearl, 3,000,
Venyx for CVC Stone
(venyxworld.com). Mars
necklace in gold, ruby and
emerald, 1,100, Astley
Clarke (astleyclarke.com).
Scorpio necklace in gold,
pebble and diamonds,
3,720, Venyx for CVC
Stones (as before).

The Dark Side of the Moon


necklace in gold, silver and
diamonds, 15,500, Jessica
McCormack (jessica Alignment necklace in
mccormack.com). Dauphin gold and diamonds,
Etoile earring in gold and 23,400, El Karela
diamonds, 5,000, Sophie (elekarela.com). Libra
Bille Brahe (doverstreet Constellation ring in gold
market.com) and diamonds, 1,850,
Jessie V E (jessieve.com)

Comte Spirale ring


in white gold and
diamonds, 4,650,
Chanel Fine Jewellery
(chanel.com)
MOONAGE DAYDREAM
JEWELLERS GO INTERGALACTIC WITH COSMIC DESIGNS. BY JESSICA DIAMOND
Look at the stars! everyone cries when theyve left a light-polluted city and ventured to a
remote place unsullied by articial glow. Sweeping arc-like across a velvet tarpaulin of sky,
the Milky Way and its paint splatter never ceases to amaze. Jewellers love it for its
mystical and astrological potential, and its perfect alliance with diamonds their
otherworldly quality so in line with constellations. A slew of designers have put their spin on
the heavens: from established houses including Chanel, which has riffed on the motif
PHOTOGRAPH: KAMRUL ARIFIN/500PX

since 1932, to emerging talents such as El Karela and her graphic-star choker, and Jessie
V E and her constellation rings (wear your astrological sign or stack several for maximum impact).
For cult Danish jeweller Sophie Bille Brahe, her stylistic destiny was metaphorically written in the stars:
she is a descendant of Tycho Brahe, was a renowned 16th-century astronomer. More constellations
come from a collaboration between CVC Stones and Eugenie Niarchos of Venyx, in which smooth, matte
Alignment earrings in pebbles are studded with pin-pricks of gems. London jeweller Jessica McCormack presents a perfect ombr
gold, garnet, sapphires moon on a gold chain, and Shimell & Madden mixes planetarium and orrery references in a pair of deep-red orb
and diamonds, 4,100, earrings. Meanwhile, Astley Clarkes new creative director Dominic Jones, 2016s most talked-about jewellery signing,
Shimell & Madden begins the brand refresh with planetary-inspired pieces, including a sliced ruby Mars pendant dotted with a green
(shimellandmadden.com) emerald to represent a Martian. And the impact of these sky-high-style pieces? Nothing less than stellar, of course.

64 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


STYLE FILE
EDITED BY DAVID ANNAND

MAN ON a MISSION
O
n a speedboat in the Gulf of Mexico Ive taken the helm while the captain gets some sleep.
Marble-sized hailstones in Houston forced us to delay our departure from the mainland
until night-time, so Im powering along at 40 knots per hour in the pitch black. Around me
THE MAN: MARK HEALEY are hundreds of oil rigs, many of which have been decommissioned and dont have lights.
Huge tankers cut through the water. The whole thing has a Mad Max quality to it. But I need to keep
This Hawaiian stuntman, shark-tagger
going to take advantage of a narrow weather-window that will allow us to go spear-shing for wahoo,
and 60ft-wave surfer is one of the the third fastest sh in the ocean. At 3am, 150 miles out at sea, the bad weather hits. We have to
worlds greatest underwater athletes. secure the boat but the anchor line is in a huge, tangled knot. For two hours I unravel rope as rough
waves crash over the bow. Eventually the storm passes and the sun rises. Ive only had 45 minutes
THE MISSION sleep, but the waters are alive with six-foot wahoo, silvery-blue amberjacks and thousands of bait sh.
A daring, dead-of-night speedboat Plus a ton of sharks: hammerheads, tiger sharks and nasty old dusky sharks. Wearing a full-body
run into the remote waters of the Gulf
of Mexico, braving shark-infested
AT THE LAST SECOND I WEDGE MY SPEAR INTO THE
waters to spear-sh elusive wahoo, SHARKS MOUTH, JUST AS ITS PREPARING TO BITE
which speed through the water camouage wetsuit and ns, I roll into the water. The wahoo are powerful and fast. Shoot at one and
at up to 48mph. suddenly its gone, ying at full speed past your head. Hit one and often its gorged on by two aggressive
dusky sharks, which are hanging around. At the end of the day it gets too dark to carry on. As I head back
MILES TRAVELLED LAST YEAR to the boat, suddenly there are about 30 sharks around me. One of the duskies swims at me on the vertical.
100,000 Im at the surface so have nowhere to go. I have to wait until the last second before I can wedge my
spear into its mouth. Its four feet from me, preparing to bite, when I slam the gun into its jaws. The sharks
momentum keeps it speeding upwards and the gun slides sideways, forcing me to re the trigger with my
WEIRDEST PLACE VISITED thumb. The spear ies out through its cheek and rips the line. It swims off with a minor injury, and I watch
My trip to Indonesias Maluku islands my weapon sink to the ocean oor, knowing the sharks buddy is close behind. A second later, its on
was eventful. I visited when there me and I jam my now spear-less gun down its throat. The duskies aggression has emboldened all the
was a conict going on and I got shot other sharks and they swarm around me for 10 excruciating seconds before I reach the boat. Ive been
at and pursued by pirates. The islands lming it all on my GoPro, but it gets knocked from my head and falls into oblivion, all the crazy footage
are hauntingly beautiful, with huts gone. Not that Ill ever forget it. Healey Water Ops has an exclusive partnership in the UK with Elegant Resorts
made from a mix of organic material (+44 1244 897515; elegantresorts.co.uk), which creates bespoke experiences with Mark and his team worldwide
and World War II wreckage and
theres brilliant surf.

MUST PACK
A GoPro and grapefruit-seed extract:
its great for preventing stomach
ailments while travelling.

66 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


A POSTCARD FROM

Warsaw
Clockwise from top: Jeans, 270,
Current/Elliott (currentelliott.
com). Jacket, 635, Wacko Maria
(mrporter. com). Sunglasses, 385,
Max Pittion (mrporter.com). Suit
carrier, 1,780, Fendi (fendi.com). Standing at its base, its easy to see why Stalins Syringe remains many
Drive de Cartier watch, 15,500, Varsovians favoured nickname for the citys once-reviled Palace of
Cartier (cartier.com). Frank Soutien Culture and Science, which thrusts tumescently upwards out of the
raincoat, 1,155, Visvim (mrporter. citys skyline. Like the seven sister skyscrapers in Moscow, its an
com). Renwick boots, 360, exemplar of high-Stalinist neo-Gothic kitsch, but that hasnt stopped it
Churchs (church-footwear.com). from being embraced by the citys youth, who use its cultural spaces and
Electronic scale, 50, Tumi (tumi. throng enthusiastically to its canteens. Queuing at one of them, looking
com). Monsieur scent, 170, down at the trays of grey meats in heavy sauces, I cant help but wonder
Frederic Malle (fredericmalle.com). if one the great many reasons why Polish cuisine hasnt taken the world
Case, 240, Valextra for Frederic by storm is how profoundly un-Instagramable it is. Of course, scattered
Malle (as before). T-Shirt, 295, nasturtium petals and micro-herbs wont see you through evenings
Givenchy (mrporter.com)
PHOTOGRAPHS: MIKE COOTS; MIKE HOOVER;

when it gets down to -5C and the snow drives in on the horizontal.
CHRISTIAN KERBER; KANOA ZIMMERMAN

I jump in a taxi and head back to the old town, where I meander aimlessly
along side streets, dodging the rain, mooching about in museums,
sticking my head into different restaurants looking for somewhere to
eat. The whole thing is starting to feel like a performative critique of
the very idea of the weekend break. Then I decamp to the glorious
Art Nouveau splendour of the Column Bar at the Hotel Bristol, with its
original Otto Wagner lights and splendid Old Fashioneds, and suddenly
Warsaw opens up to me. I spend the rest of the night
propping up bar after cocktail bar, aware, at last, that
this is a city of many charms, but three drinks inside
you may help you nd them. DAVID ANNAND
ITS OUR
NATURE TO
UNWIND

INTRODUCING
THE FLORIDA KEYS NEWEST
LUXURY RESORT
DISCOVER A HAVEN OF
EXQUISITE WATERFRONT COMFORT
IN HARMONY WITH NATURE.
AWAKEN YOUR SPIRIT AT OUR
ALL-EMBRACING LOCATION,
RICH IN AMENITIES & EXPERIENCES AND
EXACTLY LIKE NOTHING ELSE.

PlayaLargoResort.com
305.853.1001
TRENDWATCH

BRAIN FOOD
CLUED-UP CITIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE NOURISHING THE GREY MATTER
PHOTOGRAPH: GRANT CORNETT/ARTPARTNER

You are what you eat, goes the old adage. But these days its hard to keep up with which diet to follow. Paleo? Raw? Harvested during a full moon while
riding a unicorn? It feels timely, then, that neuro-nutrition, the latest global trend, focuses on ingredients that repair brain cells and support neurotransmit-
ters, which control how we learn and make decisions. At Londons Corinthia hotel, a menu has been developed in collaboration with its neuroscientist-in-
residence, Dr Tara Swart. Ingredients are picked to optimise mental function, with dishes such as carrots in turmeric cream, and veal in a green-tea sauce
with spinach. The luteolin found in carrots helps to reduce age-related memory issues, while curcumin, found in turmeric, protects against a range of
neurological disorders including dementia, and green tea gives a stress-reducing hit of L-theanine. But its not just about the food. Anyone booking the
hotels brain-power sessions will be given a special ESPA massage in which breathing and visualisation activities take place before a physical
rub-down its believed the state of mindfulness leads to the thickening of the pre-frontal cortex, the region associated with concentration. Meanwhile,
just opened in New York is Honeybrains, billed as the rst caf for the mind. Founded by three siblings, one of whom is a neurologist, its menu and environ-
ment have been designed to give a wellbeing boost, with superfood juices to help aid memory, a circadian lighting system that mimics natural light to
stimulate the grey cells, and clever tech on sale including a bonkers brain-sensing headband, Muse, which guides meditation based on your mood.
A days Brain Power package at Corinthia Hotel London (corinthia.com) costs from 280; honeybrains.com IANTHE BUTT

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 69


The Maldives has upped its
game with hot opening Soneva
Jani. This page, one of the villa
bedrooms at the hotel. Opposite,
Four Seasons Maldives Private
Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll

70
blue, blue
NOWHERE HAS BETTER SEA THAN THE MALDIVES. NOWHERE HAS BETTER BEACHES. AND THE ISLANDS
HOTELS ARE ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL. HERES OUR SCOOP ON ITS MOST EXCITING NEW OPENINGS

electric blue PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES BEDFORD AND JENNY ZARINS


SONEVA JANI the eyepiece. Cycle across the island to the open-air, oating
cinema, where guests wear Bluetooth headphones to avoid dis-
BEST FOR: FAMILIES turbing the turtles. Of all the openings in the Maldives, this is the
The pioneering Soneva team, the rst to introduce over-water drop-dead gorgeous one, with the best villas, best service, best
villas to the Maldives as well as a strong environmental code and green credentials and best vision. Red Savannah (+44 1242 787800;
a determination to disconnect from the noisy outside world, brings redsavannah.com) offers a one-week stay from 5,997 per person,
us its third property. What sets this place apart is that it is actu- including breakfast, ights and transfers. MICHELLE JANA CHAN
ally made up of ve little islets in the Noonu Atoll. Snaking off
PHOTOGRAPHS: THIS PAGE, JAMES BEDFORD. OPPOSITE BOTTOM, JENNY ZARINS

the biggest is a 1.8km jetty with 24 over-water villas, each one


bigger than some hotels (the largest can t a family of 10). And FINOLHU
later this year there will be an equal number of beach villas hidden BEST FOR: PARTY PEOPLE
in the forests of screw pine, banyan trees and sea trumpet. A
second island is home to the cute-as-pie tented restaurant hub, Finolhu is the place to live it up. A party island that delivers on
serving everything from grilled seafood to freshly baked pizzas. all levels. Forget Club 55: The Fish and Crab Shack is the new
But the other three will remain undeveloped, so there will always top beach restaurant in the world, halfway down a staggeringly
be somewhere to play castaway. The scale of the villas is extraor- beautiful tail of white sand spearing nearly two kilometres into
dinary: built using wood from sustainable plantations and crafted the Indian Ocean. Here youll nd litres of delicious pink wine
in great sweeping curves, they are a charming jumble of pitched and soft-shell-crab tacos delivered by the metre. Staff are funny,
roofs and rondavels with fairy-tale turrets, ladders leading into charming and top-brass, ltered from other best hotels in the zone
the Indian Ocean and portholes in oors to reveal marine life such as Reethi Rah. The main hangout is the Baa Baa Beach
below. Retractable ceilings above beds unveil a starry night sky. Club, part Ibiza, Thunderbirds and Elvis Presleys Blue Hawaii.
Theres a bar and wine-tasting space, spa, gym, yoga studio and Theres a swim-up DJ bar, a VW Kombi van serving burgers and
an phenomenal kids club, which takes an inclusive approach, sushi, Pac-Man and Baywatch pinball machines, and a cinema
helping families holiday together. Youll also nd an observatory showing classics from James Bond to Rocky. The beats begin
with a telescope and live monitors that share the view through at lunch and flow into the afternoon pool party: inflatable

Above: sushi and sashimi at Ozen by Atmosphere at Maadhoo Island; the beach club at Lux South Ari Atoll. Opposite, clockwise from top: Milaidhoo
Island Maldives, where the worlds largest concentration of manta rays can be seen; the bar at Finolhu; beach-shack chic at the hotel

73
amingos, mermaid acrobat performers and volleyball on the over-water villas are simple and rustic, with apple-green, wood-
sand. Theres Sixties music at 6pm, Seventies at 7pm and Eighties panelled exteriors, coconut-leaf-thatched roofs and wicker sun
at 8pm before the pace steps up with live bands, re-eaters, con- loungers on the terraces (but no televisions, as the point here is
tortionists and stilt-walkers. If guests do fancy some shut-eye, to unplug). An early riser can practise hatha yoga with Rasmika
there are 93 over-water villas and 32 on the beach, some facing Sahan before a snorkelling trip nearby (although the house reef
reef-protected calm waters, the rest with pools. Rooms are smart is a treat too, with angelsh and baby blacktip sharks). Serious
and fun: rattan furniture, Moroccan-style lanterns, Marshall speaker foodies might nd the nightly buffet a tad repetitive, but it is,
unit and record player to play original Diana Ross LPs. Food is nevertheless, delightfully laid-back, carefree and barefoot. There
sensational, from mezzes and shisha pipes at North African res- are also beach barbecues and Sri Lankan feasts under the eye of
taurant Baahaa; char-siu pork belly with crispy aubergine and roast chef Chaminda Udabage, who cooks up his homeland favourites
duck with trufe miso at Cantonese joint Kanusan. Downtime and of sh curries and dhal. This is a small, unhurried, good-value
detox is at The Cove Club, with its jungle gym, basketball and tennis island aimed at those who spend their days drifting between sun
courts, and the Milk Bar serves at whites, protein shakes and aai beds and the ocean. Angelsh Travel (+44 1580 712690; angel
bowls. Even the spa is sociable sip Martinis on the deck while sh.travel) offers a Beach Villa from 280 per night. EMMA LOVE
having a mini massage or a mani-pedi. Despite its party image,
Finolhu is not to be underestimated. An instant professional, it
delivers on high energy brilliance without forgetting to get rooms,
LUX SOUTH ARI ATOLL
service and food pitch-perfect. Cleveland Collection (+44 20 3111 BEST FOR: STAYING UP LATE
0805; clevelandcollection.co.uk) offers a seven-night stay from
2,929 per person half board, including ights and transfers. MJC Fresh from a total overhaul, this revamped island has 193 villas,
both on the beach and on two jetties (one of which is adults-only),
PHOTOGRAPHS: THIS PAGE, JAMES BEDFORD

DRIFT THELU VELIGA RETREAT with vaulted white ceilings, grey wood-effect ceramic oors and
tree-trunk furniture. Many of the over-water villas are brand new,
BEST FOR: RUNAWAY COUPLES the spa is bigger and the interiors have been smartened up. Theres
a mellow beach-club vibe throughout, with bicycles to nip between
On one side of this island retreat a circular hectare bisected by the two bars at opposite ends of the three-kilometre-long island:
a sandy path lined with banana trees and bougainvillaea is an one more chilled beside the pool, and the other, livelier, with col-
open-air thatched bar, restaurant and water sports; on the other ourful reclaimed wooden tables, a reggae soundtrack, surfboards
are the villas and a tiny but brilliant spa. The 10 beach and 20 propped against the wall, and inatable swans standing by to drift

Above: pops of colour in one of the bedrooms of an Earth Villa at Ozen by Atmosphere; a lunchtime feast at Soneva Janis The Gathering, a
three-storey, over-water restaurant hub. Opposite, a Beach Pool villa at Milaidhoo Island Maldives, which has its own resident marine biologist

75
about on the sea. Theres coffee roasted on-site in reception, container as if it had simply washed up on shore and been
an ice-cream parlour with 32 homemade avours such as bub- taken over by castaway hawkers of the Michelin-starred variety.
blegum and pistachio, and live DJs at Beach Rouge, one of the The largest of the 77 villas the biggest in the Maldives is the
six restaurants, including Allegria for Italian dishes and Senses for John Jacob Astor Estate, named after the chap who built the
Indian. The expanded spa offers yoga in a grove of palms, or on original St Regis hotel in New York. Surely hed approve of
stand-up paddle boards (great for strengthening the core), as well Vommuli. All the signature St Regis touches are here the
as a tennis coach for private lessons and a marine biologist to take butlers, the grand staircase, the mural in the bar, the Champagne
guests swimming with whale sharks in a protected area. Frequent sabrage ceremony. Theres even a riff on the classic Bloody Mary,
pop-ups include a mixologist making Aperol cocktails at East Point, served in a seashell and renamed the Island Mary. If fancy cock-
an open-air cinema on the beach and the sudden appearance of tails in novelty vessels are not your thing, consult the wine list.
a rack of Panama hats guests can borrow. Its impossible to miss Among other treasures, it contains a 1775 Madeira. Uncork it
home, but just in case, theres a red telephone box by reception for on the west-facing deck of The Whale Bar at half-past ve and
free old-school-style phone calls. This hideaway, above all, is incred- settle in for one of those transcendently beautiful Maldives
ibly fun. And Lux is opening a second property later this year in sunsets. The tab for the nectar is 41,000 Yankee dollars. The
the North Mal Atoll for even more good times. Hayes & Jarvis sunset is on the house. Carrier (+44 161 492 1358; carrier.co.uk)
(+44 1293 762 415; hayesandjarvis.co.uk) offers seven nights from offers seven nights for the price of six from 5,330 per person,
1,649 per person, including breakfast, ights and transfers. EL including breakfast, ights and transfers. STEVE KING

OZEN BY ATMOSPHERE AT MAADHOO HURAWALHI ISLAND RESORT


BEST FOR: A SPORTY ALL-INCLUSIVE BEST FOR: MARINE AFICIONADOS
All adrenalin-packed action takes place at one end of the island It has the biggest underwater restaurant in the Maldives and
nicknamed The Hub, where there is a watersports centre such there are wonders on both sides of the glass. Hurawalhi is sur-
as yboarding and wakeboarding a pool by the thatched bar, rounded by no fewer than 50 outstanding dive sites, including
and ve of the hotels six restaurants. But this is also the spot to one of the most reliable manta-ray hotspots in the archipelago,
wind down: at the pretty spa with its outdoor salt- and freshwater where you can marvel at the spectacle of these creatures lining
dipping pools, and stepping-stones over ponds decorated with up to be fussed over by lesser marine life. The 90 villas are
half-submerged Oriental vases and lily pads. The 41 beach villas compact and uncomplicated, differentiated only by their posi-
are good for families, while the 48 over-water villas offer more tion and the presence or absence of a private pool. The two main
privacy; those with plunge pools face the sunset and all come with restaurants and bar are airy spaces with soaring ceilings. Discreet
a shared butler who can whizz guests around the island in a buggy. touches table-tops in a mosaic of petried wood; transparent
For lunch, perch on wire-and-wooden bar stools at the counter panels in the oor to allow sh-spotting perk up the unpreten-
of health-food restaurant Raw for sushi and sashimi, or at any of tious design. Both the views and the menu (tuna carpaccio with
the surprising number of places to eat, given the size of the hotel. pickled daikon, yuzu gel and shiso) at underwater restaurant 5.8
Theres Hong Kong-style, stir-fried lagoon crab at Peking; delicious are deeply impressive. Another temptation is the small but splen-
hoppers with coconut chutney at Indo Ceylon, and six-course didly stocked wine cellar, curated by managing partner Lars Petre,
seafood menus (scallops with pumpkin and heirloom tomatoes; a pioneering hotelier and entrepreneur in the Maldives whose love
grilled yellown tuna; red mullet with pepper and pecorino) at of the islands is written all over his craggy Swedish face. But at
underwater restaurant M6M. This is an all-inclusive that Hurawalhi, its whats below the surface that really counts. Theres

PHOTOGRAPHS: BOTTOM LEFT, JAMES BEDFORD. TOP AND BOTTOM RIGHT, JENNY ZARINS
shouldnt make you sneer; its a bit of a treat not having to think an inspiring young dive team all of whom appear to speak half
about prices and extras, and where every detail is taken care of. a dozen languages and hold higher degrees in easy-going charm
Hayes & Jarvis (+44 1293 762415; hayesandjarvis.co.uk) offers to help you into your mask and ns. Archers Holidays (+44 800
seven nights from 3,095 per person full board, including ights 223 0179; archersdirect.co.uk) offers seven nights from 2,779 per
with Emirates and transfers. EL person, including breakfast, ights and transfers. SK

THE ST REGIS MALDIVES VOMMULI RESORT COCOON MALDIVES


BEST FOR: SERIOUS FOODIES BEST FOR: URBAN CHIC IN AN ISLAND SETTING

The retro-futuristic design at Vommuli might have been inspired You couldve sworn you were on a ight to a private island in the
by The Jetsons. It looks like a vast docking station for ying Maldives, only to wake up wondering how you ended up in a
saucers all the more wonderful for being made entirely of boutique hotel in Milan instead. Or at least the interiors at
wood. A Space Age vibe pervades the interiors too, with modular Cocoon a 150-room poem to pared-down, pastel-toned Italian
ceiling lamps that resemble chemistry diagrams and translucent chic could make you feel that way for a moment. The concept,
bathroom surfaces lit from below. Though the house reef is excel- designer Daniele Lago explains, is to create an impression of
lent, there are enough distractions on dry land to keep you oating weightlessly in space. The fun starts with the swings that
occupied for weeks. Of the half-dozen superb restaurants, the dangle invitingly from the ceiling in reception and continues with
most charming is Cargo, a street-food emporium in a ships furniture mounted on transparent legs, so that everything appears

Opposite, clockwise from top left: a living room at the Four Seasons; sun beds on the shore at Finolhus Baa Baa Beach Club; Italian restaurant
Alba at The St Regis Maldives Vommuli; relaxing on the deck at Soneva Jani with views of the Indian Ocean

76
PHOTOGRAPHS: JENNY ZARINS
to hover in mid-air. Theres an interactive element to the faintly
nursery aesthetic too. Picture frames in rooms could contain
works of art by the previous occupant a nice idea, whose success
may depend on whether you were preceded by a Michelangelo
or a maniac. Should you be curious about the islands coconut
palms, sign up for a coconut-palm tutorial. Alternatively, learn
more about traditional Maldivian village life on a tour of the
Traditional Maldivian Village that has been constructed for that
purpose. (For a more convincing impression of authenticity, you
can take a short boat ride to the next-door island, where actual
locals live in an actual village.) But best of all for fostering a sense
of neighbourly goodwill is the Community Table, to which the
general manager welcomes any guests who might care to dine
with him, and with each other. A seven-night stay costs from about
3,165 per person half board, including transfers, but excluding
ights (+960 301 6888; cocoonmaldives.com). SK

MILAIDHOO ISLAND MALDIVES


BEST FOR: SWITCHING OFF

A wonderful reminder of the joys of getting back to basics.


Milaidhoo gives classic Maldivian island style a refreshing contem-
porary twist. Understated, rened and properly spoiling. The 50
villas are enlivened with deft decorative ourishes the vivid blue-
on-blue accents and curvaceous lines of the Beach Pool villas, in
particular, display great charm and panache. The island is small
enough to get around without a buggy, so you can put a little of the
barefoot work back into the enjoyment of barefoot luxury.
Milaidhoos location in Baa Atoll a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Syphon coffee at Lux. Opposite, view from a villa at Finolhu. Previous pages,
with the worlds highest concentration of manta rays is a huge from left: Whale Bar at The St Regis; seaplane arriving at the Four Seasons
plus. Nearby Hanifaru Bay is to ray fanciers what La Scala is to
opera buffs. A snorkelling, diving or sailing expedition, especially design team to take another look at the bar and turn it into some-
in the company of the resident marine biologist, is likely to be as thing more pleasing to behold, pleasant to touch and practical to
instructive as it is beautiful the sort of experience that could alter use. Its what the Four Seasons does.) How much or how little
a persons entire attitude towards the oceans. The signature res- you make of Voavah is likely to be your main your only
taurant, Batheli, serving Maldivian and trade-route-inspired dishes concern. Theres no shortage of possibilities. Its all yours. Youve
in three cleverly interlinked dhonis, is a show-stopper. No less got the splendours of the Baa Atoll lapping at your shores and
intriguing is the Deep Sleep Mood Menu. Four courses contrived your own yacht on which to explore it. Youve got your own dive
for maximum soporic effect (passion-fruit-and-green-tea soup centre and every beach toy known to man-child. Not to mention
who knew?) are served on your candlelit terrace. Ideally, it will your own spa, the immaculate Ocean of Consciousness (surely
be preceded by a spa treatment and followed by a meditation missing an un), and 28 staff dedicated to making your life as
session and herb-infused bath. A bedtime story and glass of warm agreeable as possible. There may be no better circumstances
milk, though surely unnecessary by this point, could no doubt also in which to simply retreat to a shady spot with a book and give
PHOTOGRAPHS: THIS PAGE, JAMES BEDFORD. OPPOSITE, JENNY ZARINS

be arranged. Carrier (+44 161 492 1358; carrier.co.uk) offers seven everyone the day off. The place looks great and feels great too. The
nights for the price of six and a 10 per cent early-booking reduction juxtaposition of smooth and rough textures, and traditional and
from 3,845 per person half board, including ights and transfers. SK contemporary materials, is brilliantly managed. Voavah is where
woven seagrass met diamond-polished concrete and fell hope-
FOUR SEASONS MALDIVES PRIVATE lessly in love. The muted palette of the interiors may at rst appear
unduly subdued until you realise that what seems like conserv-
ISLAND AT VOAVAH, BAA ATOLL atism is really a form of reverence. It serves to draw your eye
outwards, back into the sublime, saturated colour and endless
BEST FOR: TOTAL PRIVACY space of sea and sky beyond. Carrier (+44 161 492 1358; carrier.
Wide-brimmed straw hats off to the Four Seasons. With this ve- co.uk) offers ve nights from 240,000 full board based on two
acre, seven-bedroom, profoundly private island it has raised the people sharing exclusive use of the island, including activities,
proverbial bar. (While the group was at it, it probably got its business-class ights and transfers. Sleeps up to 22. SK

OPENING IN 2017 Theres a new ve-bedroom Royal Residence retreat at Jumeirah Vittaveli with a private beach, two pools and its own
arrival jetty with an over-water bar. Kandima Maldives in Dhaalu Atoll launches with the largest pool in the Maldives, 10 restaurants, Zumba
classes and electric scooters. On the same atoll, Baglioni Resort Maldives speaks of Italian design with a yoga pavilion at the Garden Spa and
a sensational open-water reef. The Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is a small but good-value, pocket-sized property opening on Gaafu Alifu.

81
SHAPE
SHIFTER
BOLIVIAS ONCE DOWNBEAT LA PAZ IS NOW POPPING WITH CURIOUS HAPPENINGS OF
REAL PEDIGREE FROM DESIGN HOTELS TO EDGY RESTAURANTS SERVED UP BY NOMA

BY CHRIS MOSS
PHOTOGRAPHS
BY JULIEN CAPMEIL

82
Clockwise from top left:
cholet architecture; La
Paz at dusk; colourful
decor at Gustu;
Salteas Potosina pie
shop; The Writers
Coffee; Le Diner; ice
cream; Gastn Ugalde
artwork; a traditional
shawl. Opposite,
Crucero del Sur cholet
Clockwise from top
left: a headdress in
the folklore museum;
hats on the wall at
Gustu; the hills of the
city; woven blankets;
street art; meringue
at Gustu; Mistura
concept store; a Day
of the Dead wake;
The Writers Coffee.
Opposite, from top
left: edible owers
at Gustu; the bar;
hillside sculptures
I CANT SEEM to get my gait as if were all tumbling down towards a Adler, Triumph and Torpedo typewriters
right. Im on the Prado, the main avenue putative centre but I cant see one. The on display, and tall shelves crammed with
in downtown La Paz. The slope is behind plazas are thronging with pedestrians and sober-looking academic reference books.
me so I can just about breathe. The cholas bowler-hatted Aymara women Alarcn divides his time between La
problem is, paceos speed up when they seated at their stalls selling salty, greasy Paz and Berlin, where he is about to launch
are walking downhill. I keep half an eye snacks, glasses of mocochinchi made with a wine bar in boho Prenzlauer Berg. His
on their feet. Yes, those approaching me dried peaches and cinnamon, souvenir baristas wear tight T-shirts and trilbies,
have an elegant, 19th-century pace. They llama-motif bobble hats, miniature chola and turn out 34 different kinds of coffee,
link arms, take their time. But those jostling dolls and SIM cards. The roads are rammed including slow-macerated Japanese
beside me are moving much faster, zigzag- with packed minibuses, battered cabs and brews. But Im not here for hipster coffee.
ging through the crowds, phones clamped Dodge buses painted in vibrant colours. Im here for psychogeography, and my
to ears, shouting out deals and private Respite is a rare commodity. fellow cortado sipper is an expert. Carlos
dramas as if there was oxygen in the air. Fortunately Boris Alarcn, a bright Mesa, who was briey Bolivias president
At 3,600 metres above sea level, breath- Bolivian entrepreneur, has opened a smart between 2003 and 2005, is also one of its
lessness is part of everyday life in La Paz. caf in the old Gisbert bookshop on calle foremost writers. I ask him what it means
As is hustle, bustle, the raw human energy Comercio. Hes called it The Writers to live in the worlds highest capital city.
of almost a million people living in a Coffee, which sounds like a mistranslation, La Paz and the mountains are a single
caldera-shaped canyon. Sometimes I feel but the space is dimly lit and beautiful, with thing, theyre inseparable, he says. Were

85
EVERYONE IVE MET IN LA PAZ IS AMBITIOUS, centre, the citys rst smart boutique hotel,
HOPEFUL AND CURIOUS. THIS NEW GENERATION IS Atix, has just opened: its interiors built
from native wood and comanche stone,
TRANSFORMING THE LONG-IGNORED CITY its walls hung with works by Bolivias
best-known artist, Gastn Ugalde. The
striking parallelogram-shaped tower is
the result of a collaboration with New York
design studio Narofsky Architecture.
Were the new face of Bolivian hospital-
ity, says owner Mariel Salinas. Our aim is
to share our cultural wealth with the rest
of the world. The cool cocktails made
from singani and other native rewaters
that are served in the bar, +591 (Bolivias
phone code), were created by David
Romero, a former mixologist at Limas
award-winning Central, and Ona restau-
rant serves sublime Andean food.
That said, the competition in the barrio
is erce. Around the corner is Gustu, a res-
taurant opened by Claus Meyer, co-founder
of Copenhagens two-Michelin-starred
Noma and the man credited with setting
off the Scandi food revolution a decade
ago. He was looking for a country with
amazing produce but no real cuisine, says
Surnaya Prado of Gustu. He had made a
shortlist of four, but he came to Bolivia
rst, saw it had everything he required
and his journey ended here. The lofty
dining space, decorated in bright textiles,
masks and recycled vintage furniture, looks
almost as gorgeous as the food served by
Bolivias best-known modern
chef Kamilla Seidler and her youthful team
artist, Gastn Ugalde, with
his work. Opposite, clockwise (Gustu is also a training academy). Lunch
from top left: ower market; is a seven-course sampler, including llama
a cocktail at Caf Bronze; a tartare, Amazonian sorubim fish with
cholet; vegetable dish at bananas and chilli, and a sorbet of tumbo
Gustu; typical minibuses; fruit with gin. Denmark suddenly seems a
Ugaldes work; oil paints; yarns bit last century.
at the museum; Atixs bar At the neighbourhoods most stylish
home-grown shop, Walisuma, owner
Patricia Rodrguez shows me $1,000 vicua
wool scarves, baby-soft llama-hide bags,
in the shadow of Illimani, one of the most (he is often called affectionately by his rst kitchenwares made from recycled Bolivian
beautiful mountains in the world and name) has been good for La Paz. Theres rosewood, and oaty dresses in muted
when we are away we think only of that. been rivalry from the commercial hub colours that have an ethnic feel but avoid
Indigenous culture is not something from Santa Cruz in the lowlands for years, and the crude iconography of tourist clobber.
the past. People still believe the mountains from [constitutional capital] Sucre as well We use coca leaves, plants and herbs
are apus, or protective spirits. as moves to divide the country, he explains. in our natural dyes, says Rodrguez. We
I remark that, for me, even more striking When Evo came to power, he was quick have modernised the motifs so the fabrics
than the dramatic mountain setting is the to reassert La Pazs status as capital. This, denote the region but are fashionable.
way La Paz feels enclosed, like a huge bowl. and the pro-indigenous politics, has united Thats what our clients want.
Yes, and because of that we are frightened the city and given it new condence. Zona Sur has cutesy coffee shops, Asian-
of empty, wide-open spaces, he says. A fusion restaurants, private art galleries and
paceo out on the plains feels terror. After recent visits to all the big cities on flagships of upmarket Italian fashion
Mesa is no fan of Evo Morales, South this continent, Id say La Paz is changing brands. But it also has a proper food
Americas first indigenous president faster than any other. Its renaissance comes market where everyone seems to be chin-
who took his seat in 2006. He calls him a after decades of sleepy stagnation. In wagging as they pick up tropical fruit,
pure capitalist and a shameful self- Zona Sur (the southside), a residential high-plains vegetables, quinoa and other
mythologiser. But despite being a political and commercial district which is lower and now-cool superfoods such as maca and
opponent, Mesa acknowledges that Evo a few degrees warmer than the historic vitamin-C-rich camu camu. It also has a

86
Clockwise from this
picture: Caf Bronze;
bread at Gustu, the
restaurant that has
raised La Pazs global
prole; a vegan dish
at Ali Pacha; a cholet;
Gustu bar; La Paz
high-rises; fruit stall at
Lanza market; Typica
Caf; a chola display
in Plaza Murillo

very good old-school pie shop, Salteas uniforms, homes with pools, gardens and station is a staircase up to the Montculo,
Potosina. The tasty snack is laced with pedigree dogs, football stadia, an Olympic a neat little park with cypress trees, a
chilli. A small group of local food histori- swimming pool, a church for every parish, marble fountain of Neptune and a walled-
ans have started a campaign to prove ofce blocks, and thousands of residential in viewpoint. I can hear the mufed sound
chillis originally came from upland Bolivia. towers built in orange brick, their at roofs of city trafc. A cobbled street leads away
Its time, they say, to reclaim their gastro- a jumble of cables and antennae. Cars, cabs from here. I meander without a plan. If
nomic gift to the world. and buses race along winding ribbons of I get lost, Ill look for the peak of Illimani
I take a cable-car to the hilltop suburb expressway. Every narrow pavement is and reset my compass.
of Sopocachi. The new network of aerial lled with walkers, workers, students, all Like any bohemian quarter, by day
public transport has been opening in stages dashing hither and thither. Again, I have Sopocachi feels slumberous, reective. I
since May 2014. Three lines currently that impression that life in La Paz is see lots of street signs for dive bars, clubs,
operate, with seven more under construc- centripetal, arrowing inwards but with pool halls and restaurants that only open
tion. The Austrian-built system has halved nowhere to come to rest. after dark. But there are also bookshops
the commute for suburbanites. It gives me Sopocachi is a liminal zone falling and cultural centres and I make a stop at
a chance to see the city beyond Zona Sur. between the business-minded south and the new Salar Gallery, where the artist
While chatting to a friendly fellow old centre. It looks faintly European and Ugalde is displaying his ultra-saturated
passenger, I look down over school play- is as close as La Paz gets to laid-back. A photographs of Bolivias Uyuni salt lake.
grounds full of children in smart red few minutes walk from the cable-car Its the whiteness, he says, of his obsession

88
with the mineral. It makes me think of recite prayers, picking up wreaths from the bent over steaming bowls of broth, rolls
death, which is so peaceful. But hes ower market at the gate, stopping by ice- stuffed with spicy sausages and immense
sipping a can of beer and grinning as he cream parlours to buy cones its tradi- fruit cocktails. Cumbia music blasts out.
says it. Ambivalent, self-deprecating and tional to enjoy something sweet after Pungent aromas of spices, papaya and
with a air for Pop-style art, Ugalde is shedding bitter tears. The Aymara belief pineapple waft along the walkways. This
sometimes nicknamed the Andean Warhol. system holds that dead relatives are on a is as traditional a place as anywhere in
Tourism brought hotels and restaurants, three-year journey to reincarnation. Thus the city, yet even here, a new scheme
and now the gastronomy will bring the mourners wail on the first Day of the known as Suma Phayata (well-cooked in
kind of people who are collectors, he says. Dead, weep politely on the second and by Aymara) is promoting food hygiene so
Its a good time to be in Bolivia. the third are eating ice cream. visitors can go on a street-snack crawl
I make my way across to the old city, knowing everything they eat is safe.
I amble on, enjoying the relative calm of passing some of the guidebook favourites: My lunch pit stop is Ali Pacha, one of
this western ank of the city, until I arrive the Witches Market where the cholas sell the most progressive restaurants in South
at the Cementerio General, the main herbs, potions and dried llama foetuses; America. After training at Londons
necropolis. Death here seems to be any- calle Jan, probably La Pazs oldest street Cordon Bleu school and working in Gustu,
thing but peaceful. It is the Day of the and certainly the prettiest with its cobble- owner Sebastian Quiroga was all set
Dead and all around me there is a commo- stones and shady patios; Lanza market, to pursue an ordinary jobbing-chefs
tion of mourners en route to tombs to where tiny restaurants are full of diners career when he saw a lm about animal
welfare and had an epiphany he decided Pot plants outside Gustu.
La Paz needed a vegan restaurant. Opposite, clockwise from
It seems radical, but so does being a top left: detail on a cholet;
chef here, he said. My parents wanted me La Paz from Killi Killi
viewpoint; a sculpture;
to become a lawyer, a professional. They
a bedroom at Atix; a
sent me to Exeter University but I didnt
vintage typewriter at
like it. I knew I wanted to cook. The Writers Coffee;
The lunchtime menu at Ali Pacha dessert at Ali Pacha; La
features roots and shoots, flowers and Choperia bar; a Day of
fruits: all exquisite to look at and thrilling the Dead shrine; a cholet
to taste. I have crispy palm hearts, freshly
whipped coconut butter, an ash made from
beetroot, sweet quinoa (used as a sort of
tofu) and ice cream made with cupuau
from the rainforest.
Its not unrealistic to think of our
native cuisine as largely vegan, he says.
Before cattle and sheep were introduced,
the Aymara would have eaten very little
meat. Theirs was a diet of vegetables,
pulses and grains.
Quiroga, like everyone Ive met in La
Paz, is ambitious, hopeful, chatty and
curious. Lots of these would-be movers
and shakers work, or have worked, with
one another; its a small, close-knit com-
munity. This new generation of paceos is
transforming the long-ignored city.

To catch your breath in La Paz you


sometimes, unusually, have to go even
higher. The cable-car ride up to El Alto,
the sometime suburb that has become La
Pazs sister city, is steep and dramatic. From
the top Im at 4,100 metres now I can
at last take in the sweep of the Bolivian
capital. The crater in which La Paz sits
looks like it has been created by an aster-
oid collision it is in fact a river canyon
and the city, too, has the look of something
not quite intentional. Illimani acts like a
purifying force, a pristine hulk of black
mountain with its white summit, splitting
the clouds and protecting this messy, crazy, party venue on the rst and second, a few drab, jerry-built towers eventually merging
breathtaking city. oors of apartments to rent and, on top of it with the parched high plain. At the very
I turn to enter El Alto, another million all, a chalet-like house for the owner. edge of this are the Andes, golden in
souls spread over the dusty Andean alti- With a taxi driver, I tour the city and see the lowering sun, and a huge blue sky.
plano. Most visitors have to pass through a few of these cholets. They stand out for Im breathless again, but at least Im
because its where the airport is located, their not-quite-primary colours, Wurlitzer- standing still. From somewhere behind
but in recent years some have lingered like lines, mirror-glass windows and garish me and far below comes a faint hum:
awhile to see one of the oddest artistic murals. We pull over at a vaguely ship- La Paz, tireless and unstoppable on its
movements of our times. shaped building called Crucero del Sur. way to a new future.
El Alto native Freddy Mamani, a former The interior is an acid trip of chartreuse,
mason, has been giving its otherwise mono- mustard and carrot-orange. As a party Aracari (+44 20 7097 1750; aracari.
tone sprawl an injection of colour with some venue, its indisputably fun a mix of Willy com) offers a ve-day trip to La Paz
60 houses inspired partly by native Aymara Wonka, Gaud, and Hansel and Gretel. As from 1,272 per person, including stays
architecture, but also by festive chola cloth- architecture, its an over-the-top cathedral at Atix and Casa Grande hotels, private
ing and most bizarrely the Transformer of dubious taste for El Altos nouveau riche. guided tours and transfers. British
cartoon-toy franchise. The buildings are On the roof of the world, like a summit- Airways (+44 844 493 0787;
known as cholets (from chola and chalet); ing mountaineer, I climb seven oors and britishairways.com) ies from London
the standard format is a multi-storey tower come out onto a bare terrace. Before me Gatwick to La Paz via Lima
with retail space on the ground oor, a is El Altos vastness, its endless rows of

91
92
PHOTOGRAPHS: ADRIAN LANDER
Dig in
BY TOM PARKER BOWLES
THE AUSTRALIAN FOOD SCENE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MIX AN
OPEN, INQUISITIVE CULINARY SENSIBILITY WITH GOOD INGREDIENTS
AND BOUNTIFUL IMMIGRATION. HERE ARE SOME OF THE WORLDS
MOST EXCITING CHEFS PUSHING LIMITS, AS WELL AS CHEAP, RAMMED
JOINTS WHERE FLAVOURS ARE BIG, BOLD AND BRASSY. THE REAL
CULINARY BEEF IS BETWEEN MELBOURNE AND SYDNEY, BUT BRISBANE
HAS ITS OWN LANGUOROUS TROPICAL CHARM. THIS LIST IS A TASTE
OF THREE MONTHS SPENT TRAVELLING ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH
THE AIM OF FINDING A FEW PLACES FOR A DECENT LUNCH

MELBOURNE with an innate understanding of how avours work. He trained


CHIN CHIN under Phil Howard at The Square in London before returning
Its vast, its cacophonous and it doesnt take bookings (unless to Oz to open Estelle. Its smart but unshowy, elegant and
youre in a big group). Three things that would usually have me comfortable: exposed brick and concrete walls, a long wooden
heading straight for the door. But this bustling CBD restaurant bar, a rather lovely back wall festooned with greenery and an
has real heart and soul. And the Asian food (mostly Thai) gets open kitchen. The menu isnt too pretentious, just beautiful
taste buds whooping with delight. Executive chef Benjamin ingredients beautifully cooked, from the jamn-and-Manchego
Cooper trained under the great David Thompson, so the Thai croquettes to the Cantabrian anchovies with romesco sauce.
dishes, including an astonishingly ne and decently ery pork Beef cheek is stewed for hours then served with silken, buttery
jungle curry and som tam (green-papaya salad), have none of mashed potato, while a cauliower-and-Taleggio risotto is
the rough edges rubbed off. Balance is everything, of the sweet, umami bliss. estellebistro.com. About 80 for two
sour, salty and spicy. A citrus-and-chilli larb gai (minced-chicken
salad) is followed by the fat succulence of pad see ew (stir-fried BISTRO GUILLAUME
rice noodles) with slow-braised wagyu beef and rolled noodles. OK, so it may be tucked away in the Crown casino complex.
Some dishes soothe, such as the massaman curry, while others, And in the UK, were not used to much more than turgid dim
such as DIY spring rolls, are crisp and clean. Chilli freaks can sum when sitting at a roulette table, but things are rather dif-
PHOTOGRAPHS: ROB PALMER; MARK ROPER; ANSON SMART

order all manner of pungent pods, be it fresh, dried or made ferent in Australia. The Fat Duck popped up here for six months,
into jam. The great joy of Chin Chin is its ability to meld slick, one oor above. And Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is settling
speedy service with a genuine warmth. Sure, you may have in permanently. Theres also Nobu and Neil Perrys Spice
to queue at busy times, but this is a true Melbourne great. Temple, so Bistro Guillaume is in esteemed company. And
chinchinrestaurant.com.au. About 55 for two Guillaume Brahimi is one hell of a chef. His main restaurant in
Sydney is adored by critics and punters alike. At his Melbourne
ESTELLE BISTRO outpost, he concentrates on the classics: wonderful crisp-skinned
Ill hold my hands up and say that Scott Pickett, the chef pro- chicken with a serious avour punch, cooked on a rotisserie, or
prietor of this north-side favourite, is a good mate. We spent a a pert watercress salad with pear, Roquefort and walnut vinai-
couple of months on the road lming the Australian TV series grette as good as Ive eaten anywhere in France. As are the
The Hotplate together, and I saw more of him then than I did moules marinires, which reminded me how delicious this easy
my family. But believe me, Pickett is a seriously talented chef dish can be. Plus, home-smoked salmon; soft, seductive rillettes

Opposite, clockwise from top left: poached-chicken-and-shrimp salad at Thai restaurant Chin Chin; Bistro Guillaume; the bar counter at
Chin Chin; steamed Thai layer cake at Spice I am. Previous pages, from left: Chin Chin; chicken-and-coconut soup at Spice I Am

94
96
and a damn good wine list too. For pudding, the lemon tart has
blissfully crumbling pastry. Simple, yet spot on its the sort of
French food we all crave, but nd all too rarely. bistroguillaume
melbourne.com.au. About 65 for two

MAMAK
As with most of my favourite restaurants, Mamak doesnt look
like much from the outside. Yes, its busy, and the queues usually
snake down the street, but at least you can watch the black-clad
chefs hand-stretch great sheets of dough until theyre rice-paper-
thin while you wait. Because Mamak is all about the roti.
Founded by three Malaysians homesick for a taste of Kuala
Lumpur, it began life as a street-food stall, and now has two
permanent spots in Sydney and one in Melbourne. The rotis are
available in four sweet guises, including coconut and banana,
and six savoury, from plain to egg-lled or stuffed with spicy
meat and cabbage. Theyre thin, aky and buttery, and come
with a sweetish lentil curry, a sh-spiked gravy and a good, spicy
sambal sauce. Rip, dip, eat, repeat. Tables are mainly communal,
service fast and the menu small. Satays are juicy and suitably
charred, and there are a couple of decent sh curries, a fairly
authentic nasi lemak coconut-milk rice plus long beans fried
with sambal and prawn paste. But really, Mamak is all about the
bread. mamak.com.au. About 35 for two

SYDNEY
THE APOLLO
Im rather ashamed to admit that Greek food had never got me
too hot and bothered. A spanking-fresh sh grilled over vines
and served on a remote beach, with sand between ones toes, is
pretty civilised. And Im a sucker for decent taramasalata. But
moussaka is little more than a lasagne with an identity crisis.
And as for stuffed vine leaves, get thee away, Satan. Then I went
to The Apollo and changed my mind within a few bites. The
room is cavernous but warm, and the menu a quiet revelation.
Taramasalata is rich, majestic and salty, miles removed from the
usual lurid pink goo. Piles of steaming-hot pittas are served with
everything, and the spinach-and-cheese pie is softly splendid. The
grilled dishes are every bit as ne: plump, slightly sour sausages
gleaming with fat; sumac-and-chilli sardines blistered from the
charcoal; slow-cooked lamb shoulder with lemon yogurt to share,
although I wanted every luscious last scrap to myself. A noble end
for any young sheep and one of the best dishes I ate in Australia.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ADRIAN LANDER; JASON LOUCAS; CAMERA PRESS

The Greek wines are interesting too, such as the light, lithe Gaia
Thalassitis Assyrtiko. theapollo.com.au. About 30 for two

HOUSE
Theres a small area, halfway between the CBD and Surry Hills,
which chef and restaurateur Sujet Saenkham has made pretty
much his own. Spice I Am is perhaps the most famous of his
numerous and very high quality Thai joints, but its House
that is my favourite. Its laid-back, unpretentious and comprises
a tiny room, with plenty of tables outside under an awning. You
can bring your own booze or get it from the bar next door, then
get stuck into some of the best Isaan tucker outside Thailand.
The food in the north-east of the country is salty, sour and brac-
ingly hot. No coconut-milk relief here. This is the real thing

From top: fennel-and-cumin lamb cutlets at Mr Wong; Chin Chins


executive chef Benjamin Cooper. Opposite, taramasalata at The Apollo
98
PHOTOGRAPHS: DOMINIQUE CHERRY
ITS SMART BUT UNSHOWY, ELEGANT AND COMFORTABLE.
JUST BEAUTIFUL INGREDIENTS BEAUTIFULLY COOKED
with all those wonderfully pongy, shy tangs still intact. The BRISBANE
nam priks (spicy relish) are excellent, and despite being an inte- BIRDS NEST
gral part of all Thai food, rarely seen in Western restaurants. Just beside the great, brown Brisbane River is Birds Nest, which
Jaew bong (fermented-sh sauce) is perfect for eating with fresh specialises in yakitori (grilled-chicken skewers). In fact, the two
herbs and vegetables, while the larb ped made with duck could owners, best friends Emi Kamada and Marie Yokoyama, are so
hold its head up high back in its home country. Gang gai naw obsessed they went to Japan for six months to learn from a
mai dong, or fermented bamboo-shoot curry, might smell a little master. The pair also import all their own Japanese wood and
odd, but the avour is both intense and thrilling. Those in search serve up every bit of the chicken, from skin and cartilage to
of more visceral delights will nd much to gorge on; soups with heart and arteries. Dont worry about the odd bits, theyre all
egg embryo or beef guts are rm favourites, and surprisingly wonderful, in both texture and avour. Heck, these girls are
delicate too. On a balmy night in Sydney, theres nowhere else good cooks they were also the winners on the TV show The
Id rather be than here, sweating gently from an excess of chilli Hotplate. Tori chazuke is rice and seaweed with hot chicken
and slugging ice-cold Singha beer. spiceiam.com/house-surry- broth poured on top. But that broth is the very essence of the
hills. About 25 for two chook. Dashimaki tamago, another staple, is a perfect version
of the Japanese omelette, served with another impeccable dashi
DA ORAZIO PIZZA + PORCHETTA broth. The room is small but well formed. And theres now
My family lived in Bondi for three months and fell in love with outside seating, an ideal spot for chicken on sticks and a few
the place, the people, the sea and the sand. Even the bloody cold Sapporos. birdsnestrestaurant.com.au. About 25 for two
health juices. Yet the food was generally average. There were
exceptions, of course. We seemed to live in North Bondi Fish, TAROS RAMEN
especially when the beach was bathed in sunlight. But Da Orazio Just as Birds Nest is a master of yakitori, Taro really knows its
was a rm family favourite, small and lled with Bondis gilded ramen. It serves two styles of the noodle soup: tonkotsu rich,
folk. The pizzas are genuine Neapolitan style, with blistered creamy and deeply savoury and the more subtle, unprepos-
crusts, a smattering of San Marzano tomato sauce and proper sessing shoyu, a soy-sauce-based broth. Im obsessed with its
toppings. The dough is left to rise for 48 hours, which gives it a Fire tonkotsu ramen, with dried and fresh chillies as well as chilli
wonderfully chewy heft. Plus, the kids pizza comes with a pair oil. The burn is subtle, though, and never detracts from the broth
of doughy rabbit ears. Theres also a whole-roasted porchetta or the springy, hand-pulled noodles. Most of the soups come
pig with herbs on the menu every day until it runs out. Which with slices of pork neck, seasoned egg, nori and smoked bamboo

THE MENU SKIPS ACROSS THE GLOBE LIKE A MODERN-DAY


PHILEAS FOGG, ALBEIT AN EXPLORER ARMED WITH A
PACOJET, SMOKE GUN AND A TASTE FOR EXOTIC INSECTS

isnt for very long. Dont miss the porchetta focaccia. Oh, and shoots, so you can pimp and pamper to your hearts desire.
the Abruzzo-style lamb skewers. A class act, and the sort of Theres also golden kaarage (Japanese fried chicken). And very
place you can rock up to still wet from the beach. daorazio.com. good gyoza too. taros.com.au. About 30 for two
About 35 for two
PUBLIC
MR WONG Public sits in a non-descript CBD tower block, and the only way
This place is vast, with two massive oors of tables and endless in is up an escalator. The design Ikea meets Manhattan loft
perches at the bar. But the queues are still huge. And what a via the local butcher has the requisite tiled walls and concrete
restaurant. Its beautiful, with a touch of a Thirties Shanghai oors, but somehow rises above clich. It helps that the service
teahouse, a modern open kitchen, huge wooden columns and is truly lovely, and that Public likes to take risks. The menu skips
PHOTOGRAPHS: CAMERA PRESS; ADRIAN LANDER; JASON LOUCAS

rattan-back chairs. The smiley staff are sleek and well-dressed. across the globe like a modern-day Phileas Fogg, albeit an
Dishes are Cantonese-style, with forays into the provinces of explorer armed with a Pacojet, smoke gun and a taste for insects.
Sichuan and Hunan. Dim sum is delicate and divine, and the There are shades of Ferran Adri and Ren Redzepi in its takes
meats are as good as youll nd anywhere in the city. Roast duck on dude-food classics. With foams chucked in. My idea of hell
comes on the bone with shiny lacquered skin, while the barbe- normally, but not here. Ants sit atop some delicious hot-smoked
cued char siu pork is pure porcine crack. Then theres the mud salmon and give it a welcome citric tang; its a clever dish and
crab, a contender for greatest crustacean in the world, whose one that works too. Then the brisket arrives on a great chunk
sweet, delicate white meat is available different ways. Go for of wood with hot sauce in a mini milk bottle. The meat is slow-
the peppery Singapore-style and prepare to get mucky. Stir-fried cooked but lacks the smoke I expect from true Texas barbecue.
clams are light and fresh and unencumbered by corn our. And KFD (Kentucky Fried Duck) sees a return to form: beautifully
the poached chicken-and-jellysh salad thrills with both its fried into nuggets and seasoned with a lavish hand. Fossilised
texture and clean taste. Mr Wong might be relatively new, but carrots, cooked in ash, come draped in lardo. Chef Damon Amos
hes swiftly established himself very much as the man in the has real talent, and Public, a place entirely without pomp or
know. merivale.com.au/mrwong. About 60 for two attitude, is a blast. lovepublic.com.au. About 45 for two

Opposite, clockwise from top left: the pared-back interiors at The Apollo; omelette at Chin Chin; staff at The Apollo; a dish at Da Orazio
Pizza + Porchetta. Previous pages, from left: Singapore-style mud crab at Mr Wong; table setting at Estelle Bistro

101
The entrance hall at Chalet
Bear in Klosters. Opposite, skiers
heading to Weissuhgipfel at
the top of the 12km Parsenn run

102
JUMPING JELLYBEANS
COURCHEVEL IS ALL CASHMERE SLIPPERS IN HILLTOP HANGOUTS, ZERMATT IS BRANDY-BEARING ST BERNARDS. BUT
NO-NONSENSE KLOSTERS PREFERS TO DOWNPLAY THE SCENE AND GET ON WITH THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF SKIING

BY SIMON MILLS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENNY ZARINS


NO OTHER RESORT DISGUISES ITS GLAMOUR WITH SUCH NONCHALANCE.
LOOK OUT FOR THE KING OF SWEDEN PUSHING A TROLLEY IN THE SUPERMARKET

I'M having dinner with Christian


Erpenbeck, manager of the Silvretta Parkhotel, and his
wife Kristina, who owns the Pine Cone interiors shop
on Klosters high street. Kristina is busy telling me about
working with The White Company founder Chrissie
Rucker on the newly refurbished Haus Alpina a jet-set
hygge penthouse when she glances out the window
and spots one of the villages most famous residents.
For the rst time since my arrival four days ago in
Klosters dubbed Hollywood on the Rocks in the 1950s
when Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Yul Brynner and
Lauren Bacall were regulars I feel I am about to have
a celebrity moment of my own.
Peter Mandelson driving around in nancier Nat
Rothschilds classic Ferrari, perhaps (it happened back
in 2008). Maybe Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni,
who have stayed at Chalet Luegisland, enjoying the
calming night air before the partying and symposium
madness begins over at the World Economic Forum in
neighbouring Davos.
No, look! implores my dinner date pointing across
the road. The man walking the dog! I strain my eyes
to see a gure togged up in a smart down jacket, gloves
and a woolly Tyrolean hat making his way condently
along the rapidly whitening path. It is -5C but through

From top left: the master bedroom at Chalet Bear; owers in the property; snowy footprints in Klosters. Opposite, the exterior of Chalet Bear

104
the powdery scrim of falling snow I can conrm that the
man is, inarguably, barefoot.
Later on Kristina will breezily recall encounters with
Sigourney Weaver and Julia Roberts, shell tell me about
seeing Prince Charles and his boys on the slopes, and
clocking the King of Sweden pushing a trolley in the
local supermarket. Along with the man who walks bare-
foot in the snow, this is all part of the scenery at Klosters.
And no one seems to give a damn.
No other world-famous Alpine resort disguises its
afuence, glamour and stellar celebrity patronage with
quite as much unappable nonchalance as Klosters. It
is a Swiss bank account of winter-sports destinations:
cosmopolitan, understated, tucked away, rigorously
organised, well mannered, secure and discreet.
Actually, culturally and socially speaking, the way
things are done and the way people behave, I think its
much more like Scotland, corrects Klosters regular Ben
Elliot. Its not fancy, its not sceney, it doesnt have
rocking nightclubs and bars. Elliot, who is the son of
interior designer Annabel Elliot (ne Shand, Camilla
Parker Bowless sister) rst came here with his dad who
had rst come with his father. As young boys my cousin
Tom Parker Bowles, Zac Goldsmith and I would be
packed off to Klosters during the summer on these
slightly militaristic, toughening-up, outdoor holidays.
Of course, it never succeeded in toughening us up, but
we grew to love it.
Elliot is now married to Mary-Clare Winwood,
daughter of the musician Steve Winwood, co-inciden-
tally and conveniently also a Klosters homeowner. You
go to Klosters for the skiing. Everything else is low-key
and unpretentious. Its no frills. Spartan. A bit eccentric.
He once spotted Rene Zellweger at the restaurant of
the Wynegg hotel. She was being shouted at by the
hotels notoriously erce and bossy owner, the late Ruth
Guler, for the crime of sitting at the wrong table. Poor
thing didnt know what had hit her. Once, Elliot tells
me, a male guest, on seeing that he had been given a
room with two single beds, made the mistake of asking
Guler if he could swap for a double. You are not here
to sleep, she countered curtly. You are here to ski.
Certainly to anyone initiated into its community of
vigorous, wind-tanned skiers, cashmere-knit alpinists,
various lm stars, politicians, spritely Scandi-royals and
vital-looking, 70-something Euros, the notion that
Klosters is so often categorised with blinging St Moritz
and super-grand Gstaad is bafing and rather ridiculous.
Well-heeled patronage aside, the Prttigau Valley village
(population 6,177 and around 1,200 metres above sea
level) actually has very little in common with either.
Here is a list of things you wont nd in Klosters:
ashy hedge-funders, brassy Ruskis, fur coats, sele
sticks, thundering four-wheel drives (most people walk),
high-ving snowboarders in low-waisted pants (this
is a ski resort!), house music ootz-ootz-ootz-ing from
any bars. Lunch is rsti not sushi. Stop at the Skihtte
Gruobenalp for an ambrosial slice of cremeschnitte
cake and a sharpening shot of schnapps and you
shouldnt be surprised to hear the refreshed inhabitants

From top: a view of Klosters; the rustic interior of Hhwald restaurant in Monbiel, which sits just above the village
THINGS YOU WONT FIND IN KLOSTERS: FLASHY HEDGE-FUNDERS, BRASSY RUSKIS,
SELFIE STICKS, HIGH-FIVING SNOWBOARDERS IN LOW-WAISTED PANTS

Clockwise from top left: the re at Hhwald; the reading room at Chalet Eugenia; cremeschnitte and schnapps; Joes Bar at Skihtte Gruobenalp

107
of an adjacent table suddenly breaking in to a St Moritz Winter Olympics, some of which was actu-
gently harmonious chorus of yodelling. ally shot in Klosters, more and more Americans arrived.
While St Moritz has outposts of Moncler, Chanel, The Chesa Grischuna hotel (locals just call it the
Tods, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli and Bottega Chesa) soon became a second home for Peter Sellers,
Veneta, Klosters only has pharmacies, antiques shops, David Niven, Vivien Leigh, Truman Capote, Orson
ski-hire outts and a conserie or two. The best store in Welles and Julie Andrews. Famously, Gene Kelly danced
town is a large and well-stocked branch of a Co-op on the tables in the cellar bar. Rex Harrison pored over
supermarket. Its easier to buy a box of kindling than a scripts of My Fair Lady while Audrey Hepburn played
designer handbag, and the best massage, at the Residenz skittles in the rustic bowling alley.
Vereina, is a reassuringly brisk, stretch, pummel and Writer Irwin Shaw best known for his novel The
rub down delivered with healing resolve by a sporty Young Lions (the lm version starred Montgomery
Teutonic man in a tracksuit. Clift and Marlon Brando) and Rich Man, Poor Man
There isnt a single ve-star hotel in Klosters. A few (adapted into one of the rst TV mini-series) set up
years back the Campbell Gray home in Klosters in the 1950s.
group made an attempt to build Skiers formed a loose interna-
one, but the scheme seems to have tional club and the same faces
zzled out. A ve-star hotel would kept turning up year after year,
send out all the wrong messages, wrote Shaw, who recalled Greta
attract a different kind of visitor, Garbo taking long walks along the
says Christian Erpenbeck with a banks of Klosters Landquart river
wry smile. We wouldnt want that. with a straw hat over her ears and
He takes me for dinner at the an incongruous frowner on her
delightful Berghaus Alpenrsli nose. One day, at lunch, the reclu-
restaurant, high up on the edge of sive actress mistakenly called
the village with spectacular views one of Americas most brilliant
of the Gotschna mountains, and and outspoken writers Vigo Redal.
tells me another amusing story of Gore Vidal loved her for it and
denial and rebuff. It is rumoured they became promenading, Alpine-
that Nat Rothschild tried to buy air-taking friends. Interior designer
the restaurant and convert it Nicky Haslam, who rst visited
into a private home with a helipad. Klosters in the 1960s and has since
A chopper flying up and down created several homes in the
the valley? Nicht mglich said the region, remembers Garbo making
locals and gave permission for a daily walk to the newsstand at
the restaurant to get a make- the Klosters-Platz railway station
over instead. where she would take a long
The Klosters way, it seems, is all examination of all the movie-star
about modesty, old money, living magazines so she could see what
well, a sense of fair play, skiing was going on in Hollywood.
hard, honour and hearty, and The only nightclub in town,
unpretentious good times. But, Casa Antica, opened in 1959. The
truth be told, celebrity endorse- New York society model sisters
ment is what put Klosters on the THE KLOSTERS WAY IS ALL ABOUT MODESTY, OLD Marisa and Berry Berenson used
map in the rst place. to play 45s there. A young Anjelica
MONEY, A SENSE OF FAIR PLAY. ITS EASIER TO BUY
Huston met her photographer
Sir arthur conan doyle visited the A BOX OF KINDLING THAN A DESIGNER HANDBAG boyfriend Arnaud de Rosnay on
Davos Klosters region as early as the dance oor.
the 1890s, discovering the thrill of the slopes and the
restorative air with his wife, who was suffering from The notion of klosters as Hollywood on the Rocks
tuberculosis. I am convinced that there will come a time was fast fading by the time the British royal family
when hundreds of Englishmen will come to Switzerland arrived in the 1970s, but Prince Charless low-key
for the skiing season, he wrote. He was right. But it was appearances soon won him approval in the village. The
the Americans who came rst. Prince eats lunch at one of the cheapest places around,
Back in the 1940s, Walter Haensli, a noted ski instruc- reads an entry in the Chesa hotels ledger. He was
tor and racer from Klosters, was in St Moritz training dancing at the Casa Antica hires skis that he carries
the American womens team. Visitor Jack Heinz (of the himself and invariably travels second class on the sports
Heinz foodstuffs behemoth) befriended him and, on train. It also seems that the prince was fond of a rub
the promise of some outstanding skiing, followed down after a day on the mountain.
Haensli back to Klosters. Every subsequent year, Enter recent divorcee Clair Southwell, who was
encouraged by John Jays documentary about the 1948 working as a masseuse over in Flims. Ill never forget the

Above, horses drawing a traditional sleigh in Klosters. Opposite, hikers in the snow near run 24 in the Parsenn ski area

109
GET UP EARLY, HAVE A HOT CHOCOLATE AT THE TOP OF A GONDOLA AND THEN
CLATTER DOWN A BLACK RUN, STOPPING FOR A ROSTI LUNCH

Clockwise from top left: a view of the Alps from Weissuh peak; Chalet Bears sitting room; winter in Klosters; a wooden house on Landstrasse
phone call, she says. Can you come over to Klosters to

KLOSTERS HIGHLIGHTS
massage Prince Charles? She arrived, and never left.
For a while Southwell worked as the Princes per-
sonal assistant, and her duties included organising the
annual Klosters press call which Charles hated. He BEST HOTELS
really just wanted to ski. On one occasion, she tells me, Chesa Grischuna
the heir to the throne turned up to meet the bank of A sweetly unpretentious and romantik spot in the middle of town still
photographers in a Groucho Marx false nose and glasses. managed by its founding family. What it lacks in pampering (no pool, spa
or big TVs), it makes up for in cosiness, a great restaurant and quirky,
Southwell now hosts Mongolian and Qatari guests
old-fashioned charm. Check out Swiss painter Alois Carigiets racy frescoes
during the economic forum (Klosters is ofcially linked
and relax in the legendary bar. chesagrischuna.ch. Doubles from about 215
with big-brother resort Davos) and arranges events such
as the Christmas Day English carol service at the 13th- Hotel Walserhof
century church. Absolutely packed every year, she says. Prince Charles and his boys were once regulars at this warm hotel in
town. Rooms are all suites two bathrooms and two bedrooms done
After a good sing-song, we all head down to Casa
out in a contemporary, naturalistic Alpine style with animal-skin throws,
Antica where theres free Champagne. New Years Day open replaces and mountain views from the balconies. The restaurant
is when the local farmers [many of whom are also ski has a Michelin star. walserhof.ch. Suites (sleep four) from about 475
instructors] stage a piglet race down the main street.
Hotel Piz Buin
She also manages a number of smart rentals, such as
A recent, extensive makeover has furnished the Piz Buin with a new
the immaculate modern-rustic Casa Bawald apartment swimming pool, gym and piano bar. Interiors are modern gentlemens club
near the church, owned and designed by gardener John with lots of deep-seated leather chairs and antler motifs. Like the Walserhof,
Coke, founder of Bury Court Opera in Surrey. Its it would earn a ve-star rating anywhere else, but in Klosters they prefer
available to rent at a remarkably reasonable rate. But, to downplay things. pizbuin-klosters.ch. Doubles from about 185
this being Klosters, its a word-of-mouth deal only
Silvretta Parkhotel
and Southwell vets any applications to make sure they Built in 1870, this is a big, friendly and efficiently run family hotel with an
are Klosters insiders. indoor pool, spa, sauna, three restaurants, a piano bar and kids club.
Prince Andrew is known to favour the grander pleas- Rooms have a view of the impressive Silvretta Glacier, after which the
ures and panoramic views available up the hill at Chalet hotel is named. The Klosters Platz train station and the gondola to the ski
Eugenia. It was originally built by Baroness Thyssen- area are a short walk away. silvretta.ch. Doubles from about 190
Bornemisza in 1958, and its new owner, Rolf Theiler, BEST RESTAURANTS
a Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist, has added a Berghaus Alpenrsli
basement swimming pool and redecorated everything Just outside the town, this self-styled Alpine tavern is both destination
in super-plush, Heidi-married-an-oligarch style. A week restaurant and hotel. Come for the magical views of the Prttigau from the
here during peak winter season (and the Davos forum) balcony (were 1,450 metres up here), the rustic comfort of the rooms and
starts from around 50,000. Champagne is included. Its the full-moon fondue nights when guests gorge on vacherin gruyre then take
a ski-in, ski-out kind of place, naturally. a sledge ride down a marked run. alpenroesli-klosters.ch. About 80 for two
With all the fuss about the royals and the lm stars, Alp Garun
people sometimes forget to mention how good the A night-time sleigh ride across the wintry wilderness to this traditional
skiing is in Klosters, says Ben Elliot. The Parsenn ski fondue destination feels like a proper adventure. Bells mounted on the
area is 307km of groomed pistes loads of motorway- horses headgear ring out to warn speeding tobogganists that they are
wide reds and blues make it ideal for families. But more approaching. Blankets, hats and gloves and ask of schnapps are all essential
advanced skiers will recommend run number 24, a for return journey under the stars. alpgarun.ch. About 80 for two
cruise through the trees towards a lunch at the Alte Restaurant Hhwald
Schwendi restaurant. From here you can tackle the Take a short drive out of town to Monbiel and youll nd this charming
12km Parsenn run down to the railway station at Kublis. place full of locals and Klosters regulars. Staff wear proper Alpine dirndl
Elliot likes to get up early, have a hot chocolate at dresses. Try the wienerschnitzel or sptzli with pear, cheese and roasted
the top of the Gotschna gondola and then clatter onions. hoehwald-klosters.ch. About 95 for two
down the Parsenn Weissuhjoch black run. We stop BEST CHALETS
and have a rsti lunch at Wolfs Den in the Hotel Kulm. Chalet Bear
Then we take the funicular railway back up to the Davos Carpenter Luzi Jugli built this beautiful chalet just before the start of World
side of the mountain. Its an annual ritual. War II using wood he chopped himself. Jugli died in 2005, but the house
For me, skiing in Klosters feels like falling through a was sensitively modernised by Klosters lifer Gilly Norton. Bedrooms have
hand-made mattresses, linen is from Oka and The White Company, and
time-travel crevasse, back to an era when winter sports
bathtubs are huge. Ski photos and Alpine clutter make it feel like a family
attracted strapping types who thrilled at the chilly brace
home. klosters-ski-chalets.com. Sleeps eight. From about 16,000 per week
of mountain air and the rush of hard-packed snow
beneath their boots. When Alpine villages were quaint, Chalet Eugenia
immaculate and slightly mysterious; when aprs ski This ones got everything: vast rooms with oak-beamed ceilings, large
balconies and terraces with panoramic views, palatial bathrooms, pillared
meant tea and cake in front of an open a re. Maybe it
replaces, antiques, crystal chandeliers and jet-set art everywhere. An
its the clean air, maybe its the long and testing ski days, indoor swimming pool, sauna, waterbed massage. A private cinema. You
or the carb-loading lunches, but every night in Klosters can ski out to the Heid ski lift directly but you might also never want to
I go to bed early, sleep like a baby and rise bright and leave. oxfordski.com. Sleeps up to 21. Price on application
early the next day. Ready to take on the mountain
and the cremeschnitte.

111
Swim vest, 90, Heidi Klum
(asos.com). Chiffon and
ostrich-feather skirt, 845,
Prada (prada.com). Tights,
3.99, Trasparenze (uktights.
com). Jelly shoes, 26, Juju
(jujufootwear.com)

112
Rainbow

LEAP INTO SPRINGS FLING WITH SATURATED COLOUR BRAVING HYPER-REAL ATTITUDE.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ENRIQUE BADULESCU. STYLED BY NATALIE WANSBROUGH-JONES
114
Epi embroidered jersey dress,
5,700, Louis Vuitton (louis
vuitton.com). Tights, 5.99,
Jonathan Aston (uktights.
com). Jelly shoes, 26, Juju
(jujufootwear.com). Oxygen
Orb Hoop earring, 525 each,
Robinson Pelham (robinson
pelham.com).

Opposite, broderie anglaise


top, 750, Simone Rocha
(simonerocha.com).
Pleated shorts, 175, Ikko
Tanaka Issey Miyake
(isseymiyakelondon.com).
Tights, 3.99, Gipsy
(uktights.com)
Les Essentiels Larcin
swimsuit, 280, Eres
(eresparis.com). Straw hat,
180, Emporio Armani
(armani.com) with grosgrain
ribbon, 2.40 per metre, VV
Rouleaux (vvrouleaux.com).
Drawstring bag, 430,
Emporio Armani (as before).

Opposite, silk Wave dress,


690, Fendi (fendi.com).
Beach Ball bikini bottoms,
about 100, Mara Hoffman
(marahoffman.com). Oxygen
Orb Hoop earring, 525
each, Robinson Pelham
(robinsonpelham.com).
Jelly shoes, 26, Juju (juju
footwear.com)
Jacquard crepon coat dress,
5,710, Chanel (chanel.com).
Rope belt, 180, Marni
(marni.com). Radford crop
top, 50, Varley (varley.com).
Hipster bikini bottoms, 55,
Bodas (bodas.com). Tights,
5.99, Jonathan Aston
(uktights.com). Oxygen Orb
Hoop earring, 525 each,
Robinson Pelham
(robinsonpelham.com)

Opposite, apron dress, POA.


A.W.A.K.E. (a-w-a-k-e.com).
Jayne bikini bottoms, 90,
Araks (araks.com). Oxygen
Orb Hoop earring, 525 each;
Oxygen Bolt Ear Wish Set
(hanging from earring),
290, both Robinson Pelham
(as before)
119
Carley all-in-one jumpsuit,
1,150, Stella McCartney
(stellamccartney.com). Elmar
swimsuit, 275, Araks (araks.
com). Oxygen Orb Hoop
earring, 525 each,
Robinson Pelham (robinson
pelham.com)

Opposite, lam trench coat,


752, Malene Oddershede
Bach (maleneoddershede
bach.com). Keeling bikini
top, 180; bottoms, 145,
both Herms (+44 20 7499
8856). Jelly shoes, 26,
Juju (jujufootwear.com)

Hair, Panos at CLM Hair &


Make-up using Bumble and
bumble. Make-up, Kristina
Ralph Andrews at Saint Luke
using Este Lauder. Model,
Kirstin Liljegren at Storm
(London). Stylists assistant,
Charly Suggett. Story shot
in Tulum where Journey
Latin America (journeylatin
america.co.uk) can arrange
tailored trips. Aeromexico
(aeromexico.com) ies from
the UK to Mexico
GLOBETROTTER
AROUND THE WORLD WITH
KAREN ELSON
SINCE MAKING HER MODELLING BREAKTHROUGH WHEN SHE SHAVED OFF HER EYEBROWS FOR A VOGUE COVER
SHOOT, THE FASHION MUSE AND SINGER HAS WRITTEN TWO ALBUMS AND RECORDED WITH ROBERT PLANT

Where have you just come back from? in the nicest neighbourhood. These days I Describe a holiday disaster
Los Angeles. I love California. Its so go to Caf de Flore with friends and then I went to the Ivory Coast with Save the
varied. And a drive down Sunset Boulevard to Shakespeare and Company after a Children last year, and when we landed
is probably the strangest ride youll ever couple of glasses of wine. I also love Venice. there was an issue with our visas, so we
take. Youll see every side of the city, Walking around the city after dark feels were in a room for two hours trying to
including the sadness, the faded beauty like Im living in another century, and gure it out. Then my bags didnt turn up
queens and all the hope thats been lost. getting lost in a beautiful maze. for a week; they arrived the day before I
Its not just the shiny, rich side, but whats left. It was possibly the worst place to have
lurking underneath too. Its fascinating. Which is your road most travelled? bags not show up because nobody could
Flying from Nashville, where I live, to nd us. We were going down roads to tiny
Where in the world were you happiest? New York or London. Thats pretty much villages you could only get to in a four-
Iceland. Every time I land there, I breathe my commute, and there are no direct wheel-drive. If anything goes wrong for
the biggest sigh of relief. A couple of years ights. Nashville is a really nice place to me, its inevitably at the airport. But Ive
ago I took my twin sister and my children raise children. My kids and their friends learnt over the years that theres always a
and we travelled all around, driving off- run around the neighbourhood in a way way to work things out, so I stay calm.
road. We had an excellent tour guide called they couldnt if we were in New York. And
Jonas, who was the coolest guy on the of course theres a ton of good music. Its Confess to one thing youve taken from a
planet. It was midnight, the kids were still also become a bit of a foodie capital. hotel room
up, running around this beach where a Nashville has everything a big city has, but Come on who doesnt like a pair of
waterfall poured over a cliff into the ocean, less of it, so its a lot easier to navigate. Carlyle or Chateau Marmont slippers?
and he made a fire and whipped out a
picnic basket with salami, cheese and THE HEMINGWAY BAR Whats your guilty pleasure?
whisky. It was the most beautiful moment, Flying at the front of the plane, even if I
sitting by the ames, watching my kids AT THE RITZ IN PARIS have to use air miles or pay myself. I some-
have the time of their lives. Also, I read in HAS ALL THE ENERGY times get really scared of ying, and if Im
the news that the feminist Pirate Party did AND ATMOSPHERE OF comfortable then I think Im OK. I also get
really well in the election, so its a progres- completely neurotic about picking my seat
sive country. Its the one place hope may PARIS IN THE 1920S in advance.
still exist!
Where did you go on your rst holiday What would you most like in your mini-bar?
Name a place that lived up to the hype without your parents? Campari.
I went to Bhutan a couple of years ago on I spent three months in Tokyo when I was
a shoot with the photographer Tim Walker. a teenager. It was pre-internet, so my agent Most regrettable holiday souvenir?
I knew it would be magical as I was going would send me a map with directions Theres a good luck symbol in Bhutan
to the Himalayas, but Id never been because I couldnt understand the Japan- which is basically a giant penis. Tim Walker
anywhere like Bhutan before. Its just gor- ese signs. I met the shoe designer Tabitha bought me a keychain with one on it, and
geous, with old palaces and 16th-century Simmons out there she was still model- as I was going through the airport back in
monasteries. Everyone was so welcoming, ling then and we lived together. We had the USA they searched my bag and found
and not in a fake, lets be nice to the tour- so many adventures, but things I probably it I was mortied.
ists way. We stayed in the Aman hotels, shouldnt put in print!
which are incredible. Doing something like Nominate your 8th wonder of the world
that is the best part of being a model; I Tell us about a great little place you know The Tigers Nest monastery in the
always want to discover new places. The Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris. Himalayas. You have to hike for three
PHOTOGRAPH: TOM CRAIG/TRUNK ARCHIVE

Colin the bartender makes the best hours to reach it, but its magnicent.
And one that least lived up to the hype cocktails in town and it has all the energy
Im not an Ibiza girl. I was so stressed out and atmosphere of Paris in the 1920s. How do you relax?
by the madness. I guess if I go again, I will Having a massage, eating good food,
need someone to show me parts of the Smartest hotel youve ever stayed in? drinking good wine. And as Ive got chil-
island where its a bit quieter. The Carlyle in New York. I love it so dren, a dreamy night off for me is room
much. I remember spotting Eartha Kitt service in bed and bad English television.
Which is your favourite city? there once, and then on my birthday a
There is nowhere quite like Paris. I lived couple of years ago I went to see Woody Karen Elson was speaking to Francesca
there when I was 16, but I didnt enjoy it Allen play in his band, which is a heav- Babb. Her new album Double Roses is out
because I was so young and wasnt staying enly New York experience. on 7 April

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 123


Clockwise from above: the Museum of
Liverpool; a Helen Chatterton design at
the Bluecoat Display Centre; bedroom
at 2 Blackburne Terrace; Maray caf;
Mowgli restaurant; 2 Blackburne Terrace;
Hugh Miller chair at the Bluecoat; bed
at 2 Blackburne Terrace. Centre, on the
waterfront. Opposite, Bold Street Coffee
IN BRITAIN

OUR SERIES OF UK INSIDER GUIDES CONTINUES WITH

LIVERPOOL
BEAT POET ALLEN GINSBERG DECLARED IT THE CENTRE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS. DESPITE BOOMS
AND BUSTS, THE WITTY, GRITTY DOCKSIDE TOWN HAS KEPT UP ITS CREATIVE FLOW EVER SINCE. NOW
THE CITY HAS A FRESH ARTY SPIRIT, ALL THE SIGNS ARE POINTING TO A FAB NEW ERA
BY CHRIS MOSS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY LAURA EDWARDS

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 125


I grew up admiring liverpool from afar, in that 10 miles was Italians. Men sauntered in fur coats. Women in not much at all.
quite a distance in the 1970s. The city was glamour personied to a Everyone loved to party. Everyone took taxis.
provincial Lancashire lad the Scousers called us woollybacks and Liverpool is still all these things, but since the turn of the millen-
on the odd occasion that we ventured in, it was only so my mum nium it has been experiencing a renaissance of aspiration,
could browse at George Henry Lee and the other department stores. architectural swagger and attitude. Theres been a blossoming of
I spent my time looking up at the cold, blue, seagull-speckled independent shops, restaurants, bars and galleries and while every
skies over the Mersey and the gargantuan cathedrals. neighbourhood has been pimped up, theyve all retained a distinct
Later, I went to watch rst Liverpool FC and then Everton character, from grubby, boozy Mathew Street to gracious Rodney
FC, nally choosing to support the latter as noble underdogs. Bad Street to the edgy, eclectic RopeWalks.
decision, perhaps. Ive never quite belonged to Liverpool its too specic, too
This city was a near-at-hand commentary on a changing Britain. well-dened to let incomers blend in. But Ive visited at least once
Its TV dramas The Liver Birds, Boys from the Blackstuff, Brookside every year for the past three decades and have a ritual zigzagging
were cutting edge. Its Militant council challenged the London around these neighbourhoods until I nd myself beneath the Three
establishment. Its pop music went around the world again and again, Graces the UNESCO-listed edices that make this waterfront the
each decade heralding a new scene: Merseybeat, punk, New rival of any on earth. Because Liverpool has already been what many
Romantic, rave; Echo, Frankie, Melanie and of course, kicking it cities yearn to be: a shipping and trading hub, a sporting legend, a
all off, the Beatles. Fashion rode on the back of the music. cultural powerhouse. Its world-facing architecture, like its great
People dressed ash; only Scousers could parade sportswear like river, leaves you in no doubt that here stands a place of global note.

126 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


IN BRITAIN

Breakfast at 2 Blackburne Terrace.


Opposite, clockwise from top left: 2
Blackburne Terrace; the bar at
The Art School; 2 Blackburne Terrace;
classic car; Jorge Pardos Penelope
sculpture in Wolstenholme Square;
the Philharmonic Dining Rooms

WHERE BEST OF BRITISH the stylishly refurbed Lantern Room of the falafel, as well as originals such as gin-cured
TO EAT When brothers Gary and former Home for Destitute Children. 60hope trout and deep-fried kale. boldstreetcoffee.
& DRINK Colin Manning opened 60 street.com; ho-st.co.uk; thelondoncarriage co.uk; mowglistreetfood.com; maray.co.uk
Hope Street on St Georges works.co.uk; theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk
Day 1999, they set off a process that would GRAB A PINT
transform this sedate, terraced row into the CAFFEINE KICKS AND TASTY SNACKS Liverpool is one of the great pub cities,
Georgian Quarters main foodie axis. No 60 Bold Street is a busy, shabby thoroughfare especially if you like no-nonsense Victorian
is still going strong, serving rened modern that leads to the Bombed Out Church, aka boozers wrought in shiny red-brick and
British with north-western nods such as St Lukes, gutted in the Blitz. Bold Street polished woodwork. The Philharmonic
black pudding, Goosnargh duck and a jam Coffee is the place for a swift breakfast, Dining Rooms (36 Hope Street) is cavern-
sandwich dessert. In 2008, they opened but if youre after something substantial, ous and opulent; take a seat in one of the
HOST, a funky pan-Asian restaurant with the nest fodder is Asian. Former barrister snugs or spread out in the main lounge
Fifties canteen decor, just opposite. Their and YouTube chef Nisha Katona opened beneath ornate plasterwork by New
main challenger is Paul Askew, who ran the Mowgli in 2015 to bring quality tifn to Sculpture gurehead CJ Allen; the urinals,
award-winning London Carriage Works town, and her yogurt chat bombs have in rose-coloured marble, are gorgeous. Ye
and, since 2014, The Art School which caused quite an explosion locally. A little Cracke is a lively trad pub, famed for its
sources exquisite produce from Lancashire, further along is Maray, named after the Paris Lennon connections and one of the best
the Lakes and Wales, and dishes it up in neighbourhood and specialising in fresh places to befriend locals. yecracke.co.uk 
IN BRITAIN

From left: The Quarter restaurant, off Hope Street; lamb, prosciutto, cucumber and mint salad at Maray; Mowgli, which champions Indian streetfood

THE FINEST G&T IN TOWN furniture with literary periodicals and sloe KEEP IT CLASSICAL
WHAT
Launched in 2012, Liverpool Gin whose gin as part of the welcoming pack. Every The appointment of Vasily
TO SEE
label features the cormorant/eagle known detail matters, from the internet radios to Petrenko as principal con-
& DO
as the Liver Bird has given the old the star-anise black puddings from Edge ductor in 2006 signalled a
mariners tipple a new life here. The Butchers, a Wirral legend. 2blackburne minor Russian revolution for the Royal
Belvedere (est. 1836) boasts a GinNasium, terrace.com. Doubles from 160 Liverpool Philharmonic. The then 30-
a melamine shelf stacked with dozens year-old brought intellect, daring and
of small-producer gins, served neat or NORDIC NOD physicality to a repertoire that favoured
with Fever-Tree tonic. Speakeasy-style Hope Street Hotel occupies a palazzo-style symphonies from his native land and
Berry and Rye (48 Berry Street) has warehouse redolent of Liverpool in its glory English classical masters. If youre in town
made it the staple tipple, with cocktails days. The conversion has been done with lots and hes performing, bribe someone for a
concocted to a soundtrack of jazz and of love, and features Victorian pitch-pine seat. liverpoolphil.com. From 15
blues. belvedereliverpool.com beams, walnut and birch oors, and iron
pillars the overall impression is of CATCH THE BUS
CHINESE TWISTS Scandi-organic meeting Scouse-mercantile The Magical Mystery Tour, by bus, with a
Opened in April 2016, Fu on Gradwell and getting on. In 2017, apartments will be Blue Badge guide, is a superlative way
Street claims to be the third bar in the world added in the former Royal School for the to visit the citys green-fronded burbs;
to specialise in baijiu, Chinas national spirit Blind next door, along with a spa and pool. see Dingles tiny terraces (where
(the others are in NYC and Beijing). hopestreethotel.co.uk. Doubles from 89 Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo
Barman Peter mixes long drinks such as Starr, grew up), gain a sense of what the
the Emperor Park Swizzle (house baijiu Er CRAFTY HIDEAWAY 1960s were like here and, above all, get
Guo Tou, rum, sherry, lime and bitters) WHERE The Bluecoat Garden is not your bearings. Roll up! cavernclub.org/
alongside tasty dim sum. Liverpool is home TO SHOP a hundred yards off Church the-magical-mystery-tour; 16.95
to Europes oldest Chinese community, and Street the main shopping
the diminutive Chinatown around Berry drag but somehow the 300-year-old walls ARCHITECTURE HITLIST
Street has the Beijing-style restaurant Yuet keep out the clamour. While the Bluecoat The wigwam-shaped Roman Catholic
Ben, and chicken-curry buns and cream Display Centre is proud to exhibit local Metropolitan Cathedral, built in the
cakes at Bonbon. fubaijiu.com; yuetben.co.uk artisans such as metalsmith Michael Badger 1960s, is as impressive as anything in
and textile designer Helen Chatterton, the Brasilia. Pay 3 to enter the crypt to see
GEORGIAN DANDY wares on show are sourced from across the foundations of Lutyens original
WHERE London-based interior the country. bluecoatdisplaycentre.com Thirties mega-basilica, abandoned when
TO STAY designer Glenn Whitter money ran out and the war started. A
dreamed of living in Liver- VINTAGE ESCAPE short walk away is Gilbert Scotts mag-
pool all his life. In 2012 he and his wife Take a taxi out to leafy Lark Lane, which nicent neo-Gothic Anglican cathedral, a
Sarah uprooted and devoted two years to is buzzy at the weekend often with a hulk of a building started in 1904 and only
restoring a handsome 1826 mansion in farmers market and craft fairs. Rummage completed in 1978. Other free-to-enter
the upper reaches of the Georgian Quarter. through a riot of retro furniture and xtures highlights are the neoclassical St Georges
Each of the four large bedrooms at 2 at Gasp and pick up affordable contempo- Hall opposite Lime Street station and
Blackburne Terrace has its own palette, rary art, crafts and cards at Lark Lane Art all the citys major museums. liverpool
dictated by contemporary art and bespoke Works. larksonline.co.uk museums.org.uk; tate.org.uk

128 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


TRAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

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underwater wonderland, however, and you have a envelops every experience. Its a diversity thats equally nishing heavenly touch. Claiming to enjoy the most
quintessential sun-drenched heaven complete with reected in the islands fabulous accommodation, from magnicent location in the Caribbean, set as it is
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EDITED BY TABITHA JOYCE

TABLE TO BOOK
A TEMPLE TO SUGAR IN THAILAND
Pudding-only restaurants first became a thing in
Melbourne, but now Bangkok caf Shugaa is stepping
up the trend. Set in the Watthana district, its interiors
have been created by Thai studio Party/Space/Design)
and are an ode to the sweet stuff, with walls splashed in
mint-green and candy-oss-pink stools. Reecting the
crystalline structure of sugar itself is a rose-gold hanging
PHOTOGRAPH: P/S/D 2016

light sculpture and a spiral staircase made from clear


acrylic blocks. Honey and passion-fruit-meringue tarts,
dark chocolate and mint brownies, red-velvet sponge and
matcha ice cream can be washed down with strawberry
and lychee tea or chocolate milk with marshmallow
crumble. And get creative yourself with dessert- and
fondant-making classes. facebook.com/ShugaaDessertBar

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 131


THIS MONTHS
RECIPE
Winter vegetable and pistachio salad
Pull the stalks off six leaves of kale
(preferably purple) and discard. Roll the
leaves into cigars and shred. Beat together
a dressing from 2tb pomegranate
molasses, 1tb water, 1 garlic clove
pounded to a paste, 4tb best olive oil,
salt and pepper. Massage most of this
into the kale and leave to sit for 30
PHOTOGRAPH: STUART OVENDEN

minutes. Meanwhile, using a mandolin,


slice the orets of half a cauliower
lengthways to make paper-thin trees.
Reserve the most beautiful shavings,
and toss the rest in to the kale. Tip onto a
platter, arranging the remaining cauliower
over the top, scatter with 75g chopped
pistachios, pomegranate seeds and
the zest of half a lemon. Drizzle the last
of the dressing over the top.
FLAVOUR HUNTER

WORLD ON A PLATE
THE INGREDIENT: PISTACHIO

EAT ME DRINK ME
BY JOANNA WEINBERG BY MALCOLM GLUCK
Legend has it the Queen of Sheba so loved the pistachio she The pistachio is a rude food. Its the way the red/brown/green
demanded entire harvests for her royal court while forbidding any kernel peeps so alluring out of its shell. Many nuts (and drupes, of
commoner from growing it. In fact, as one of the oldest owering course) can be said to be sensual, but it is given to the pistachio to
nut trees, pistachio has been a popular food since at least the 7th be positively erotic. In its unadorned state, the most sympathetic
century bc. Pliny the Elder records in his Natural History that wine to accompany it is surely Harveys Palo Cortado, a sherry
pistacia, well known among us, originated in Syria, where it was blended of 30-year-old wines and perhaps the nearest alcohol
prized for its tenacious ability to grow in tough conditions, coping can come to resembling the great Oscar Wilde. The dryness of
with both saline soil and brutal high-desert plains. its wit yet the richness of its personality is incomparable. It costs
Flourishing in hot climates, the nut (in fact, botanically, a drupe 22.59 at Waitrose. It is a fortied wine, of course (nearly 20 per
a seed surrounded by soft fruit) was introduced to southern cent alcohol), and we do need fortifying for you may feel a trie
Europe by the 1st century ad, where it became popular in the full by the time I nish.
cakes and biscuits of Italy and Spain, and most distinctively as Lets begin with pistachio butter, the latest craze out of California.
the green crumbly lling in Greek baklava. The wine will be an elegant Riesling, crisp and palate-awakening,
Salted and roasted pistachios are sold at street stalls across the
Middle East. And barazek, the crunchy sesame-pistachio biscuits WHITE BURGUNDY IS A HIGH-WIRE ACT
bought by the kilo from souks all over Syria and Lebanon, are nearly
as common. In Iran, particularly, they crown a traditional dish called
WHERE MANY FALL AND ONLY THE SPECIAL
jewelled rice, which combines almonds, pistachios, barberries, FEW KEEP THEIR FOOTING IMPECCABLY
saffron, orange peel and onions, turned out, in a great test of the
cook, so the crisp caramelised rice crust, the tadiq, comes out on top, from Tanners, an old-school wine merchant wholl sell you PJ
ideally in one piece. Also from the Middle East is the triumphant Kuhns modern, streamlined Oestrich Lenchen Riesling Kabinett
pairing of pistachios with rose, especially good in a moist teacake. 2015 (its alcohol level a mere 10 per cent) for 13.90.
Today, the pistachio adds both beauty and exoticism to a plate, As for the kale leaves and cauliower covered in one of the
along with a mild, mellow richness thats hard to resist. In California worlds loveliest dressings (which includes pomegranate and
foodie home of the cultural crossover and now the second largest pistachio), what on earth will accompany such a dish? My rst
pistachio producer in the world after Iran health geeks are stock- thought was white Burgundy, in particular Berry Brothers &
piling the stuff in the same fashion as the fabled queen. Nutritionally, Rudds Meursault 2014 (29.95) from the Domaine Guyot-Javillier
theyre a big hitter; a storehouse of antioxidants and minerals such estate. This is so ineffably French in its poise and hauteur as to
as copper, which helps make red blood cells. Whizz them up with make Chardonnay producers elsewhere Im thinking mostly
of South Africa and New Zealand here, not California strike
their breasts and cry How do they create such balance? My
THE PISTACHIO IS A NUTRITIONAL BIG
answer is that Burgundy is a high-wire act where many fall and
HITTER, WHICH IS WHY HEALTH GEEKS IN only the special few keep their footing impeccably. But isnt such
CALIFORNIA ARE STOCKPILING THE STUFF a wine too delicate, in spite of its woody undertone, to cope with
the winter salad? Perhaps.
dates and cardamom for the nut butter du jour, or with mint, basil If, fearful of this, youd like to look elsewhere for your white
and pecorino for a simple pesto to coat courgetti. wine, I have no hesitation in recommending Hommage du Rhne
A handful of roughly smashed pistachios will make a smart dress- Chteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2015 (17.99 at Waitrose). This
ing for almost any salad. Scatter over radicchio, blood orange and exhibits a huge, complex class and robustness and there is nothing,
salted ricotta; or add grated carrots in a bright, crisp salad dressed absolutely nothing, to compete with it from Burgundy for the price.
with a hint of orange blossom. My favourite is the one opposite: a The choice is yours: prim and proper from Meursault or elegant
winter salad of exemplary fashionability, yet no less delicious for it. with a hint of rafsh from Avignon.

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 133


FLAVOUR HUNTER
Eat the street

FERMENTED SHARK AND PUFFIN JERKY SUSTAINED ICELANDERS FOR CENTURIES, BUT NOW THE NEW
NORDIC SCENE IS FIRING UP APPETITES IN REYKJAVIK. HEAD TO DOWNTOWN LAUGAVEGUR FOR A FIX

10AM: BREAKFAST not exclusively vegetarian, is a wonderland of


Sandholt, No 36 organic salads, raw chocolate puddings, vibrant
This bakery is furnished with newspaper-strewn green juices and turmeric teas. glo.is
tables, worn Tolix chairs and heaps of cushions. Cosy
up with a creamy hot chocolate and kleina (a twisted 5PM: SHOP
doughnut), and leave with a still-warm smoked- Verzlunin Ram, No 72
pumpkin-seed loaf under your arm. sandholt.is Pretty packages of Astriks caramel and
rosemary popcorn, spiced white chocolate made
11.30AM: COFFEE in Reykjavik and jars of smoked honey sea salt
Te + Kaf, No 27 are stocked in this one-stop shop, alongside
Iceland consumes more coffee than France and the covetable tea cups, recipe books and aprons.
UK combined, and this original roaster still supplies
most of the citys independent cafs. Order a latte, 7PM: DINNER
extra dry, then check out the quirky ceramics and Vitra Public House, No 24
pieces at the front. teogkaffi.is/products/laugavegur-27 Neon signs, playful taxidermy and cartoon
murals liven up this cool gastropub, pictured, and
1PM: LUNCH local diners tend to sport tattoos, beards and
Grillmarkedurinn, Laekjargata 2A beanies. The menu is fun, too: small sharing plates
Set within an old Art Nouveau cinema just off are given a Japanese twist from reindeer tataki
Laugavegur, the grill markets interiors are inspired with blue cheese to miso-glazed lamb. publichouse.is
by the landscape with live moss, basalt columns, and
sh skins on the walls. Local avours are deployed in 9.30PM: DRINKS
the rhubarb Mojitos and a trio of puffin, langoustine
and whale sliders. grillmarkadurinn.is
Kaldi Bar, No 20B
This was one of Icelands rst craft breweries,
and you can sample all its beers on tap along
4PM: JUICE
with an extensive list of the islands other microbrews.
Gl, No 20B Between this and Kiki across the street, its
Slveig Eirksdttir or Solla as she is known the only block of Laugavegur likely to still be
locally is Icelands answer to Deliciously Ella and going at 2am. Sip a pint of toffee-tinged Kaldi
the smiling face of the countrys health-food dark as the regulars take turns on the free-for-all
movement. Her open-plan restaurant, although piano. kaldibar.com LAURA HOLT

134 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


Rhapsody in blue.

Whether you come for the ocean, the wide open skies or the
endless array of activities, youll nd every shade of bliss in,
on, over, and under the clear blue waters of Islamorada.
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March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 135


FLAVOUR HUNTER

MOVEABLE FEAST

DAVID MUNOZ
HES TRAINED AT NOBU AND HAKKASAN, AND HIS MADRID JOINT DIVERXO HAS RACKED UP THREE MICHELIN STARS. NOW THE
SPANIARD IS TAKING ON LONDON WITH HIS MIND-BLOWING OPENING, STREETXO. HERE ARE HIS TOP FOODIE TRAVEL FINDS

AJI AMARILLO FROM PERU fresh and very unusual tasting. I use it all the time and keep nding new
This is the most complex, aromatic and unique chilli around. If you ways to incorporate it into my dishes most recently with pigeon and
have ever eaten Peruvian food, you will have tried it. Usually bright chorizo on the menu in my new London restaurant.
orange and thick eshed, each one has a avour thats a little different.
Its not outrageously spicy, but has a beautiful fruity sort of heat. IBERIAN BLACK PIG FROM SPAIN
A national icon, and in my opinion the best meat to cook with. The
ROBATA GRILL FROM JAPAN marbling is exceptional, and you can eat every single part of the animal
I remember the rst time I sat at the counter of a Japanese restaurant because it is so versatile. It works brilliantly whether braised for stew,
in New York, I was amazed by their use of an open re. Seafood and fried in a wok or simply grilled.
vegetables are skewered and then slow-cooked over hot charcoal; it
is completely different to how we cook in Spain its fantastic. YUZU FROM JAPAN
Citrus fruits are the most useful ingredient in the kitchen I use them
DUMPLINGS FROM HONG KONG with everything and for me, yuzu is the king of the family. Its so
Going for yum cha dim sum and refreshing Chinese tea is always an powerful that just a few drops elevate anything its paired with and
exciting experience. I can eat dozens of dumplings from shrimp-lled completely change the essence.
har gau to barbecue-pork char siu bao or the unbelievable xiao long bao:
soup dumplings that explode in your mouth. PIGEON RAGOUT FROM ITALY
This dish was so good it almost made me cry with happiness. Chef
PHOTOGRAPH: SALVA LOPEZ

SEA URCHIN FROM ASTURIAS, SPAIN Giuseppe Iannottis mother cooked it for me at his restaurant Kresios in
These full-bodied Spanish red sea urchins are only in season in the the Benevento province of Italy, near Naples. The food here is the most
winter months, but they are marvellously tasty, with such an incredibly exciting and modern in the country.
creamy texture and delicate avour of the sea.
CHILLI CRAB FROM SINGAPORE
LILY BULB FROM CHINA Singapore is the street-food capital of the world. If you eat only one
Traditionally used in Chinese herbal remedies and the odd stir-fry, the thing, head straight to a hawker centre and order chilli crab with plenty
little-known lily bulb is actually a great vegetable. Its sweet, sour, crunchy, of mantou steamed buns. Just be prepared to get messy.

136 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


FLAVOUR HUNTER

SIP TRIP

ARRACK
Toddy tapper possibly the coolest job title in
the entire drinks business. This is the name given
to those intrepid high-wire artistes who procure
the raw ingredients of arrack, Sri Lankas national
spirit. In the cool of the morning they shin up to
the tops of swaying coconut palms where they
chop buds from flower stems, moving nimbly
from tree to tree by means of a tightrope.
A sweet, milky goop oozes into buckets, where
it immediately starts to ferment. No additional
catalyst is required. The heat of the day activates
naturally occurring yeast, turning the liquid into a
mildly alcoholic toddy in a matter of hours. This
is in turn distilled and aged, or at least stored, in
barrels made of indigenous Trincomalee wood.

A SWEET, MILKY GOOP


OOZES INTO BUCKETS,
WHERE IT IMMEDIATELY
STARTS TO BREW
Arrack is thought to be one of the oldest spirits
in the world, predating whisky, gin and rum. The
method of its production has barely changed
since Marco Polo witnessed it nearly 700 years
ago. Its often confused with other similarly
named drinks, such as the Batavia arrack of
Indonesia and the aniseed-avoured arak of the
Mediterranean. But Sri Lankan arrack is its own
thing entirely. The worst of it is unpotable lth,
heavily cut with neutral spirits, which dishonours
the noble art of the toddy tapper. The best of it
is soft, subtle and rum-like in character, with
TASTE BUZZ vanilla and floral notes that suggest a certain

NEW-FANGLED COFFEE kinship with Cognac. STEVE KING

the craze
Grass-fed butter has replaced almond milk in coffee while coconut
oil is the latest sweetener among the health-conscious crowd. It
seems theres no end to what can pep up your caffeine x.

try it
It was the Swedes who rst mixed coffee with the bright tang
of tonic. Then, after spotting it on the cocktail menu at Koppi
PHOTOGRAPH: DOMINIC SANSONI/THREEBLINDMEN

in Helsingborg, the team at San Franciscos Saint Frank Caf


paid homage with the Kaffe Tonic: Fever-Tree on ice with an
espresso shot. Youll also nd the concoction at Seattles Neptune
Coffee, where rosemary is added. For a stronger, gin-spiked
option, head to East London and the Relax Its Only Coffee bar.
And the Swedes are still experimenting: at Da Matteo in
Gothenburg, cold brew comes with a citric twist as kaffelemonad. But
perhaps the best hybrid yet is Instagrams favourite elevenses:
coffee in a cone. It all started at the Grind Coffee Company in
Johannesburg, where they roll their own wafer cones, pictured, and
line them with four types of chocolate to prevent leaks. TJ A Sri Lankan toddy tapper

138 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


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2 VILLA SOFIA,
FORTE VILLAGE, SARDINIA
With a different sporting academy for every day of the
week football, tennis, rugby, go-karting, even magic and
dance Forte Village is a dream for active teenagers. At
the elegant Villa Sofia, parents can relax in the huge garden,
TEMPLES FOR TEENS take a dip in the pool and enjoy butler service while the kids
are busy. In the evening the whole family can come together
on the spacious terrace or have dinner in the stylish lounge-diner.

FA M I L I E S Upstairs, all three bedrooms have wonderful views.


A week from 33,761 B&B, based on six sharing
(00 39 07 0921 8818, fortevillageresort.com)

1 C O N S T A N C E H A L AV E L I , M A L D I V E S 3 ROYAL SPA VILLA, PORTO ZANTE,


The Maldives is a great choice for teenagers as private island resorts ZAKYNTHOS, GREECE
mean they can be independent without any risks, and a huge choice of Even the most disinterested teen can't fail to be sparked up by the
watersports will stop moans of 'I'm bored'. All villas at the Halaveli come promise of a private beach. This palatial villa sleeps up to six and
with their own plunge pool; the Double Storey is ideal for teenagers comes with its own stretch of sand, a private heated pool and outdoor
as they have their own room and bathroom on the upper floor. spa pool, as well as two Jacuzzis, so the kids can have their own.
There are three restaurants to choose from, a PADI dive school Armani Casa furnishings and paintings by renowned Greek artists
and one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. give the house a luxe, super-stylish feel, but it's the PlayStation 4,
A week from 10,899 B&B, including flights and transfers, based Bang & Olufsen speakers and iMac desktop that the kids will love.
on four sharing (01494 678400, turquoiseholidays.co.uk) A week from 13,720 (00 30 210 821 8640, portozante.com)
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

4 CAN JARDI, SOLLER, VILLA SUNSET,


MALLORCA VILAMOURA, PORTUGAL
A stone-built villa with views of the Tramuntana The beaches of the Algarve are perfect for young families,
mountains, Jardi has its own children's play area, a and the pared-down style of Vilamoura means you don't
large pool and orange orchards where the kids can have to worry about small fingers knocking over priceless
harvest the fruit each day. The four ensuite bedrooms antiques. All four bedrooms are ensuite, and the open plan
are traditionally furnished, while downstairs there's a well- kitchen-diner has plenty of space, as does the wide outdoor
equipped kitchen, and mezzanine area with TV, separate terrace. The garden a pristine lawn surrounding a good sized
from the main lounge. The pretty town of Soller, with its pool offers plenty of space for games, and there are cots
historic tram that runs down to the beach, is a stroll away. and high chairs available on request.
A week from 5,316, based on eight sharing A week from 1,309, based on eight sharing
(01242 547705, akvillas.com) (0800 074 0122, jamesvillas.co.uk)

6AL PROFONDO BLU, PORTO


5 BASTIDE DES VIRETTES, PALO DI MENFI, SICILY
CTE D'AZUR, FRANCE Perfect for an old-fashioned week on the beach, this three-bedroom
Oozing Gallic charm, there are frescoes, antiques and villa, with tiled floors and whitewashed walls, opens out onto a
classic French artworks dotted throughout the lounge and secluded stretch of sand in the heart of a nature reserve. The
dining area. The four bedrooms have wonderful views proximity of the beach means you can retreat to the house's
across the Provenal hills, while children will love the fact shady terraces when the sun gets too much, to make use of
they have their own playroom downstairs. The good-sized the comfy, cushioned sofas, table-tennis table and outdoor
pool has a shallow, beach-style entrance, making it safe for pizza oven. There's also a comfortable lounge and
tinies and there are two outdoor terraces for alfresco dining. pretty, well-equipped kitchen.
A week from 1,600pp, including flights, villa host and chef, A week from 2,323, based on six sharing
based on eight sharing (020 3740 2987, scottdunn.com) (020 7377 8518, thethinkingtraveller.com)

5 6

FA M I L I E S

BEST FOR LITTLE ONES

6
a life
less ordinary
With Abercrombie & Kent, a holiday villa is more than just somewhere you rent for a week or
two, its a glimpse into a different life sun-kissed, stress-free and eminently memorable

ho doesnt dream of a house on a sunlit the team, high standards are guaranteed. But

W Mediterranean beach an isolated


bolthole with nothing for miles but rolling,
unspoilt countryside? As life becomes
increasingly busy, we crave space and peace; a
secret corner of the world where we can relax with
its about more than just providing a home;
treating yourself to the services of an A&K
Concierge means that there is someone always
on hand to help with everything from tips and
recommendations on the local area to stocking
those we love, with nothing to do but laze by a the fridge and making sure breakfast is waiting
pool, swim in the sea or while away the afternoon for you on the rst morning. Even though the
with a good book and a glass or two of wine. The Mediterranean is so familiar, A&K is constantly
good news? All of this is possible. Rent a house nding new properties and different ways to
with Abercrombie & Kent Villas and that longed- experience well-known destinations. New for
for life can be yours, whether you want a beachside 2017 are the islands of Mykonos and Santorini,
hideaway, countryside retreat or an escape to a two of Greeces most upscale destinations. The
windswept island. A villa holiday is all about Zarassi Estate on Mykonos is situated on a hilltop
spending time together; with family, old and young, with 180-degree views over the Aegean. This
friends or just your partner. A&K Villas has a extensive estate holds both a four- and ve-
house to suit groups of any size, and with each bedroom property, as well as a luxurious lagoon-
property hand-picked and visited by a member of shaped innity pool with adjoining heated Jacuzzi.
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

Clockwise from bottom


left: Dalmation Dream,
Dubrovnik, Croatia;
The Zarassi Estate,
Mykonos, Greece;
Villa Lavana, Santorini,
Greece; Can Masta,
Mallorca, Spain

Theres a brand-new spa treatment room and in the whole of Europe; from the quiet with wonderful sea views from the terraces
sauna, plus a fully equipped outdoor gym riverbanks of the Dordogne to the hilltop towns and seven stylish bedrooms. If all that doesnt
which overlooks the propertys sweeping lawn of Tuscany and Umbria. The pretty Mallorcan sound memorable enough, there are ways to
and minimalist chapel. A favourite with town of Pollensa, surrounded by the dramatic make your villa holiday even more unforgettable.
honeymooners, Santorini is one of the most Tramuntana mountains, but just ten minutes A&K can provide a range of holiday indulgences,
extraordinary and romantic islands in the whole of from the sea, is ideal for those who want to mix from gliding through the clear blue waters of
the Mediterranean. Villa Lavana is an elegant fun afternoons on the beach with a quieter the Cte dAzur in a private yacht, to purring
three-bedroom villa in the heart of Oia village, place to retreat to at the end of the day. Can through the Tuscan hills in a gleaming Ferrari.
famous for its tangle of lanes that twist down the Masta is a wonderful family house, ve minutes Whether you want to learn how to make the
side of the volcanic crater, dotted with designer from Pollensa, with beautiful terraced gardens, perfect paella in Catalunya, or fancy a guided
boutiques and clifftop bars offering stunning sunset a large pool with a toddler-friendly shallow end tour of French chteaux, A&K staff are on
views. This villa oozes opulence, with its own and a separate annex that would be perfect hand (before, during and after your trip) to
innity pool and outdoor Jacuzzi on the terrace of for grandparents. Or opt for Croatia, currently make your dreams a reality. The only drawback
the master bedroom. Its guaranteed to make you one of the hottest spots in the Med due to is this heavenly life can only last for a week or two.
feel as if you have stepped into another world. its affordability (outside the Eurozone) and But then theres always next year
unspoilt coast and countryside. Dalmatian
If a countryside retreat is more to your taste, A&K Dream is a gorgeous, stone-built villa just For further details, call 01242 547705 or
has villas in some of the most beautiful landscapes moments from Dubrovniks iconic Old Town, visit akvillas.com
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

7 VILLA LA 8 VILLA 817, CALA


COLONNATA, JONDAL, IBIZA, SPAIN
POSITANO, ITALY Jondal oozes contemporary style, from the outdoor
For a truly unforgettable celebration or lounge area, shaded by billowing white drapes, to the
party week, La Colonnata rises up above the glass-walled dining room that looks out over the super-
glamorous streets of Positano, with terraces and sized pool and the sea beyond. There are four light, airy
gardens spilling out from the hillside. Dating back bedrooms, one of which is in a separate annex, complete
to 1741, the house oozes Neapolitan glamour, from with ensuite bathroom. Interiors are a mix of eclectic
the long, colonnaded terrace perfect for dinners artworks, statement lights and clean white walls, but it's
and sunset cocktails to the antique-filled lounges really all about the grounds, which boast a fully equipped
and frescoed walls. The eight opulent bedrooms have outdoor kitchen and dining space for eight. The bright lights
painted ceilings, and there's a well-equipped kitchen. and buzz of Cala Jondal are an easy walk away.
A week from 17,155, based on 16 sharing A week from 10,123, based on eight sharing
(01242 547705, akvillas.com) (020 3239 4406, ibizavillas.com)

9 KORSAN KUZEY, KALKAN, TURKEY


Situated in Turkey's most sophisticated resort, this elegant and fantastically spacious
villa sleeps ten in five light, cream-walled rooms. The open-plan living area opens out 7
onto a huge decked terrace with private pool that's perfect for alfresco suppers and
lazy days soaking up the spectacular sea views. The cherry on the cake is the villa's
own beach platform and jetty, along with 50 metres of private waterfront.
A week from 526pp, including flights and car hire, based on ten sharing
(020 3627 5993, simpsontravel.com)

CHAMPAGNE HOUSES
SUPER
L UX E
8

9
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

12

13

10

ROMANCE
I N T I M A T E H I D E AWAY S
11

10 L A T O R R E T T A , 11 F O T I N I K A L I V I ,

CORTONA, ITALY SKOPELOS, GREECE


Cottages for two are rare in Tuscany and Torretta is The quieter, less flashy sibling to neighbouring Skiathos, Skopelos
a gem: one cosy, whitewashed bedroom upstairs and a is a wonderfully romantic island, and Fotini Kalivi is the perfect
ground-floor kitchen and sitting area that opens onto a bolthole for two. A traditional farm cottage converted into a bijou
lovely shaded terrace. The house is almost submerged in the retreat, sloping beams and polished wood floors create a cosy
picturesque gardens; lavender and rose bushes dot the lawn, bedroom upstairs, while downstairs there's a neat open-plan living
which slopes down to the private plunge pool surrounded by area and country-style kitchen. But it's really all about the outdoors:
trees. The pice de rsistance is the Ottoman-style pergola, shady terraces, a dining area beneath a pergola and a secluded
perfect for lazy afternoons deux. pool with lovely views.
A week from 1,018 through CV Villas, based on two sharing A week from 595, including transfers, through Vintage Travel,
(020 3773 9203, cvvillas.com) based on two sharing (01954 261431, vintagetravel.co.uk)

12 G A R D E N S U I T E P O O L SMUGGLER'S NEST,
13

V I L L A , M A R A D I VA V I L L A S , ST LUCIA, CARIBBEAN
MAURITIUS This is a gorgeous hideaway made for two, surrounded by the
Tamarin Bay is one of the loveliest beaches in Mauritius, swaying palms and pristine beaches of the Cap Estate on the
and the Maradiva Villas are dotted among 27 acres of northern tip of St Lucia. Perched on a hillside above Smuggler's
garden, guaranteeing peace and tranquility. A plunge pool, Cove and invisible from the roadside, the house is a unique
spacious terrace and outdoor garden shower mean you may cluster of whitewashed rooms with beamed ceilings, looking
not want to leave the privacy of your villa and with butler out onto a beautiful botanical garden latticed with walking
service and 24-hour in-villa dining available, you don't have to. trails. The romantic bedroom comes complete with a
If you do venture out, there are three restaurants bamboo four-poster and a patio with spectacular
and an Ayurvedic spa to dip into. 180-degree views of the ocean.
A week from 2,814, half-board, through Trailfinders, based on A week from 2,820 through Villas of Distinction, based
two sharing (020 7368 1200, trailfinders.com) on two sharing (+1 800 289 0900, villasofdistinction.com)
at your
service

From blinis prepared by your personal chef to beauty therapists who soothe sun-kissed
skin, truly dream villas should cater to truly individual holiday requirements. Make sure
\RXQGMXVWWKHSODFHIRU\RXZLWKLQWHUQDWLRQDOYLOODH[SHUWV&99LOODV
oliday villa: two words that carry so much heated innity pool; the outdoor sofas or the day bed, charming villages of north east Corfu? Decisions, decisions.

H meaning. Your long-awaited sanctuary; your


place of refuge; your idyllic escape. A place to
hide away with your family; hang out with
friends over long lazy lunches; head out from to
explore the exotic surroundings, and then return to
the best spot in the house from which to gaze in
shaded splendour and plan your day (with the villas
private concierge on call to help if required). Relax in
your retreat on high or explore the local beaches and
If craggy mountains are more your idea of heaven, Dar
Zitouna, Morocco is the place for you. Magnicent views
abound at this lovingly restored private hideaway: think cool

with your senses satiated, your appetite for adventure


Clockwise from above:
replete. Villas for groups; villas for two; villas for you
Villa Amarea, Greece;
and your four-legged friends. Villas with a pool; villas Villa Lara, St Tropez;
with a tennis court; villas near the beach. Villas with Villa Lemoni, Greece;
a cook to cater to your every whim; a concierge service Illusion, St James,
to arrange every adventure; a personal fairy to turn Barbados; Dar Zitouna,
down the beds and sprinkle petals on your pillow; Morocco
even a private pedicurist at your beck and call. An
impossible quest? Not if you know where to look.

Take Villa Lemoni, Greece: a modern masterpiece


set around a courtyard, high on a hilltop, with to-die-
for views across undulating olive groves to the Ionian
Sea. Naturally, such views take centre stage, whether
you enjoy them from the luxurious bedrooms, with
huge oor-to-ceiling windows; the endless terraces; the
T R AVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

The Cte dAzur is high on the holiday hot list in Marrakech, fully staffed beachfront villas in
and Villa Lara, on the Bay of St Tropez, takes Barbados or elegant manor houses in the Cotswolds,
prime spot. On a peninsula estate, moments from multilingual and friendly Travel Experts can provide
its sandy beach, Villa Lara is a feast for the senses: a unique insight into each villa and its surroundings,
the scent of pine forests; the sound of the ocean having personally visited each one (and often grown
and glorious sea views. Inside, black, white and up nearby). And with over 40 years experience, CV
pale sand tones combine in a minimalist indoor/ Villas can also help with everything from ights and
outdoor living style. Although, in surroundings car hire to expert local support. Whether its a spa
like these, youll want to be outside enjoying treatment or full family celebration, they will organise
the pool, boules pitch, table tennis and tennis; everything, with old-fashioned personal service and
lunching alfresco (with a fully inclusive chef meticulous attention to detail ensuring a uniquely
service) or people watching on nearby Cap Bnat special villa holiday.
beach, Bormes-les-Mimosas or even in legendary
St Tropez itself.

CV Villas has over 700 villas located in some of


the most stunning corners of the world. Each villa
is handpicked for its style, comfort and individual
wow factor, be it exceptional views, unusual
history, breathtaking innity pool or, of course,
extraordinary services, from concierges to cooks.
Whether youre looking for luxury villas in Corfu,
unique trulli houses in Puglia, delightful mas in
Provence, funky ncas in Mallorca, magical homes

To book your luxury villa holiday call the


Travel Experts at CV Villas on 020 7261 5473 or
view the full portfolio online at cvvillas.com
CV Villas is a member of ABTA and is fully bonded
with the CAA, giving nancial peace of mind

neutrals, agstone oors, four-poster beds and a


cornucopia of objets dart. Days are spent by the pool;
in the tranquil gardens among roses and citrus trees;
enjoying the tennis facilities of the Bab Adrar estate,
or exploring nearby Marrakech. Come evening, cool
verandas and a roof terrace are equally perfect for
sundowners or stargazing, as you dine on another feast
prepared by the villas private chef.

If its inspired by Sandy Lane, its bound to impress.


And Illusion, St James, Barbados, doesnt
disappoint, combining elegance, space and service
(including, naturally, a private chef) in an innately
relaxing retreat. Interior highlights include an airy
foyer complete with baby grand; a glamorous dining
room for twelve that can be opened to the breeze and
sea view beyond; a lavish master suite with secluded
balcony; and a private gym. Outdoor temptations
include leafy terraces, a heated pool, a putting green
and the added bonus of Sugar Hills clubhouse,
championship courts and nearby beach facility, or
a round of golf at the Royal Westmoreland.
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

17

16

HOTELS 15

BEACHSIDE IDYLLS
WITH
VILLAS 20

14

14 BEACH VILLA, ONE&ONLY 15 O V E R -T H E - W A T E R V I L L A S ,

REETHI RAH, MALDIVES SANDALS ROYAL CARIBBEAN


One of the Maldives' most iconic resorts, One&Only Reethi SPA RESORT, JAMAICA
Rah villas are spread along a picture-perfect beach, and The first over-the-water villas in the Caribbean, these luxurious houses
over the crystal-clear sea. Each traditionally thatched villa are located on a private island offshore from Montego Bay. Each
opens onto a private stretch of sand, while inside, polished room has a glass section of floor with views into the water, while the
wood and a clean, cream colour palette create a contemporary spacious sun-deck offers both a plunge pool and over-water hammock,
feel. Dinner can be taken in the privacy of your villa, although as well as steps to a sunbathing platform surrounded by the sea. Villas
there are five restaurants to choose from. There's a wide range of come with butler service and guests can use all the resort's facilities,
watersports on offer or just relax at the One&Only spa. including eight restaurants, Red Lane Spa and dive school. Sleeps two.
A week from 8,853, based on two sharing A week from 6,315pp, three nights in a Over-The-Water Villa,
(00 960 664 8800, oneandonlyresorts.com) four nights in a Butler Suite (08000 22 30 30, sandals.co.uk)

16 OCEAN VIEW VILLA, 17


MULIA VILLAS, THE MULIA,
FAIRMONT KEA LANI, BALI, INDONESIA
MAUI, HAWAII Tucked away down private pathways among lush gardens, the Mulia
A lush, 22-acre tropical estate overlooking the white sands Villas are little cocoons of privacy in the Mulia Resort, offering access
of Polo Beach, this is a fly-and-flop of the highest order. Its to nine restaurants and bars, six swimming pools and a palatial spa.
Willow Stream Spa has been voted the world's best hotel Each villa has its own hydrotherapy pool and butler service can be
spa, and there are four restaurants and three pools. The two- arranged. Inside, chic cream furnishings and colour scheme create
bedroom Ocean View Villa has a private courtyard garden a tranquil feel. Villa guests have access to a private beach and
with plunge pool and barbecue grill, a gourmet kitchen and cabanas, and breakfast and afternoon tea is included in the price.
sumptuous Italianate ensuite bathrooms. A week from 2,556, based on a one bed villa, sleeping up to
A week from 11,865, including breakfast, based on four sharing three: 2 adults and 1 child under 12. (00 62 361 301 7777,
(0808 101 7137, fairmont.com) themulia.com)
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

18MALAKIYA VILLAS, 19
VILLA CASTELLO,
MADINAT JUMEIRAH, CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO,
DUBAI, UAE TUSCANY, ITALY
A city within a city, Madinat Jumeirah offers 40 Live the Tuscan dream in this 800-year-old estate, surrounded
restaurants and bars, boutiques and three hotels, all of by 500 acres of rolling hills. A cluster of farmhouses, dating
which are available to guests in one of the seven super- back to the 17th century, have been converted into luxury villas,
luxurious Malakiya Villas. The houses, surrounded by lush with three restaurants, a cooking school, spa and pool all dotted
gardens and accessed by waterways as well as paths, are around the estate. There are ten villas; Castello has three spacious
based on traditional Arabian summer houses, with added bedrooms, while downstairs there's a kitchen with traditional Tuscan
21st-century comforts: marble-clad bathrooms, sumptuous tiling and comfortable lounge. Outside is the real joy: panoramic views
bedrooms and private terraces overlooking the water. from the pool, an outdoor wood oven, dining terrace and living area.
From 5,576 per night, based on six sharing A week from 6,000, based on six sharing
(0800 082 8000, jumeirah.com) (020 3189 2126, rosewoodhotels.com)

20 PENINSULA VILLA, THE PENINSULA


20

BEVERLY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, USA


The perfect base for exploring Los Angeles, The Peninsula is on Wilshire Boulevard,
a stroll from Rodeo Drive and Century City. The hotel's elegant Renaissance style
extends to the 17 villas dotted through the gardens, the most stunning of which
is the two-storey Peninsula Villa. The house mixes Asian antiques and interiors
with classical furnishings and the two bedrooms are reached by an impressive
sweeping stairway. Downstairs, there's a sumptuous lounge and dining space for
ten, while outside the private patio comes with a bubbling Jacuzzi.
From 7,925 per night, based on six sharing
(0800 783 0388, peninsula.com)

18

HOTELS INLAND ESCAPES


WITH
VILLAS

19

18
T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

space odyssey
Palatial island pads, sumptuous suites, haute-chic villas, panoramic penthouses:
One&Onlys international collection of uber-private sanctuaries homes-away-from-
home within their world-famous resorts will never cramp your holiday style

pace. Space to breathe; space to oat around space comes as standard. Along with, of course, truly palatial Grand Water Villas set on stilts over the

S freely; space to entertain friends and family;


space to curl up on a sofa and feel truly alone
to enjoy a good book. If there is one thing a
real break requires, it is space to be yourself. And
with One&Onlys unique collection of villas, suites
unerringly spectacular views, temperature-controlled
pools, dreamy spas, champion-designed golf courses,
Michelin-starred chefs, an endless array of possibilities
and dedicated (positively devout) 24-hour Villa Host
and Butler teams to cater to every whim, whatever
Indian Ocean. Interiors are vast, the surrounding
horizons even vaster: turquoise seascapes enjoyed
from your daybed, Jacuzzi or 23 square-metre innity
pool. Or perhaps youd prefer your own 2,000 square-
metre stretch of sand? Nestled amid tropical greenery,
and penthouses, no matter where you are in the and whenever it may be. the three-bedroom Grand Sunset Residence
world Mauritius, the Maldives, Cape Town, Los encapsulates the ultimate in island indulgence,
Cabos, the Great Barrier Reef, Wolgan Valley in the So it is that among the Maldives coral atolls, lagoons whether you are making an entrance on your private
Greater Blue Mountains, the Bahamas or Dubai and white sands, you wont just nd water villas, but yacht, sampling the creations of your private chef or
relaxing in your 50 square-metre pool.

the high life


A different island, a different type of retreat: this
time its spectacular Penthouses at One&Only
Hayman Island, a private island resort in the heart
of the Great Barrier Reef. Raising luxurious seclusion
to a new level (quite literally) these individual eyries
have sweeping views of Hayman Beach and the
celestial blue waters of the Coral Sea. Pour yourself
a chilled glass of Perrier-Jout Champagne, kick
back on your wraparound terrace or in your
presidential-size sitting area and from Diane
von Furstenberg-designed interiors to private
beachside dinners under the stars settle in for
a gloriously decadent stay.
garden courtyards and great rooms leading out to
innity pools and the ocean beyond. At One&Only
Le Saint Gran (which is currently closed for a
complete makeover, due to reopen at the end of this
year), the Villa Residence, the pinnacle of luxurious
Mauritian living, comes with a 24-hour butler and
personal chef to cater for anything from magical
island tours to midnight feasts.

privacy assured
When it comes to personal space, however, top spots
must surely go to Villa Cortez and Villa One at
One&Only Palmilla. On Mexicos Baja Peninsula,
where golden desert sands meet turquoise waters, Villa
One is a contemporary glass megalith boasting over
Clockwise from far 1,400 square metres of private space, with inside and
left: Villa One, outside merging via oor-to-ceiling windows. Add such
One&Only Palmilla;
treats as a cinema; tness centre and spa room; innity
One&Only Cape
Town; pool at
pool; 24-hour butler service and dedicated chefs (not
Wollemi Villa, to mention SEARED by Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Emirates One&Only and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, both nearby)
Wolgan Valley; the and you surely have one of the worlds ultimate family-
bedroom of the and-friends retreats.
Penthouse, One&Only
Hayman Island; the
For further details and reservations, visit
living room of Villa
oneandonlyresorts.com or call 0800 169 0536
One, One&Only
Palmilla; the pool at
One&Only The Palm;
Grand Sunset
Residence, One&Only
Reethi Rah. Centre
Left: living area,
Grand Water Villa,
One&Only Reethi
Rah, Maldives

In wonderful contrast, Emirates One&Only Wolgan worlds your oyster with One&Onlys palatial
Valley, Australia is surrounded by soaring escarpments, beachfront retreats. At Dubais One&Only The
natural bushland and luscious valleys. Here, tucked Palm, Moorish-inspired, open-plan interiors are
away in a remote 7,000-acre conservation reserve, complemented by outdoor shaded seating and a
inspired by the lands rich heritage, the two-bedroom majlis-style entertaining area (with your own villa
Wollemi Villas offer gracious spaces with double-sided hostesses to help with entertaining, naturally) all
replaces and heated pools. Or for truly magnicent set against the backdrop of the azure Arabian Gulf.
seclusion and splendour, the three-bedroom Wolgan At One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas, a
Villa is a must, nestled in a private corner with distinctively British-Colonial style encompasses vaulted
panoramic views of Wolgan Valley and the Greater ceilings, gentle fans, wood furnishings, marble oors,
Blue Mountains.

palatial surroundings
The buzz of the V&A Waterfront combined with
breathtaking views of Table Mountain makes for a
heady combination, especially when enjoyed from
the perspective of the Presidential Suite at One&Only
Cape Town. Stand on your terrace and you feel
enfolded within the cliffs of Devils Peak and Lions
Head. Head down from on high and you can enjoy
the likes of Nobu dining; a private tasting with the
Sommelier at the Wine Loft; the One&Only Spa on
a private island (services also available in-suite) and
four-poster poolside cabanas with complimentary
fresh oysters, dedicated pool butler and a foot or
hand massage. More of a beachfront babe? The
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TRAVELLER EVENTS
THE INSIDE TRACK ON THIS MONTHS HAPPENINGS

BRUNCH WITH
A DAREDEVIL
CHARLEY BOORMAN AND HIS HAIR-RAISING ESCAPADES

+ A MICHELIN-STARRED FEAST FROM NORTHERN IRELAND


March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 157
EVENTS

COND NAST TRAVELLER INVITES YOU TO


BRUNCH AT THE NEW SOHO HOUSE FARMSHOP IN BICESTER VILLAGE WITH

CHARLEY BOORMAN
THE FEARLESS ADVENTURER AND TV STAR WHO HAS CIRCUMNAVIGATED THE
EARTH ON TWO WHEELS AND TACKLED THE GRUELLING DAKAR RALLY

BOOK NOW: TRAVELLERS-TALES.EVENTBRITE.CO.UK


Tickets are 30 and include brunch, a signed copy of Boormans book The Long Way Back before its
release on 1 May, and a Bicester Village VIP card, which offers exclusive shopping discounts

Come and meet famed motorcycle daredevil and on-screen raconteur Charley Boorman in
conversation with Cond Nast Travellers David Annand at a brunch in the private dining room
of Bicester Villages farmshop restaurant and caf, a new foodie hotspot from the team behind
Soho House & Co. Since he embarked on a 20,000-mile motorbike trip with long-time pal
Ewan McGregor from London to New York via Siberia and Mongolia, documented in 2004s
phenomenally popular Long Way Round TV series, Boormans itchy feet have barely touched the
ground. His escapades have seen him travel by any means possible from Ireland to Australia
including on container ships and concrete barges. A bestselling author, Boorman wrote his
upcoming autobiography, Long Way Back, during his recovery from a car accident in Portugal last

PHOTOGRAPH: LLEWELYN PAVEY/THE WALL HOUSE MEDIA COMPANY


year. His next expedition will be to cross the notoriously treacherous Darin Gap, a lawless stretch
of jungle between Panama and Colombia. Boorman joins a roll-call of fascinating adventurers,
including Levison Wood and Colonel John Blashford-Snell, who have taken part in our Travellers
Tales Series, in which the worlds most interesting explorers share behind-the-scenes stories.

10AM12PM, MONDAY 24 APRIL 2017


FARMSHOP, UNIT 135, BICESTER VILLAGE, 50 PINGLE DRIVE, BICESTER OX26 6WD

COND NAST TRAVELLER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO POSTPONE THE EVENT IF RENDERED NECESSARY
BY ANY UNAVOIDABLE CAUSE. TICKETS WILL BE FULLY REFUNDED IN SUCH CASES

158 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS On-the-road playlist?
Adventure hero? Audio books particularly ones by Wilbur Smith. I
Author Ted Simon. Jupiters Travels really inspired listened to them in South Africa when riding through
Ewan McGregor and I to do the Long Way Round. areas they were loosely based on.
Most relaxing spot? Ultimate view?
Some friends run a ower farm in Nanyuki, Kenya, Sunrise from a toilet in an ice shelter on Mount
and just driving there you pass giraffes and zebras. Denali in Alaska a loo with a view!
Dream travel partner? Strangest thing to pack?
If Ewan wasnt available, Steve McQueen. Hes into A St Christopher pendant, a gift from a little girl at a
his motorbikes and Id like to ride his coat-tails. motorbike show. It comes with me wherever I go.
Never leave without? Best piece of travel advice?
Silk sleeping-bag liners. Bed bugs cant penetrate silk. Be exible. That, and always pack baby wipes.
EVENTS
COND NAST TRAVELLER INVITES YOU TO

A FEAST FROM NORTHERN IRELAND IN LONDON


IN ASSOCIATION WITH TOURISM IRELAND

JOIN STEPHEN TOMAN, HEAD CHEF AT OX THE MICHELIN-STARRED


RESTAURANT THAT REVOLUTIONISED THE BELFAST DINING SCENE FOR
AN UNMISSABLE ST PATRICKS DAY DINNER. THE POP-UP WILL BRING A
TASTE OF NORTHERN IRELAND TO HIP LONDON JOINT CAROUSEL

BOOK NOW: CHEFS-WORLD-SERIES.EVENTBRITE.CO.UK


Tickets are 80 and include a three-course dinner and a welcome drink

After sharpening his knives in the world-class kitchen of Taillevent in Paris, Belfast
native Stephen Toman returned to his home town in 2013 to open Ox on the citys
bustling riverside. The restaurant a collaboration with Alain Kerloch, who he met while
working at another Paris institution, LArpge quickly made waves with its focus on
rened yet unfussy locavore dining. Considered a game-changer at the heart of Northern
Irelands food revolution, Ox remains Belfasts go-to destination restaurant, its welcoming
atmosphere and delicate dishes attracting serious foodies to its pared-back space.
When food critic Jay Rayner visited, he was bowled over by the top-quality ingredients
to which the best things have been done. Guests at the Ox pop-up will enjoy three
courses of delicious avours: celeriac, scallop and sea urchin with truffle, followed by
Chateaubriand, asparagus and black garlic, and a pudding of Bushmills jelly, lavender,
oats and baked-apple sorbet. This is the fourth installment in Cond Nast Travellers
Chefs World Series, which brings top cooking talents to London to create culinary
PHOTOGRAPHS: STEPHEN BARNES/ALAMY; ELAINE HILL

delights with a global twist. It takes place downstairs at Carousel, a cool Mayfair dining
spot with a supper-club vibe and rotating roster of chefs. Our previous events have
included brunch with Yotam Ottolenghi and an evening with chef Norbert Niederkoer.

FRIDAY 17 MARCH 2017


DOWNSTAIRS AT CAROUSEL, 71 BLANDFORD ST, MARYLEBONE, LONDON W1U 8AB

March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 161


EVENTS

The magazines third foodie event for


readers was hosted by Rudies in North
London, where two of Jamaicas
star chefs stirred up some LCCC:
light, clean, Caribbean cooking

chefs world series


Hot right now
CARIBBEAN FLAVOURS ARE REMIXED IN LONDON

Guests sipped on Appleton Rum


For one night only, two of Jamaicas top chefs Martin Maginley
Mai Tais as chef Christopher from Round Hill Hotel and Villas, and Christopher Golding from Half
Golding talked to Cond Nast Moon traded the chilled-out shores of Montego Bay for the hustle of
Travellers Thea Darricotte the open kitchen at Londons funkiest Caribbean restaurant, Rudies
in Stoke Newington. A crowd of taste-makers ate a ve-course dinner
with ska, jazz and dub on the playlist while tattooed bar staff served
fruity Appleton Rum Mai Tais. On the menu were dishes such as
ackee an with saltsh brandade, pumpkin and lobster bisque with
Scotch-bonnet oil and pineapple galette with rum brittle and coconut
ice cream. Each course showcased a range of delicate avours and
spices, and the evening arranged in partnership with the Jamaica
Tourist Board rmly proved theres more to Jamaican food than the
PHOTOGRAPHS: EMMA JONES

jerk-style its famed for. Maginley and Golding stepped out of the
kitchen to talk to Cond Nast Travellers Thea Darricotte, with Maginley
revealing his proudest moment was cooking poached lobster for
the Duke of Edinburgh, and Golding sharing his favourite ingredients:
coconut milk (simply magical) and thyme I love the smell. When
its burnt, it creates an amazing smoky avour. Afterwards, guests
toasted the two chefs with shots of 21-year-old Appleton Rum.

162 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


Travellers tales

King of the jungle


SURVIVAL TIPS FROM THE BUSHCRAFT EXPERT
Tales of Ray Mears childhood would give most parents
heart palpitations. I started going outdoors seriously at the
age of eight, then spent my rst night out alone in the wild
soon after, said Mears, in conversation with Cond Nast
Travellers David Annand at the smart Clubino Bar in The
Baglioni Hotel, London. The TV personality and Britains
Cond Nast Travellers
leading authority on bushcraft traded his usual casual out-
ongoing series of
door get-up for a sharp suit in the latest of our Travellers
Travellers Tales events
Tales events. The series sees the worlds most acclaimed
continued with an
adventurers share stories of their daredevil escapades in an
evening spent in the
intimate setting. Bushcraft is its own language, said Mears,
company of outdoors
its my means of communication with other cultures
hero Ray Mears, right,
around the world. He also talked about how he lived off the
interviewed by David
land for two months, admitted that hunter-gatherers were
Annand, above right
his favourite people to work with due to their honest con-
nection to nature and recalled some hairy moments (My
hands have been on the verge of frostbite. If you lose the
use of your hands, its game over). As for unusual snacks,
Guests ate canaps and drank wine in he described witchetty grubs as lovely, and delicious raw. He
the golden glow of the elegant Clubino also spoke fondly of foraged dinners: I cant eat salmon in
Bar of The Baglioni Hotel in London a restaurant now. It just doesnt compare to when its cooked
on a stick over a re in Alaska. After the event Mears greeted
fans with a bear-like handshake and revealed his hopes for
the next generation of survivalists. When asked about a
group of young wildlife experts in his tutelage, he beamed
and said, If you teach young people how to use a knife,
they wont let you down. BEN ALLEN

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FUTURE EVENTS, VISIT CNTRAVELLER.COM/EVENTS


EVENTS

Legendary explorer John


Blashford-Snell, left, was
joined by an enthusiastic
audience, which included
his wife Judith, top right,
Cond Nast International
president Nicholas Coleridge,
above left, TV presenter
Charley Boorman, right and
actress Rula Lenska, far right

Travellers TaleS
The latest in our ongoing series
of travel talks was held in the
Chartwell Suite at the Hyatt The colonels party
Regency London, where readers
and guests such as polar explorer
JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL ON HIS INTREPID ADVENTURES
Rosie Stancer, right, drank First to descend the Blue Nile and to cross the perilous Darin Gap in Panama,
Corney & Barrow wine and ate Colonel John Blashford-Snell has an expedition log book thats a roll call
smoked-salmon canaps of pioneering missions. One of the worlds most seasoned explorers, he has
led more than 100 trips, served in the British Army for 37 years and founded
both the Scientic Exploration Society and Raleigh International. He took
to the stage at the Chartwell Suite at Hyatt Regency London The Churchill,
in conversation with fellow adventurer Neil Laughton. Wearing an apt elephant-
print tie, he shared his tales with a crowd that included some well-known
globetrotters such as mountaineer Neville Shulman and polar explorer Pen Hadow.
The colonel animatedly described his legendary Blue Nile trip in the 1960s.
The crocodiles took a disliking to us, then the hippos the male hippos had a
habit of mistaking our black rubber boat for a female, which proved difficult.
He revealed the perils of meeting Ethiopias former and nal emperor Haile
PHOTOGRAPHS: EMMA JONES

Selassie, who kept pet lions in his throne room, and that top of his travel wish
list is a trip to Mars. News of Blashford-Snells upcoming expedition to deliver
an ambulance boat to an indigenous community in the southern Colombian
Amazon, made possible by sponsorship from Clinique La Prairie, was greeted
with cheers. When quizzed which essential qualities an explorer requires,
Blashford-Snell replied a sense of humour, before proving his own was rmly
intact; upon being asked by fellow explorer Rosie Stancer if anything scared him,
he responded with, my wife, Judith, of course. IANTHE BUTT

FOR INFORMATION ON MORE TRAVELLERS TALES, VISIT CNTRAVELLER.COM/EVENTS


164 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017
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SPRING TAKEOVER
Tune in to Cond Nast Traveller's sunshine state of mind with these
unmissable experiences, places to stay and fashion and beauty picks

Theas
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Cristal 2009 is
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harrods.com
W
W
OST
WANTED HOTELSA round-up of the latest
launches, must-have spa
treatments and hot health spots

Wandering Soul Retreats offers


yoga, reiki and tness activities
alongside modern and ancient
healing remedies in remote, unspoilt
locations. The next retreat is in the
Basuanga Islands 17 to 24 March 2018.
wandering-soul-retreats.com

Playa Largo Resort & Spa, the 100th addition to Autograph W Verbier has a new restaurant
Collection Hotels, is situated on 14 secluded beachfront acres in Key introducing a modern local menu.
Largo. With sweeping views of Florida Bay, the resort features 144 W Kitchen will focus on seasonal
luxury rooms and suites, 10 private bungalows and a three-bedroom ingredients sourced nearby and given
beach house with private pool. playalargoresort.com a vibrant twist by Executive Chef
Torsten Sllstrm. wverbier.com

Olivers Travels British Airways is adding


has launched a fourth weekly ight
Villotel which to Kingston, Jamaica.
brings the best Beginning April 2017,
elements of a the ight from London
hotel to select Gatwick will afford
villas throughout visitors more options
Europe. Services to this Caribbean
include daily destination. Travellers will Get t for the ski
Crosby Street Hotel in nd it easy to get to the
breakfast and maid season with a training
New York shows it has a islands picturesque north
service, welcome programme designed
great (size-wise) sense coast from Kingston
drinks for your by renowned strength
The people behind the of humour with the thanks to the new north/
group as well as a and conditioning coach
Experimental Cocktail Club addition of a 12ft bronze south highway.
concierge service. Ruben Tabares at
have launched their rst cat by the Colombian britishairways.com/
oliverstravels. Mandarin Oriental
members club in Mayfair in gurative artist and jamaica
com/vill-otel Hyde Park London,
partnership with Francesa sculptor Fernando
Botero. Positioned including a private
Zampi, with interiors by consultation, 60-minute
Fran Hickman. Unlike outside the entrance
to the hotel, the personalised ski tness
typical Mayfair members session and follow-up
clubs, Chess Club will sculpture gives guests
and passers-by a playful meeting with Ruben,
be a cultural melting pot nutritional guidance,
nurturing young talent and welcome.
rmdalehotels.com use of the tness centre
an entrepreneurial spirit and swimming pool and
with a more reasonable a deep tissue massage.
membership fee. From 600, 020 7838
chessclublondon.com Photo: Jamaica Tourist Board 9888
Travelling to Dubai? Zheng Hes, located in the
heart of Jumeirah Mina ASalam, serves up delicious
classical Chinese cuisine with spectacular views of
the Burj Al Arab. jumeirah.com

67 PALL MALL This private members club


founded by wine lovers has some of the worlds
rarest wines at sensible prices. A new off-peak
membership will alow you to access the Club
from Friday-Monday inclusive for 1,250.
67pallmall.co.uk

Corkscrew
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net-a- How would you describe
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discreet English ambience
where personalised service and
handcrafted detail mixes with a
Mini Travel Bag, 1,260, contemporary boldness. You can
Bamford Botanic williamandson.com walk through the hotel admiring
Pillow Mist, 20,
art by past painters such as
bamford.co.uk
Graham Sutherland as well as
21st-century artists, including
Damien Hirst and Julian Opie.
PERFECT 1. Bounce Protein What is your favourite room?
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our 3 favourites hollandandbarrett.com creation inspired by the 19th-
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the-connaught.co.uk
LA BORDE is an elegant but intimate
retreat in Burgundys rolling landscape, only
90 minutes from Paris. The personalised
service you receive makes the 16th
Dream Destinations century former chateau your home for the
duration of your stay. The cuisine, exquisite
EUROPE-UK HOTEL TOWNHOUSE 27
Located in the beautiful historical centre
gardens, and timeless beauty of the manor
itself are only a few reasons why La Borde
is a must for anyone seeking a tranquil
of Belgrade in Serbia, Townhouse27 is an escape. +33 (0)386476901 www.lbmh.fr
authentic boutique hotel with exceptional
award winning service. Stay in Belgrades
highest rated venue across the board,
where the 21 large luxury rooms and
comfortable suites exude contemporary
DAISYBANK COTTAGE design, peace and quiet. With a
Nestled in the heart of the New Forest, personalized approach to each guest, the
Daisybank Cottage Boutique Bed and impeccable service, tempting breakfast
Breakfast is a luxury hideaway in a place and nearby must see sights give reason HOTEL ALEXANDRA
of outstanding beauty. Daisybank offers a Like staying with a Danish design loving
warm, contemporary style with some fine enough for your perfect city stay. The
charming garden provides a special retreat friend in Copenhagen, Hotel Alexandra is
old-fashioned hospitality. An Arts and situated on the door step to the City Hall
Crafts house, inspired by the architect during sizzling summer days, complete with
homemade sweets. For nature lovers, the Square, the Latin Quarter, the main
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, dating back shopping area, Strget, and the Tivoli
to 1901, Daisybank's 7 spacious rooms luxury winery offers an exceptional wine
experience in the vicinity of Belgrade. Gardens. Probably the only spot on Earth
have been renovated to the highest where you can sit in, rest in, sleep in and
standard, while many of the quirky original T. +381 11 20 22 900
hotel@townhouse27.com admire so much world-famous Danish
features have been preserved. mid-century vintage furniture. The 61
Call 01590622086 or visit www.townhouse27.com
rooms and hotel decor will transport you
www.bedandbreakfast-newforest.co.uk back in time to the 50s and 60s.
www.hotelalexandra.dk
Tel: +45 33744444

LA SABLONNERIE HOTEL.A convivial


corner of a beautiful island. Gorgeous LUXURY BED & BREAKFAST MLAGA
gardens, peace and tranquillity, birds, A luxury holiday destination in Andalusia,
butteries, owers, horses and carriages close to Mlaga, Marbella and the Costa
no cars how could one not enjoy this
amazing paradise? You will nd this hotel
del Sol. Dos Iberos was designed for
luxurious pampering and privacy and offers
Dream Destinations
five rooms with stunning views, tasteful
to have a great joie de vivre as well as
terric food. La Sablonnerie has recently
received the highly coveted award from
dcor and a refreshing infinity pool.
Besides a delicious breakfast you can also
AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN
Cond Nast JohansenS - Small Hotel of enjoy lunch and dinner.
the Year. Visit www.sablonneriesark.com The perfect base to explore the Andalusian
or call 01481 832 061. highlights. Awarded with TripAdvisor
Travellers Choice 2014 and 2015 and
Certificate of Excellence 2016.
Bienvenidowelcome!
www.andalucia-holidays.com
Tel. +34 657 292 405
THE ZANZIBAR COLLECTION
Exotic, Luxurious, Zanzibar!
A privately owned collection of beautiful
BRIMSTONE HOTEL is the epitome of boutique hotels, lying on one of the Top 30
luxury, nestled in the very heart of the Lake Island beaches in the world. Offering a
District. To stay in any of the 16 rooms or range of watersports, stunning Spas &
suites is to escape into relaxation, East Africas only National Geographic
enhanced by the attentive service of the affiliated PADI 5 star Dive Centre. The
host team. The beautiful scenery is KAYAKAPI PREMIUM CAVES latest addition to the collection is the
enough of an incentive to visit; the food, - CAPPADOCIA tranquil & stunning Zawadi Hotel, offering
rooms and spa are reasons to stay. Carved into the rock face, this deluxe, undoubtedly the best ocean views on the
015394 38062 premium cave hotel overlooks the beautiful Island. Baraza Resort & Spa was voted as
www.brimstonehotel.co.uk town of U rgu
p in Cappadocia / Turkey. the No.1 Hotel in Africa & also among the
Offering elegantly-decorated suites with Top 25 Hotels in the World on TripAdvisor
Cappadocia views, rooms and suites at Travellers' Choice Awards.
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info@cortijolahaza.com and a backdrop of the Pyrnes terrace is set in its own secluded
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ABSALON HOTELABSOLUTE HEAVEN T +27 (0)21 876 8600
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www.heritage.pt E reservations@hukalodge.co.nz for both
Huka Lodge and Dolphin Is. reservations.
  
   


   
    
 






 








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Just 35 minutes from London, Champneys Tring houses the The Farm at San Benito
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March 2017 Cond Nast Traveller 179


THE VIEW FROM HERE
This is where to come to cut yourself off completely. On the east coast of New Zealands South Island, an hour-and-a-half drive from
Christchurch, is Annandale, a fabulous 4,000-acre working farm. Fabulous because, as well as producing beef and wool, it has four
beautiful hideaways for guests seeking ethereal isolation. The latest showstopper is Seascape, a dreamy, open-plan retreat niftily
etched into a hillside overlooking a smile-shaped private bay. Inside, youll nd locally quarried stone, cowhide rugs and cashmere
throws, along with a lovely big hardwood bed beneath pale native-timber ceilings all set within oor-to-ceiling glass geometry with
views of the rocky shoreline. The fridge is stocked with easy-to-prepare meals labelled with instructions by Annandales innovative chef,
including plump prawns with Japanese guacamole and popped muesli, and lamb shoulder with smoked-kumara puree, vine tomatoes
and chickpea shoots. It means guests can come here and be entirely independent without the need for room service or a restaurant
nearby. Bed down, watching sure-footed Romney sheep totter across the steep slopes to feed on messy patches of grass, or spot
paradise ducks, dolphins and fur seals frolicking in the water from the stone terrace or hot tub. New Zealand might have a strong
showing of sophisticated seaside super-lodges, but this one ramps it up again. FOO MEI ANNE
Doubles from 1,660 per night half board with a minimum two-night stay (+64 03 304 6841; annandale.com)

PHOTOGRAPH: STEPHEN GOODENOUGH

180 Cond Nast Traveller March 2017


PLEASE TURN THE PAGE TO VIEW SUPPLEMENT
in association with

THE SPA GUIDE 2017


Revive
Replenish
Restore
Rejuvenate
Rediscover yourself with Healing Holidays,
the UKs leading specialist for worldwide spa breaks

Healing Holidays travels the globe unearthing the very best spas, retreats
and clinics, each one tried and tested. Its portfolio is based on the places
that are loved and trusted, and every trip arranged is bespoke. Be it for a
weekend escape or a long-haul experience, Healing Holidays will inspire to
help you invigorate your body and mind.

Medical spas | Spiritual retreats | Fitness bootcamps | Ayurvedic clinics |


Weight-loss centres | Pampering havens | Solo spa holidays | Yoga | Pilates |
Family-friendly spas | Group retreats | Emotional healing

www.healingholidays.co.uk | 020 7843 3592


info@healingholidays.co.uk
Laurent-Perrier
chosen by Claridges.

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

CUVE ROS
CHOSEN BY THE BEST

Photo credit: Iris Velghe / Illustrator credit: Quentin Blake


EDITORS LETTER

THE SPA GUIDE 2017


A major shift has happened. We have nally caught up. And cottoned on. The concept of looking after our-
selves, our bodies and our minds is now utterly mainstream. Morning meditations, daily cold-pressed juices,
weekly yoga classes and monthly massages are the norm. Check-ups get scheduled the same way as the cars
M.O.T. And our health can only be better for it. But what about when you want to invest in something more
heavy-hitting or restorative, to sign up for proper, intensive, focused time out? That is where we come in.
Together with our indomitable partner, the spa-expert tour operator Healing Holidays, we have reviewed the
most exceptional places in the world to re up, kick back, switch off and stretch out. Not sure whether you need
a retreat or a clinic, a boot camp or a sanctuary? Cant decide between far-ung climes or short-haul quick
xes? Read on, nd the answer thats right for you and take your pick. The sure-re result is that youll feel the
very best you possibly can, and who wouldnt want that?

ISSY VON SIMSON


SPA GUIDE EDITOR

THIS YEARS WINNERS


MOST LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE BORGO EGNAZIA, ITALY (P14)
MOST EFFECTIVE MEDI-SPA VILLA STEPHANIE AT BRENNERS PARK-HOTEL, GERMANY (P20)
MOST TRANSFORMATIVE PROGRAMME RAAS DEVIGARH, INDIA (P29)
MOST OUTSTANDING CITY SPA MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BANGKOK, THAILAND (P39)
BEST FITNESS REGIME RANCHO LA PUERTA, MEXICO (P53)
MOST CONSISTENT HIGH PERFORMER ANASSA, CYPRUS (P47)
BEST BESPOKE RETREATS AMANPURI, THAILAND (P12)
BEST NEW HIDEAWAY YAAN WELLNESS, TULUM (P64)

ON THE COVER
Shot at Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda, Italy. The new Blu Mediterraneo Spa, a mini sanctuary, offers personalised treatments using
Acqua di Parma products that smell as good as the hotels herb garden (villafeltrinelli.com). She wears Hilger Collection. He wears La Perla.
Make-up, Dior. Photographer: Elizaveta Porodina. Models, Lou and Nils Schoof

Editor: Melinda Stevens. Art Director: Pete Winterbottom Deputy Art Director: Paula Ellis Senior Designer: Nitish Mandalia Picture Editor: Karin Mueller
Chief Sub-Editor: Rick Jordan Deputy Chief Sub-Editor Grinne McBride Senior Sub-Editor: Roxy Mirshahi Managing Editor: Paula Maynard Features Assistant/PA
to the Editor: Tabitha Joyce Associate Publisher: Juliette Ottley Advertisement Director: Erica Wong Advertisement Manager: Natalie Fenton Promotions Director:
Amy Hearn Promotions Project Manager: Sophie Tye Promotions Creative Director: Lee Osborne Promotions Executive: Isabella Eckett Digital Account Executive:
Natalie Moss Blundell Production Controller: Dawn Crosby Production Co-Ordinator: Katie McGuinness

CONTRIBUTORS
DAVID ANNAND, JANE BROUGHTON, ALICE BB, LEE COBAJ, HARRIET COMPSTON, SAMANTHA COOMBER, OLIVIA FALCON, DAISY FINER,
RICK JORDAN, FIONA JOSEPH, TABITHA JOYCE, STEVE KING, MARY LUSSIANA, EMMA LOVE, HAZEL LUBBOCK, EMILY MATHIESON,
PAULA MAYNARD, GRAINNE MCBRIDE, ANNA PASTERNAK, HELEN PICKLES, ADRIAANE PIELOU, EMMA STRENNER, CAROLINE SYLGER JONES,
RHIANNON TAYLOR, VENETIA THOMPSON, CATHERINE TURNER, JOSH WOOD

PUBLISHER: SIMON LEADSFORD MANAGING DIRECTOR: NICHOLAS COLERIDGE

Copyright The Cond Nast Publications Ltd, Vogue House, 1 Hanover Square, London W1S 1JU. Printed in the UK by Wyndeham Roche. Colour origination by CLX
Europe Media Solution Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. The title Cond Nast Traveller is
registered at US Patent Office and in Great Britain as a trademark. All prices correct at time of going to press but subject to change. The Mail Order Protection
Scheme does not cover items featured editorially. Not to be sold separately from Cond Nast Traveller
PRICES ARE LOW-SEASON RATES. INFORMATION IS CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS. FACILITIES AND SERVICES DESCRIBED, AND PRICES QUOTED, MAY HAVE CHANGED BY THE
TIME OF PUBLICATION. PRICE DISCLAIMER: UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED ALL TOUR OPERATOR PACKAGE PRICES ARE PER PERSON, BASED ON TWO PEOPLE SHARING

March 2017 Spa Guide 3


A spa treatment room in the
Ferme Thermale gardens at
Les Prs dEugnie in France

SLIM DOWN
TAP INTO THE LIGHT SIDE WITH THE TOP TARGETED PROGRAMMES

March 2017 Spa Guide 5


SLIM DOWN WEIGHT
LOSS

PALACE MERANO,
ESPACE HENRI CHENOT
SOUTH TYROL, ITALY
IN BRIEF STILL THE LEADING LIFE-TURNAROUND CENTRE

You dont have to spend upwards of 3,500 to be told that for good
health one ought to move more and eat less, but it doesnt hurt to
be persuaded of this wisdom in such a dedicated environment. The
Chenot method is impressive and addictive, but its not for sensitive
souls. Its based on Henri Chenots study of biontology looking at
how we age by taking in factors of lifestyle, genetics and environ-
ment, and using that information in a preventative manner to stay as
healthy as possible. This manifests itself in a barrage of prodding and
poking by the white-coated staff from meridian energy testing to a
WEIGHT
LES PRES DEUGENIE LOSS full-body scan that makes you want to weep as it highlights areas of
LANDES, FRANCE fat in glaring yellow. All of which is performed in the gleaming Espace

IN BRIEF SHED THE POUNDS AT A MICHELIN-STARRED TABLE

French superstar chef Michel Gurard is famous not just for his fan-
tastically rened food but for something that seems wholly at odds
with ne dining: weight loss. At his deeply chic manor-house hotel in
Gascony, foodie guests sit alongside those who ock for the anti-
ageing and anti-stress retreats and, most popular of all, the Minceur
Essentielle slimming programme. Gurards vision for shifting the
bulge is simple: combine a delicious, low-calorie diet with a person-
alised exercise plan and sculpting treatments using sulphur- and
magnesium-enriched water from the nearby hot spring. Crucially
though, this programme aims for sustainable slimness by delivering
a take-home strategy covering nutrition and physical activity, with
medical consultations and follow-ups a truly expansive approach.
The spa, which from the outside looks more cosy French farmhouse
NEW WEIGHT
than hi-tech facility, really packs a punch. All the body-shaping THE GUT MAKEOVER LOSS
hydrotherapies are taken while naked as the needle-fine, high-
pressure jets of water break down fat cells more efficiently when RETREAT
A THREE-COURSE LUNCH IS JUST OVER MENORCA, SPAIN
500 CALORIES AND THAT INCLUDES THE IN BRIEF RE-EDUCATING YOUR INSIDES WITH A RULE BOOK
CHOCOLATE-CREAM PUDDING
blasted directly onto bare skin. It stings just a little. But not all the There may be nothing new about the idea that you are what you eat,
prescribed cures are such a shock to the system. Baths in solid mar- but the health of our intestines is still a hot topic, scientically prov-
ble tubs in front of open res envelop limbs in the pungent spring en to have an impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing. And
water (sulphur and magnesium are known for their anti-inamma- this replenishing retreat at Menorcas grandest agroturismo is the
tory and diuretic effects), while for the signature white clay bath, place to really get to grips with your gut. Under nutritionist Jeannette
which aids digestion, you wallow in toffee-coloured mud the con- Hydes personal guidance, you begin a realistically manageable
sistency of thick cream. On the nine- or 12-day regime these hydro four-week eating plan, which can be followed once at home with
treatments are scheduled four times a day, alternating with mineral her paperback The Gut Makeover. Refreshingly, its all about abun-
and vegetable infusions. Repetition is key. In between trips to the dance rather than deprivation. The goal? To start to heal and
spa there is time to exercise. This can be one-on-one with a per- restore your microbiome (gut bacteria), which will in turn rebalance
sonal trainer, alone in the pool or gym, or out exploring the cycle heart, body and mind. Days pivot around eating three plentiful
paths that crisscross the estate. The aim of the activity is to train Mediterranean-inspired meals stacked with a broad mix of fruit and
the body and engage the mind while assisting with weight loss. It all vegetables and high-quality protein. Breakfast might be fruit, nuts
feels very doable and therefore easier to maintain later. As does the and ker (a tasty fermented milk drink) with eggs and (gluten-free)
calorie-controlled diet. The food is limited, but still mouthwatering. banana bread, while at lunch and supper there are salads, plates of
A three-course lunch of tangy white bean and tomato salad with
soft pear followed by sea bass in a vegetable-and-herb tea is just COME HERE WHETHER THE ISSUE IS
over 500 calories. And that includes the chocolate-cream pudding. IBS, SLEEP PROBLEMS, OR HORMONAL
PHOTOGRAPH: TIM CLINCH

The spa list extends to facials, manicures and pedicures, and more,
so while Les Prs dEugnie offers a hand-held, step-by-step way to
OR SKIN DISORDERS
lose weight it is also somewhere to indulge a little. pulled pork, turkey burgers and barbecued prawns. Although theres
INSIDER TIP A reexology session with spa manager Ccile Ledru is no alcohol, caffeine, salt, sugar or gluten, it isnt too abstemious.
both relaxing and uplifting. Her diagnostic ability is uncanny. Relaxing is also key to good digestive health, so theres heaps of it
BOOK IT A nine-night Minceur Essentielle programme costs from scheduled into the itinerary. The villa, Cug Gran, has manicured
about 4,280 per person (+33 5 58 05 06 07; michelguerard.com). gardens, rolling lawns, sea views, an innity pool and plenty of spaces

6 Spa Guide March 2017


Henri Chenot. Each day is chock-a-block and sees you shuffling from
treatment room to jet shower to medi-clinic and back again. The
process is rooted in the expulsion of toxins through cupping massages,
lymphatic drainage, mud therapy and hydroaromatherapy baths, as
well as a diet of the tiniest, most exquisite morsels of food. Fresh fruit
gives an antioxidant-rich start to the day. Lunch is three beautiful
courses: grilled baby-vegetable salad, black-rice spaghetti, baobab
ice cream. The dining rooms hum with chatter, especially at supper
when everyone is out of their threatening-to-slip-open bathrobes and
in their nery. There are as many tables of four as solo travellers,
and as many men as women (some as large as Luciano Pavarotti
Marie Pierre Chenot, Henris sister-in-law, was his nutritionist). All are
engaged in their quest for wellbeing. A cherry-picked few are invited
into Chenots inner sanctum where he diagnoses ailments by simply
peering at you over the rim of his glasses. But having recently opened
THE CHENOT METHOD IS IMPRESSIVE
AND ADDICTIVE BUT, WITH A BARRAGE OF
TESTS, ITS NOT FOR SENSITIVE SOULS
a new standalone Chenot Palace in Azerbaijan, of all places, it will be
interesting to see how often he is on hand in Merano in the future. WEIGHT
Next on the schedule here is the introduction of a DNA-testing
VIVAMAYR LOSS
machine so the team can delve even closer into the prevention of ALTAUSSEE, AUSTRIA
illness. This is a place to seriously kick-start a lifelong, and in some
cases life-saving, understanding of how to look after yourself.
IN BRIEF THE ULTIMATE DIET OVERHAUL TO REVIVE YOUR SYSTEM
INSIDER TIP For the best chance of a good nights sleep (it can be
elusive when detoxing), ask for a room on the garden side of the hotel. For those new to the Mayr cure, this efficacious diet plan com-
BOOK IT A six-day programme costs from about 2,225 per person bined with holistic treatments was rst developed by pioneering
full board, including consultations and treatments. A week in a doctor Franz Xaver Mayr at the turn of the 20th century. It is based
deluxe double costs from about 1,290 per person (+39 0473 271 on the principle that giving an overworked digestive system a break
000; palace.it/en). allows other parts of the body to begin to repair themselves. Such
are its remarkable effects that the method has reached legendary
status, especially when it comes to tackling issues such as chronic
fatigue, allergies, arthritis, migraine and sleep problems. Mayr hall-
to hide away in. Its all incredibly comfortable too rooms are ele- marks include chewing each mouthful of food at least 30 times (the
gant and pared-back, with whitewashed beams and Provenal-style notorious spelt bread is served stale to ensure its tough enough to
furniture. The whole place is looked after by a dashing navy-blue-clad eat slowly), drinking Epsom salts to help intestinal cleansing, daily
team that includes a butler, driver and concierge. Stretched out on abdominal massages and liver compresses. You are encouraged not
a day bed on a terrace, sipping ginger water and taking in the scent to talk during meals, although guests do rebel as its too tempting
of rosemary on the warm air, youll feel more than comfortable talk- not to swap detox symptoms. Stay here to experience the latest
ing openly about the less ner things in life like how often you poo arrival on the Mayr scene: this is the sister property to the original
and what it looks like. The listener is the empathetic Hyde, with Vivamayr on Lake Wrth. While its denitely a clinical environment,
whom youll have health consultations; shes available to answer any the overall design is akin to a gigantic modern chalet, clean-lined
niggling questions, whether the issue is IBS, sleep problems, or hor- and clad in oak, rather than being spartan or surgical. Its a lot more
monal or skin disorders. For the rest of the time, be soothed by cocooning than any of the other Mayr outposts, with jaunty colours
treatments, using Rosalena oils or Litya products, and keep your adding a cheery pop to interiors. The food is healthy, modern Mayr
body moving with sport-performance-focused Pilates classes. By at its best no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol. The philosophy is based
the time you check out youll be slimmer, sleeping better and feeling on ingredients which alkalise, and how you eat is as important as what
far more serene. Just keep reading the book for the results to last. you eat. Sometimes dinner is just a bowl of broth or herbal tea.
INSIDER TIP Take the car for a spot of therapeutic shopping in Many people come here to lose weight, others to press pause, still
nearby Mahn the local baskets are lovely. more for an annual health MOT. The vast medical department is
BOOK IT A ve-night retreat costs from about 2,095 per person where you will spend most of your time, dipping into everything
full board, including two spa treatments, Pilates sessions, classes from traditional massages and intravenous drips to bone-density
and consultations (+34 671 528 958; cugogranmenorca.com). measurements and hi-tech oxygen therapy used by astronauts. The
diagnostics are mind-bogglingly impressive blood tests, mineral
tests, cardiovascular tests, intolerance tests all of which dictate
your treatments, as well as lay bare the real state of your health. A
key point of difference to Vivamayr Maria Wrth is that the salt
water you drink here is drawn straight from the depths of the nearby
quarries, so it is of superlative provenance and is perhaps another
reason on top of all the others why you will leave feeling sparkly.
INSIDER TIP When you feel cabin fever set in, do the hour-and-a-
half walk around the lake its truly The Sound of Music pretty.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night detox retreat from 2,025
per person full board, including ights, transfers, and all treatments
and activities as per the basic medical programme.
SLIM DOWN

WEIGHT
ABSOLUTE SANCTUARY LOSS
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
IN BRIEF PRACTICAL, PURPOSEFUL AND AMAZINGLY GOOD VALUE

When the question is where can I go thats really good, hot and
wont cost too much?, this is the answer. Absolute Sanctuary is an
absolute bargain. You can get a weeks stay here, including ights
and the most delicious, healthy breakfasts chilli-and-coriander
omelette, coconut-and-mango yogurt, courgette pancakes for
less than what many spas in the UK charge for a long weekend. Plus,
given the ve free daily yoga classes (only two on Sundays, though),
you dont necessarily have to spend much more money once here.
Specialising in Pilates Reformer, yoga and detox, as well as pure
weight loss, this 38-room retreat lies on a terraced hillside 10 min-
utes drive from Samuis airport and coast. What makes it such a
steal is the food fresh, varied and vegetarian, with tropical-fruit
smoothies whizzed up to order at the poolside bar and the quality
NEW WEIGHT
of the classes. Jana Brauer heads the yoga, Pilates and tness crew, AMCHARA LOSS
and the charming professionalism of the staff easily matches that at
GOZO, MALTA
WHAT MAKES IT SUCH A STEAL IS THE IN BRIEF SOMERSET FASTING OUTFIT DECAMPS TO THE MED
FOOD FRESH, VARIED AND VEGETARIAN
AND THE QUALITY OF THE YOGA CLASSES If having a gentle massage in plush surroundings is the extent of
your detox ambitions, give Amchara the body swerve. While its
spas charging signicantly more. Hatha, hot, ashtanga, vinyasa: the comfortable, nurturing and bent on relaxation, this retreat is just not
yoga mix is varied, with all levels genuinely catered for, and no gung- manicured or vanity driven. The skilful staff (based in the West
ho exhibitionists encouraging risky poses. Besides the thorough Country and now branching out to warmer climes) are so xated on
health consultation you get with Alena Kwong, who heads the spa, functional health that they are simply not concerned with the
other highlights include the tranquil atmosphere no alcohol or supercial. As well as fasting championed by the onsite team of
children allowed and how easy it is to be here on your own, which naturopaths, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) therapists, yoga
most of the guests are. Downsides? It feels a bit dated. Bathrooms teachers and chefs raw and vegan food are also on offer, each diet
are pretty basic. The pool area is baldly concrete. At supper in the aimed at giving your insides a rest. Since digestion uses so much of
LoveKitchen restaurant, you can nd yourself wondering why they our energy supply, eliminating food stimulates the bodys natural
dont do something about the gloomy lighting. But the inland loca- healing processes, allowing it to repair itself at a cellular level. And
tion actually proves no problem at all. Classes and treatments take when you dont have to rush across town to meetings, tackle tod-
place in the morning or late afternoon, leaving you free to catch the dlers or do anything more taxing than snooze by the pool or stroll to
lunchtime shuttle to the lovely big beach at Choeng Mon, ve min- the infrared sauna, its surprising how little fuel you need. Away from the
utes away. At night, the great treat here is an open-air Thai massage, stresses, temptations and habits of daily life, and cosseted by com-
with velvety darkness and that tropical blare of cicadas all around. passionate practitioners, you will nally get a chance to attend to
And for a total overhaul rather than a restful weeks tweak, the new your feelings. Health mentoring with Kirstie Chisholm has a startling
30- and 60-day lifestyle change programme promises transformation. impact, her ability to connect the dots between mind and body and
INSIDER TIP Its good to arrive on a Sunday when not much happens. cut straight to the source allows for a total awakening youll be
After a full days travel, you probably wont be up to much anyway. rebooking before youve left the rst session. Make the most of
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays. whats on offer. Indulge in all the tests: food intolerance, heart-rate
co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night yoga programme from variation monitoring, thyroid function check. Its about the educa-
1,939 per person full board, including flights, transfers and all tion as much as the experience. Slope off to the caf at midday
treatments according to the programme. HEALING HOLIDAYS and join in health talks. Whether learning about the effects of an
EXCLUSIVE For every seven-night programme booked receive two acid versus alkaline diet, or earwigging at a frank round-table about
complimentary extra nights B&B, an upgrade to a Deluxe room,
a complimentary Pilates class and 60-minute Thai massage. THE SKILFUL STAFF ARE SO FIXATED ON
FUNCTIONAL HEALTH THAT THEY ARE SIMPLY
NOT CONCERNED WITH THE SUPERFICIAL
food triggers it all comes out here. Everyone shares, everyone
learns. Twice-daily yoga and meditation classes support the detox
experience, while the more fringe treatment options such as EFT
(emotional freedom technique) will take it to a whole new level.
Come with a friend or partner and youll probably spend more time
exploring the spectacular coastline of this sun-scorched island. But
perhaps Amchara is a chance to be really selsh, go solo and take a
personal journey. Any time here will be an absolute game-changer.
INSIDER TIP Dont fear colonic irrigation. Sally Jobes is a master of
the machine, with huge experience; you are in the best possible hands.
BOOK IT A three-night retreat costs from 639 per person, includ-
ing a juice detox programme (+44 1823 475307; amchara.com).

8 Spa Guide March 2017


TOP-TO-TOE M.O.T.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR A REASSURING ONCE-OVER

WEIGHT
VILALARA LONGEVITY THALASSA & MEDICAL SPA LOSS
ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
IN BRIEF A FULL BODY OVERHAUL WITH PREVENTATIVE TESTS AND A SERIOUS DETOX

What if, rather than waiting until you develop symptoms or get sick, neurotransmitters. Theres osteopathy with the brilliant Ricardo Rosa
you see a doctor while you still feel healthy and full of beans? You have who gently manipulates your bones so they crack naturally back into
tests bloods, essential elements, heavy metals, a bio-physical place. And nutritionist Ana Horta devises meal plans to keep good
examination that reveals your metabolic age and fat versus muscle eating habits going when you head home. A brand-new piece of diag-
ratio to discover whats really going on inside. Then, if you show nostic equipment measures the length of telomeres (the tips of the
possible tendencies towards certain illnesses you can follow a pro- chromosomes which protect DNA from deteriorating); the longer
gramme, or implement lifestyle changes to head off problems before they are the better. They shorten with age but also due to factors such
they arise. The idea of staying one step ahead when it comes to health as stress, smoking and a poor diet. There is so much to take advantage
is at the core of wellness brand Longevity. Nearly three years ago, of here that days drift by but do look around. The grounds are
it paired up with long-established pretty, with a small lake, multiple
Algarve hotel Vilalara. The latter IF YOU SHOW TENDENCIES TOWARDS CERTAIN pools (some heated and with salt
already had a reputation for its ILLNESSES YOU CAN FOLLOW A REGIME water), tropical gardens and day
thalassotherapy treatments in beds for afternoon naps. Ideal,
which the healing properties of sea- TO HEAD OFF PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY ARISE then, for when you crave some
water are used to rebalance the bodys trace elements such as mag- downtime to process all your new-found health knowledge and
nesium and sulphate through warm multi-jet baths and pressure make plans to overhaul your life.
showers but the addition of such a serious medical centre really INSIDER TIP Book in for a power hike across the cliffs and past tiny
upped the ante. Many guests come for the four- to 14-night detox secluded beaches with personal trainer Diogo Eloi.
programmes, but everything from skin deep-cleansing to a cardio- BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
vascular check-up is on offer. IV infusions and ozone therapy, co.uk/condenast) offers a five-night quick detox retreat from
where 100ml of blood is taken, mixed with oxygen and then 2,289 per person, including ights, transfers, a detox or liquid-
injected back in to strengthen the immune system, work well diet meal plan, and all treatments and activities as per the
together. If you have a history of Alzheimers in your family, Dr programme. HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE Receive a 10 per cent
Joana Santos might recommend a brain screen to check your discount on extra treatments or consultations.
WEIGHT
LEFAY LOSS
LAKE GARDA, ITALY
IN BRIEF ANCIENT CHINESE KNOW-HOW WITH ITALIAN FLAIR

Strip away the heated massage beds and white coats and this Alpine
eyrie would still make guests bounce. Set high above the quick-
silver vastness of Lake Garda, the imperious views t the Romantic
notion of the sublime towering rocky crags, volcanic skies and
mist-shrouded islets. But its the treatments that have made Lefay
a close-to-home favourite with Kamalaya and Chiva-Som devotees,
and a weekend retreat for stressed-out Milanese in need of an acu-
puncture-facelift. The framework is Classical Chinese Medicine, WEIGHT
backed by up-to-date medical research and lightened by an Italian NEW LANSERHOF LANS LOSS
playfulness. Dont expect miraculous quick xes or a sudden need INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA
to take in your trousers the message here is about embracing
long-term change. The new detox course is a hit, but the ve-day IN BRIEF TRANSFORMATION IN THE TYROL
sports/posture option is much more fun, beginning with moxibustion,
in which red-hot herb cigars are passed over qi points like reies, Hunched over a computer half the time, you have a permanently
and continuing with precision-guided massages that are al dente stiff neck and shoulders. You have digestive issues. You know you
without inicting the authentic pain of Chinese practitioners. We drink far too much coffee but just cant cut down. You often wake at
dont want to make guests cry, says one staff member. They all have 3am for no apparent reason. Your joints ache. Maybe youre even
recovering from a serious illness. It is precisely these kinds of com-
IT'S THE TREATMENTS THAT HAVE MADE plaints the type our GPs never seem hugely interested in that you
THIS A CLOSE-TO-HOME FAVOURITE WITH might want to get sorted before they deteriorate into something
KAMALAYA AND CHIVA-SOM DEVOTEES more serious. The newly relaunched Lanserhof Lans has always been
an exceptionally worthwhile destination, but today its better than
tales to tell. Effortlessly serene senior therapist Teddy Trevisan spent ever. Opened in 1984, it unveiled a 25 million transformation in
seven years learning tai chi in a forest, Luke Skywalker style; Dr late 2016. Rates for its 67 rooms havent changed much, but now
Tolja demonstrates how cycling with longer handlebars can pre- every guest also has to book a basic treatment package, which does
vent tiredness with an anecdote that conjures a wonderful image at least guarantee slots for whatever your personalised package
of this donnish figure pedalling down the Rhine on a Chopper. prescribes (theres nothing more irritating than being at a spa and
Make every movement a meditation! he declares. The sauna space nding that all the star therapists are fully booked). Given the on-
is thrilling, like a nightclub for troglodytes with disco colours and a the-spot access you get to a range of brilliant medical expertise, its
trippy salt-bath experience in which you oat weightlessly beneath well worth paying full whack if you do have serious health issues. A
a huge articial moon. And swimming between sliding doors to the key change is that the doctors are now specialists, covering cardio
outdoor pool never loses its appeal. The spa menu has its highlights, problems, internal medicine, rheumatology, orthopaedics, sports
but ingredients used on the la carte are just as fresh and local: injuries and sleep disorders. Additionally, theyre all trained in the
pasta with artichoke sauce and black truffles; short rib with beet- Mayr method, which puts good digestion at the centre of good
root ketchup. And surely its only a matter of time before the health
benets of molten chocolate cake are proven? While youre eating, ACHING JOINTS, DIGESTIVE ISSUES: COME
peer down to the village of Gargnano: DH Lawrence came here for
a day and stayed six months. As you walk away, taller than before and
HERE TO SORT OUT THE COMPLAINTS OUR
with renewed purpose, you may well feel the same way inclined. GPS NEVER SEEM HUGELY INTERESTED IN
INSIDER TIP Avoid snarled-up roads by coming at the end of the
health. Its cards-on-the-table time if you want to get the most out of
year, when the Mediterranean microclimate is still sunny and bright.
a stay. The medical consultation, half physical examination and half
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
discussion about what ails you, is your big opportunity to be frank,
co.uk/condenast) offers a ve-night tness programme from 2,430
open and un-British. The spa also offers the latest cutting-edge
per person full board including ights, transfers, all treatments and
treatments, including whole-body cryotherapy for pain relief and
activities as per programme. HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE A com-
reducing inammation. And theres a sleek new ve-storey wing
plimentary treatment, salt-lake session and herbal infusion, plus
with an indoor-outdoor salt-water pool, and steam and sauna com-
guaranteed room upgrade.
plex. Sixteen rooms and suites on the upper floors bring added
glamour to the retreat, but it still feels cosy compared to the spec-
tacular chunk of steel-and-glass modernism of its sister property,
Lanserhof Tegernsee in Bavaria. Lie in bed and look out through oor-
to-ceiling windows at the snowy Patscherkofel peak before padding
upstairs to the roof, where you get your own private hedged terrace.
Its a good spot to top up your vitamin D while deciding, what the
hell, to stay for 10 days rather than seven. After all, money spent on
the future you isnt any old purchase. Its an investment.
INSIDER TIP What you eat once home is crucial, of course, so pick
up The 50 Healthiest 10-Minute Recipes cookbook.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night retreat from 2,999 per
person full board, including ights, transfers, and all treatments
and activities as per the basic medical package.

March 2017 Spa Guide 11


TOP-TO-TOE M.O.T. 2017
WINNER
BEST
WEIGHT AMANPURI BESPOKE
LOSS
PHUKET, THAILAND RETREATS

IN BRIEF LASTING WELLNESS AND THE SMARTEST SCENE

Vladislav Doronin is the billionaire chairman of Aman Resorts,


one of the worlds most exclusive hotel groups. He is also a bit of
a health fanatic so the companys new spa programmes were
always going to be something special. Launched last summer
under the watchful eye of ex-Chiva-Som general manager Paul
Linder, these immersions focus on renewal and nourishment, both
physically and spiritually. Marry the highly skilled team of practi- for tness may get endorphin-releasing kick boxing followed by
tioners with the postcard perfection of Amanpuri, the seriously muscle-releasing rubdowns; those on a cleanse may have water-
glamorous hideaway in Phuket, and the promise of that bone- based cardio and effective lymph-draining massages; awareness
warming sunshine, and its almost impossible not to attain an guests might be prescribed silent reection and transformational
inner glow. The hotels Thai-style teak villas are dotted among the craniosacral therapy. Each session is elevated to extraordinary by
lush folds of a former coconut plantation overlooking a private the quality of practitioners, including Anamai Apaiso, a revered
beach of white sand lapped by jade-green waters. For wow-factor former Buddhist monk turned mind trainer. With so few guests,
wellbeing, theres a stunning spa that radiates serenity thanks to timetables can be monitored on a daily basis and adapted depend-
its zen architecture. But the key to these holistic retreats is per- ing on feedback as can your diet. Food is vegan, much of it raw,
sonalisation. While most places only play lip service to the idea, all of it delicious. You will not feel deprived by mouthwatering
Aman is so sincere about individual attention that participation is pasta primavera in which ne strands of courgette replace taglia-
limited to just eight guests at any one time. This means the team telle and theres a delicate avocado dressing instead of the
can calibrate every single detail of your stay, based on one of four traditional creamy sauce. This is a sophisticated, A-list retune
themes: cleanse, mental awareness, tness or weight. Note: there done the Aman way, which means theres loads to learn, it wont
is no detox. This is a gentle and intelligent steer towards sustain- hurt one little bit and youll leave feeling utterly amazing.
able, long-term balance, rather than quick-x starvation diets and INSIDER TIP Pre-book an appointment with Roger Moore not the
trick psychology. You will never go hungry minibars are stocked James Bond actor but a shamanic spiritual healer whose energy
with customised snacks such as energy balls. TVs are available but work is deeply powerful.
dont get one; every room has a large terrace or balcony so opt for BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
quiet contemplation of the Andaman Sea instead. Besides, who co.uk/condenast) offers an exclusive seven-night Fitness Immersion
needs Poldark when days are packed with two or three classes and Retreat from 7,349 per person full board, including flights,
at least 60 minutes of spoiling spa treatments? Those booked in transfers, and all treatments and activities as per the programme.

SEN WELLNESS SANCTUARY NEW charge, kicking off the programme by diagnosing your dosha. Its all
tackled here: weight loss, childhood trauma, stress, skin disorders.
TANGALLE, SRI LANKA There are the usual indulgent massages but more important are the
acupuncture, osteopathy, steam baths, fasts, cleanses and shirod-
IN BRIEF SUPREME HOLISTIC CARE FROM A HARLEY STREET HERO hara (warm oil poured continuously onto the forehead to cure
anxiety). Ayurvedic medicine is administered morning and night,
Founded by Londons favourite spine expert, Sri Lankan osteopath too big play-doh-like blobs heavy in turmeric and ghee. They may
Dr Sam Kankanamge, this retreat on the south coast of the island be disgusting but swallow, drink a gallon of water and youll soon
is about transformation of mind, body and spirit in one fell swoop. feel the difference. For something a bit more out-there, immerse
His big thing is the healing power of nature and the sanctuary is yourself in a gong bath, which recharges the body through sound
surrounded by thick jungle teeming with butteries and birds. The
eight thatched cabanas are designed in the shape of a conch shell
to draw up energy from the earth. Life here quickly falls into a routine. FOUNDED BY A TOP OSTEOPATH, THIS
Kundalini yoga starts the day at 6am, worth it for the pastel-pink RETREAT TRANSFORMS MIND, BODY AND
sunrise. Then its straight into your treatment plan (dont go for less
than a week if you want proper change). Softly spoken Dr Harshi is in
SPIRIT IN ONE FELL SWOOP
energy, or a cacao ceremony, an ancient ritual of drinking cacao
and dancing to help release deep emotions. Meals are communal
egg hoppers and coconut curry and its all very easy-going.
Youll soon be connecting with 20-somethings trying to nd them-
selves and octogenarians letting go of the past. The doctrine is all
about lasting change; come here and youll experience it in droves.
INSIDER TIP Organise treatments in the morning and spend the
afternoon at Yala National Park, known for its leopard population.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
co.uk/condenast) offers a 10-night Cond Nast Traveller exclusive
spa programme from 3,219 full board, including ights, transfers,
Ayurvedic treatments twice a day, two yoga classes per day, two private
yoga sessions over the 10 days, osteopath sessions and excursions.
HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE Receive a Skype consultation with
Dr Kankanamge before your trip and 25 per cent off your next visit.

12 Spa Guide March 2017


ANONYMOUS CONFESSION
2017
WINNER
MOST LIFE-

LOOK BACK IN ANGER CHANGING


EXPERIENCE

THE INDIVIDUAL
A GRIEF-STRICKEN MOTHER WHO
WAS EXHAUSTED, JOYLESS AND AT THE
END OF HER EMOTIONAL TETHER
When I received the email from delicious Puglian cuisine so you can
Patrizia Bortolin, the spa manager at THE REMEDY be as healthy (or not) as you like, but
Vair, telling me not to bring a book to there is no spa menu. I sat alone at
A FULL-ON IMMERSION INTO THE
read but to pack a owing dress for various lovely tables, but the kindness
the nal celebration, I panicked. I had MIND-BLOWING HEALING METHODS AT of the staff meant I never felt self-
signed up to do the Tarant pro- BORGO EGNAZIAS VAIR SPA IN PUGLIA, conscious. I had also decided to do a
gramme, a four-day ancient Puglian WITH SHAMANS AND SONATAS digital detox. Being fully with
healing ritual. It was described as yourself is liberating yet horribly
being for those moments when you need a revolution. For confronting. I missed my mother. I walked the ancient land,
women with shattered souls. That was me. Splintered to my among the olive groves and down to the sea, letting the
core. I was eroded by marriage, motherhood and the sudden sadness spill out. Patrizia kept banging on about the joy I
death of my mother. On the day of departure, my demons would feel but I didnt believe her. I felt as if the hole in my
raged. I was anxious and insecure, tears threatened all the way heart would never heal.
from Stansted to Bari. When I arrived at the hotel, the sheer The days rolled into each other with ever more focussed
beauty of the place made me weep. You pass through a vast, treatments that hit the spiritual spot. I suffered constant
medieval-looking arch to a spectacular stage-set beyond. emotional-detox headaches, punctuated by moments of
Guests are greeted by angelic-looking Puglian girls in euphoria. Carmine Basile, the Iyengar yoga teacher, was
olive-coloured Grecian dresses. Hundreds of candles icker world class. My shoulders, stiff as coat hangers, felt coaxed
in an entrance hall of sepulchral calm. Everything is cali- back to life. I have rarely felt so alive. But my favourite
brated to soothe; every inch of space is considered. The entire massage involved a sequence of music co-ordinated with a
hotel is made of tufo stone, with small troughs containing series of colours that I chose on the rst day. There were
rock crystal to absorb negativity. furious strokes to fast classical sonatas. My eyeballs uttered
My bedroom was like a tented cream cloud. The stylish weirdly in their sockets, as if I was purging the tension from
interiors highlighted my feelings of ugliness. I felt fat, bloated all that screen time. I had a sensory facial with scents that
and with all the wrong clothes. I should have been wafting made me irritable, then an improvisation where I had to
around in Bamford but had brought Sweaty Betty instead. pretend to be a bear rubbing against a tree which left me in
The layout is deliberately maze-like. Encouraged to get lost, giggles. I did music therapy, too, which I hated banging a
you can then nd yourself again. Patrizia has amassed a team tambourine like an angry toddler to express my rage. The
of therapists, masseurs, psychologists, yoga masters, naturo- nal massage is 90 minutes of bonkers brilliance. You are
paths, musicians and dancers who seem to have been culled hurled around, semi-naked and slathered in warm olive oil,
from some academy of the spiritual elite. All are unfailingly to the sound of Puglian women whispering and wailing. You
intuitive, so therapies have rare depth and resonance. Part have to let go of your inhibitions. I adored it, feeling ecstat-
of the mystery is never being told which treatment is next, ic and energised afterwards. That night, I had back-to-back
so its impossible to anticipate or control. Just trust and let go. nightmares. The emotional poison was releasing.
My rst was a traditional Roman bath experience, which I had entered Vair with a broken heart, attened spirit
left me wiped out and migrainous. That afternoon, I had a and heavy body. I didnt realise until I left just how miser-
session with Italian shaman Stefano Battaglia, who looked able I had been. In the nal session of psycho-aromatherapy
me, seeing deep into my soul. He told me that I was too harsh with Patrizia, in which she uses scents like tarot cards, I was
on myself and needed to be kinder. He did some deep, still sceptical about my capacity for inner joy. Yet I knew
painful abdominal delving, touching what felt like a hard something had shifted inside because I felt so much lighter.
crust inside my stomach. My unexpressed anger, apparently. Patrizia told me I would know when I got home. She was
I went from breathless sobbing, as he released a pocket of right. I could see how far I had come and how I had softened
trauma, to laughing uncontrollably. It was extraordinary. towards myself. I think its called happiness when, for no
Afterwards, Patrizia told me that it takes up to 48 hours for particular reason, a light giddiness bubbles up. At Vair, they
the body to process Stefanos treatment and that I should hold you, patiently and tenderly, so you can reset your inter-
eat only vegetarian food to let it work. The restaurants serve nal compass. Mine swung from misery to delight.

BOOK IT HEALING HOLIDAYS (+44 20 7843 3592; HEALINGHOLIDAYS.CO.UK/CONDENAST) OFFERS A FOUR-NIGHT RETREAT AT
BORGO EGNAZIAS VAIR SPA FROM 1,130 PER PERSON, INCLUDING FLIGHTS, TRANSFERS AND ALL TREATMENTS/ACTIVITIES AS PER THE
PROGRAMME. HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE STAY FOUR NIGHTS OR MORE AND GET THE LAST NIGHT FREE

14 Spa Guide March 2017


THE NEW
LANS
Europes leading health resort has received a
new look: new suites with private roof terraces, a
completely new spa area featuring an indoor and
outdoor saltwater pool, a new sauna landscape with
breathtaking views, a medical cold chamber with up to
minus 110 degrees Celsius as well as other spectacular
highlights come together to make the legendary
Lanserhof near Innsbruck even more attractive.

Opening in January 2017 | Healing Holidays can arrange


a 7 night retreat from 3019.00 per person sharing.
3GHR HMBKTCDR HFGSR SQ@MREDQR @BBNLLNC@SHNM HM @
standard room, full board, all treatments and activities
as per the Basic Medical Package.
For more information please call +44 20 7843 3592 or
visit us on www.healingholidays.co.uk/condenast

www.lanserhof.com
www.healingholidays.co.uk
RECOVERY
MINDFUL AND MEDICAL MASTERS TO STEER YOU BACK ON TRACK
CHIVA-SOM
HUA HIN, THAILAND
IN BRIEF POST-CANCER RECUPERATION AT A SUPREME SPA

It can be wildly dispiriting to be in remission or even fully recov-


ered from any kind of cancer and then nd yourself unable to
check in at some of the best spas in the world because of red tape.
Most oncologists offer massage and acupressure treatments for
their patients as standard, so the assumed complexities of treating
cancer sufferers really must be properly addressed. Ahead of the
curve on this issue, and so many others, is Chiva-Som, the famous
little enclave on a breezy beachfront in Hua Hin three hours
from Bangkok by car but only 50 minutes by helicopter which
opened in 1995 as a wellness club for the wealthy Thai owner and
his friends. It has gone on to serve the global mega-rich and health
conscious. For those recently out of treatment, the Cell Vitality
retreat is pioneering in its holistic approach to encourage the BODYHOLIDAY
recharging of batteries and regaining of appetite, as well as being ST LUCIA, WEST INDIES
deservedly pampering with acupuncture and Ayurveda. You can, of
course, have all manner of other interesting things done here: IN BRIEF FIRE UP A MEANINGFUL NEW FITNESS REGIME
get your fat pulverised, ultrasonically liposuctioned or frozen; do
aqua tai chi; prime yourself for a future ascent of Everest in the This is surely the shape of the holiday of the future. The move by
hypoxic training chamber; get Botox; try reiki gemstone therapy; mainstream hotels away from hedonism and towards healthiness
and practise yoga, Pilates and kinesis and several ways of limbering has started already, with vegetarian menus, jogging maps and
up. There is every possible hi-tech and natural treatment, every yoga mats. And the all-inclusive detox and tness stay, as pio-
big-name visiting therapist; all cocooned in perfect comfort. And neered by BodyHoliday, feels like a blueprint for how it will evolve.
now the rooms, which had been tired, are as cosseting as they After all, who doesnt want to return from any trip tter rather
ought to be too. The problem, explained general manager Sheila than fatter? This is the place to come for encouragement to nally
McCann, was that the hotel had never been sufficiently quiet to get your lifestyle in shape. Ranged around a remote bay in the
allow renovations to start. But about 18 months ago the growing north of St Lucia, with a serene spa inspired by Granadas
popularity of Kamalaya, Chiva-Soms rival in Thailand, and super- Alhambra, it has been running get-healthier breaks since it
luxe arrivals such as Europes Lanserhof Tegernsee and Villa opened in 1988. Its not cheap. Prices have risen markedly since
Stphanie made the owners realise they had to act. A call was the overhaul that pushed it from four- to ve-star territory, give or
made to Ed Tuttle, the American architect whose highly polished take some dull, still unrefurbished rooms (denitely to be avoid-
design hooked a league of loyal Aman junkies. After a stealth ed). But the all-inclusive claim is no exaggeration. Its easy to
start, more than half of the rooms have been reworked. And how check out with nothing extra on the bill. Thats after having had a
sharply has that crown been put back in place. The vast Champaka different type of massage every day; taken your pick of about 40
suites are a sea of pale wood and white linen, with oor-to-ceiling daily activities, from meditation and yoga to Hobie Cat sailing and
glass doors revealing views of sky, ocean and sand. The standard triathlon-style challenges; eaten wonderful fresh food and drank
rooms have a similar uncluttered spaciousness. Meanwhile, the all the wine and cocktails you wanted (alcohol is available but a lot
rest of Chiva-Som gets on with doing what it does so exceptionally of guests avoid it); plus helped yourself to snacks from the open-
well, with 200 options on the spa, holistic, tness, physiotherapy air pantry. You only pay extra for off-site activities night dives,
and medi-spa menus. Have a virtuous early breakfast in the main waterfall abseiling and additional spa treatments. Piercing
restaurant, lunch in the sunshine by the beach and supper under reflexology with Georgia Alexander, who has been blind from
glaucoma since the age of 11, is outstanding, as are the steel-
FOR THOSE JUST OUT OF TREATMENT, ngered massages by the diminutive Velma Wallace. (I see some
THE CELL VITALITY RETREAT IS PIONEERING guys thinking, Now whats this little lady going to be able to do for
a big strong man like me? Do they get a surprise! she cackles.)
IN ITS HOLISTIC APPROACH Under Andrew Barnard, the son of the founder, BodyHoliday is
PHOTOGRAPHS: CHRISTOPHER WISE; ANDREAS VON EINSIEDEL

the stars on the terrace. Coffees allowed, as is wine, but its a thrill now further upping its game with the BodyScience programme a
how a few days here make both lose their allure. Its a costly place detailed medical analysis involving DNA testing, 3D visualisation
to discover how well youll feel after eating simple fresh food, of your organs, cardio and arterial tness, and nutrient and hor-
doing a daily yoga and gym session, and having a massage. monal status. Ayurvedic expert Dr Samantha Semmalar carries
Considering how powerfully that translates into benets in every out further tests and schedules daily treatments: infrared detox
area of your life, however, its not a stretch to consider a stay here sessions, shirodhara and four-handed massages. At the end of
as an investment rather than an expense. the week you discuss the lab results in a Skype session with her
INSIDER TIP Naturopath Dr Tal Friedman and his medical team are and a London Harley Street doctor, and leave armed with a fat le
leading 10-night-plus retreats, especially worthwhile for those of information, a stack of supplements, and a programme of how
with health issues such as cancer, migraines, high blood pressure, to correct whatever issues the tests have revealed. This could be
stress and excess weight. one of the most useful thing you do for yourself ever.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays. INSIDER TIP Many guests come on their own, but its also brilliant
co.uk/condenast) offers seven nights from 3,679 per person for couples with different interests and grown-up family holidays as
full board, including ights, transfers, a wellness consultation, everyone can do their own thing by day and gather for dinner.
weekly activities and daily spa treatments. HEALING HOLIDAYS BOOK IT Carrier (+44 161 492 1354; carrier.co.uk) offers
EXCLUSIVE Receive a 625 voucher to use towards treatments seven nights from 2,225 per person full board, including ights,
from the health and wellness menu. transfers and activities.

March 2017 Spa Guide 19


RECOVERY 2017
WINNER
WEIGHT MOST
SHA WELLNESS CLINIC LOSS EFFECTIVE
ALICANTE, SPAIN MEDI-SPA

IN BRIEF A FIX-ALL FUSION OF ANCIENT AND MODERN

With huge day beds around the innity pool and lush-green creepers
tumbling over balconies, this world-class medi-spa looks like a mix of
all-white Balearic beach club and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
And now there are 12 new private villas in the pipeline to add to the
92 slick suites. The very reason SHA exists is a tale of recovery.
Founder Alfredo Bataller suffered from chronic digestive problems
for 30 years and only found a cure when he turned to a symbiotic
combination of macrobiotic nutrition and natural medicine. The
root of the SHA philosophy is to blend the best expertise in these
elds with top conventional medicine. So when you arrive a bit bro-
ken, the excellent team will know how to mend you. They listen to
individual problems (extreme exhaustion, post-op recovery) and
then prescribe a treatment plan spread across the huge range of
therapies the latest innovations in revitalising medicine (UV light VILLA STEPHANIE AT WEIGHT
LOSS
phototherapy, for example), coupled with a bio-energy consultation
to measure the level of your cell batteries. Getting the balance right BRENNERS PARK-HOTEL
between diet, exercise and stress is key for a long and healthy BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY
life, the philosophers stone, says Dr Vicente Mera, the full-of-
beans, 60-something anti-ageing specialist. Jump-starting the good IN BRIEF AN ENFORCED WIND-DOWN OF THE HIGHEST ORDER
habits right there and then, there are mind-and-body classes,
For anyone whose pace of life feels overwhelming, the prospect of
WHETHER YOU COME WITH DEPRESSION OR a stay at this ve-star pit stop is the equivalent of winning the
INSOMNIA, ITS HARD TO IMAGINE A MORE health lottery. Villa Stphanie, the little sister of the plush grande
FINGER-ON-THE-PULSE SPOT TO FIND A CURE dame Brenners Park-Hotel, is somewhere to have a proper break.
The 15-bedroom sanctuary is highly modern and elegantly pared-
personal trainer sessions, and stomping Nordic walks in the hills. back. But the smartness of the interiors is beside the point. This is
Everything has been designed to de-stress guests, from the exact a place for the overwrought to hand in their phone and laptop, to
room-temperature setting to the downy comforters on the beds. And press the button in their room that disables Wi-Fi, and to allow
underpinning it all is the focus on nutrition. Meals feel like an occasion. themselves to truly disconnect. A sense of detachment for a few
There is no sense of food deprivation; no carb or sugar cravings. days is potentially enough for some people to take stock and slow
Deliciously spoiling dishes include turbot with seaweed pesto and a their racing heart rate. But for the more anxious, there is much
chocolate fondant thats happiness on a plate. Whether you come more on offer. There are no group sessions, tree-hugging activi-
battling depression, insomnia or simply need a break, it would be ties or finding yourself through art programmes here. This
difficult to imagine a more nger-on-the-pulse place to nd your x. state-of-the-art medical facility handholds you through a
INSIDER TIP Make sure to t in an early-morning hike to the light- 360-degree assessment of your wellbeing. The facilities are
house for heart-lifting sea views. On a good day you can see Ibiza. spanking new, with cardiologists, gynaecologists, physiothera-
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays. pists, ophthalmologists and aesthetic dentists all on tap. Dr Harry
co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night Essence programme Knig, who leads the squad, even offers pig-stem-cell rejuvenation
from 2,459 per person full board, including flights, transfers, therapies. Every treatment is administered by someone at the top
weekly activities and all treatments as per the programme. HEALING of their respective game. Its the Formula 1 of check-ups. A morning
HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE Receive a complimentary welcome mas- with Dr Ulf Pietzcker in his gigantic Starship Enterprise-esque
sage and room upgrade on arrival. office involves an all-encompassing schedule of examinations.
Next come the alternative therapies to address stress and fatigue,
and a general maintenance programme to work into your own rou-
tine back at home. But its not all clinical procedures and hard-edged
hospital beds. There are bespoke Sisley facials, and massages and
stretching sessions are prescribed as a necessity rather than just
an indulgence, always with the same therapist for consistency.
PHOTOGRAPHS: RETO GUNTLI; ROBERTA VALERIO

Even the most highly strung guests will be coerced into surrender-
ing to the process and enjoying their recuperation. There is time
to rest, but theres also lots of activity in the form of yoga, kickbox-
ing and mental training, which leaves you as energised and clear
headed as a stay here does. This isnt a spa that takes you apart
before putting you back together, no tasteless broths, impatient
nurses or ill-tting gowns just pampering with purpose.
INSIDER TIP See stunning contemporary art at the Frieder Burda
Museum in Baden-Baden, a great place to lose yourself for an hour.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.co.
uk/condenast) offers a seven-night Classic Detox retreat from
2,930 per person full board, including ights, transfers and all
treatments and activities as per the programme. HEALING HOLIDAYS
EXCLUSIVE Book before August 2017 to receive a 75 spa voucher.

20 Spa Guide March 2017


J A M AI CA ANTI GUA SAI NT LU C IA B A H A MA S G R ENA D A B A R B A D OS

VOTED THE WORLDS LEADING


ALL-INCLUSIVE
RESORTS

2016

SANDALS LASOURCE GRENADA RESORT & SPA

At Sandals Resorts discover a completely unique mind body experience that


transforms you - inside and out. Inspired by the beautiful traditions and majestic
natural backdrops of the Caribbean, our signature Red Lane Spa experiences are
like nothing else on Earth. Take the time to let us envelop you in natural botanicals
and you will feel renewed for a lifetime. Your journey begins with a Red Lane
Rejuvenation Specialist who is dedicated to creating an incomparable experience The Luxury Included Holiday

with a focus on connection, time and love. Whether its the perfect setting for your spa For more information,
experience or your favourite tropically infused aroma, we will adapt our treatments^
to your personal preferences, all at the Worlds Leading All-Inclusive Resorts. Call 0800 742 742 | Visit sandals.co.uk
^ At Cost See your local Travel Agent

THE CARIBBEANS BEST BEACHES RED LANE SPA UP TO 16 GOURMET UNLIMITED LAND &
RESTAURANTS PER RESORT WATER SPORTS INCLUDED
RECOVERY

VANA MALSI ESTATE


UTTARAKHAND, INDIA
IN BRIEF EMOTIONAL HEADSPACE ALONGSIDE FLUENT SERVICE

Hidden in lush forests near Dehradun in the foothills of the


Himalayas, Vana stands proud as Indias most cutting-edge and
comprehensive retreat for those in search of solutions. Founded
by Veer Singh, who trained as an organic farmer in Spain before
returning to the family fold, its an outstanding design hotel with
spiritual luxury woven into its core. Here is a thrilling offering:
clean-lined, ultra-modern, progressively sharp. Upon arrival each
guest is given a comprehensive personal consultation with one of
the devoted doctors and asked exactly what they eat and drink on
a daily basis and how they relax (most of the touchstones at Vana in the Bodhi Tree Room, where you can sit under a scrap-metal
are simple, but they can provoke real change). Your doctor will tree made by Indian artist Siraj Saxena. Food is inspired; theres an
then devise a treatment plan carefully calibrated to restore bal- Ayurvedic restaurant, and wherever you eat youll nd the most
ance, freshness and optimism of spirit. There are a vast array of delicate and tempting puddings: homemade ice cream, hazelnut
spa rooms to dip into located in separate wings around the brioche, banana-and-g cake. Bedrooms are serene and ooded
estate with treatments ranging from intense panchakarma with natural light. Come for perfect peace, and a layered approach
cleansing to moxibustion and lymphatic drainage, as well as one of care that feels like being washed inside out so you are left radi-
of the best signature massages anywhere, given by two therapists ating with something very essential. Vana is the highest-end hotel
for at least two hours. Also exceptional is a chi nei tsang session environment but also a true retreat.
with Azusa Segawa, a deep, detoxifying abdominal massage that INSIDER TIP Venture out for a scenic dawn trek in the Mussoorie
works to untangle emotional blockages. What is clever is that, like Hills, stopping for breakfast and chai tea at Gulab Singhs farm.
the design of Vana itself, all seven forms of treatment (Ayurveda, BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
Tibetan healing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, fitness, co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night Personalised Wellness
water therapy and more conventional spa offerings) work together programme from 2,629 per person full board, including ights,
seamlessly. There are also optional body-posture and meditation transfers, wellness consultations and daily spa treatments as per
classes twice daily, and dont miss beautiful om-chanting sessions the programme.

the road from Zrich is packed on Friday evenings with high-ying


GRAND RESORT BAD RAGAZ 20- and 30-somethings driving here for a recuperative weekend.
BAD RAGAZ, SWITZERLAND As well as these two formal hotels there is a newer block of sleek,
minimalist spa suites. Here the oor-to-ceiling windows open
IN BRIEF IMPRESSIVE, BROADLY FOCUSED CARE onto a terrace and look across to the mountains, the large, light-
lled bathrooms have their own steam shower and sauna cabin,
When only the best will do if youre planning on having work done to and the bed even does complicated gyrations if you can work out
your face, need physiotherapy or are recovering from an operation the controls. So far, so swish. Yet the prime attraction is the state-
or trauma, super-smart Bad Ragaz should be high on your list of-the-art health centre. Staffed by more than 70 doctors and
of contenders. In part, Switzerlands largest spa is outstanding therapists skilled in everything from dermatology and internal
simply because its Swiss. Since its currency was decoupled from medicine to vein treatments and sports-injury rehab, it has its
the euro in January 2015, the country has become so expensive own operating theatre and 17 hospital-grade Clinic Bad Ragaz
that only its most outstanding hotels, restaurants and spas are sur- recovery suites where guests get 24-hour medical care as well as
viving. But Bad Ragaz had a head start in honing excellence. Its the run of the menus at the seven restaurants. The 12,800-square-
been doing its thermal thing since 1840 when water from the metre spa is so enormous you can get lost in it. But do nd your
nearby Tamina gorge was rst pumped in. Thats also when the older
of its two hotels, the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, opened. The Grand
STAFFED BY MORE THAN 70 DOCTORS
Hotel Quellenhof was launched in 1869. Both draw a clientele of AND THERAPISTS, THE HEALTH CENTRE
elderly guests, but, interestingly, an increasingly young crowd, too:
HAS ITS OWN OPERATING THEATRE
way to one of the treatment rooms for a massage from Kosovan
Besnik Hoti, who extolls the benets of regular reexology to tune
up your system. The adjoining Tamina Therme public pool and
spa complex is also spectacular. It can get crowded, so book an
early-morning, mind-clearing haki treatment and have the entire
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRIS CALDICOTT

place to yourself. And dont miss out on scheduling a consultation


with leading dermatologist Dr Brigitte Bollinger for laser sessions
on the skin around your eyes and neck you could leave looking a
lot better than when you arrived.
INSIDER TIP Get an inexpensive taste of the resort by staying at the
nearby three-star Hotel Schloss Wartenstein, which was recently
bought by Bad Ragaz.
BOOK IT Spa suites from 690, including breakfast (+41 81 303
3030; resortragaz.ch)

22 Spa Guide March 2017


T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

Clockwise from top their own


image: views of the special area of
Aegean; massage ancient healing.
by the sea; the
So you can
hotels pool and
have absolute
Deluxe Suite
Bedroom faith you are
in the best
of hands.
And there are
none better in Greece than those of the in-house

divine experts at the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso,


Athens. Step inside the 3,500sqm Thalassotherapy
Centre and Spa a pillared temple to Grecian
indulgence where you are guaranteed to feel elevated

luxury
to ethereal heights. This new Wellness Retreat of the Aegean Sea; a Thalgo or St Barth treatment
(remarkably the only one in Athens) ensures the best utilising rich sea minerals and algae, or an international
course of treatment is devised for your individual treatment from Polynesia, Egypt, Asia and India.
needs by the team of dedicated therapists, nutritionists Whatever is recommended for you, it is guaranteed to be
and medics. Perhaps you could be prescribed a dip in a heaven-sent experience.
Want to feel like a goddess? Then
the biggest Thalassotherapy pool in Greece, with 16
there is only one place to head: the different areas in which to unwind; a stint in the state- With ongoing wellness central to the resorts philosophy,
truly divine Divani Apollon Palace of-the-art tness centre, with the very latest in cardio- your healing treatment continues throughout your stay
& Thalasso Spa, on the vascular technology; yoga sessions against a backdrop at this member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
Guest rooms are beautifully calm and contemporary,
Athenian riviera and all come with spectacular sea views. Light and
airy restaurants offer a wealth of nutritional options,
hen it comes to healing body and mind, few served up with more glorious views. The Divani

W take it more seriously than the Greeks. This,


after all, is a country that has honed and
perfected its techniques for over 2,000 years.
And when it comes to ensuring it is a heavenly
experience (also important), not only does Greece
Apollon Palace boasts its own slice of private sands
on the prestigious Athenian Riviera. And with Athens
itself just 25 minutes away, it is easy to spend the day
exploring the ancient City of the Gods, before returning
to your modern-day Spa of the Goddesses.
boast an extraordinary natural bounty sun, sea,
saltwater, natural herbs and mineral hot springs it For further details and reservations,
also has at least six gods and goddesses dedicated to visit divaniapollonhotel.com
ANONYMOUS CONFESSION

THIS FEELING INSIDE


THE INDIVIDUAL
A MAN WHOSE LIFE-LONG WEIGHT
ISSUES HAVE MADE HIM DEFENSIVE AND
CYNICAL AND WHO HAS NEVER EVEN
I am slick with medicated oil, wearing ATTENDED A YOGA CLASS BEFORE with the Ayurvedic doctor where I
only a paper pouch as two men pray, am diagnosed as a hot person irri-
then begin to vigorously squelch and table, acidic, sleepless, with a slow
THE REMEDY
pummel me on a leatherette day bed. metabolism and low blood pressure,
I am starting to giggle, and they start A NO-HOLDS-BARRED STARVATION prone to diabetes, fatigue, and with
giggling too. I am in Bangalore, it is DETOX AT SOUKYA IN INDIA, WITH bipolar leanings. The cure? Strip,
day two of seven, and I am pretty HARDCORE CLEANSES THAT INVOLVE paper pants, dust down with ashes,
sure this is not your average spa. It SNORTING PETROL AND AN OIL ENEMA pour on hot oil, smash herbals in,
also happens that I am not a natural rub vigorously. Two hours later I
spa man. To be honest, it has taken am basted and wasted. It has been
some doing just to take my clothes off. I have always been both strenuous and strange.
pretty fat and inevitably Ive developed mechanisms to deal I reluctantly get up at 6am for my rst-ever yoga class.
with it, such as self-disparagement. Then, after years of just Incredibly, I enjoy it. I am then seen by the naturopathy
not trying to be thinner, I woke up in January and decided doctor, who puts me on a fasting diet as part of the detox. I
I would try, and to my amazement, I carried on trying. It is steel myself and go for her prescribed initial colonic.
November now, and three of the four excess stone are gone, Heartened by my yogic triumph, I am now resolved to do
but the cynicism about my body and my control of it lingers. everything on offer. This is further helped by then meeting
So, as the Christmas glut heaves into view, I realise I need the charismatic Dr Mathai. Across a large desk he tells me
to deal with my body and my attitude to it or face a reversal. that my neck, shoulders and posture are awful and alters my
Of all places, India is surely the least cynical. I love its treatment programme to take in a few elements of pancha-
chaos, gentleness and kind humour and I speak as someone karma. So my days settle into a rhythm of yoga; a liquid
who has been mugged here. So, arriving at Soukya at dawn, breakfast; intense Ayurvedic oil therapy, liver packs, a water
leaving behind the sleepy roadside chai sellers selling enema; then soup and buttermilk for lunch. Panchakarma
morning tea, I suspect I am also leaving the India I know therapies come next: the rst is for my sinus (snorting chil-
and love. Soukya looks immaculate, a modern Mogul garden lies and petrol followed by a lot of spitting); the second is
of psychotropical colour comprising the campus of an oil enema, packed with panchakarmic medicine; another
Dr Mathais International Holistic Health Centre. Out of liver pack, an hour of reexology and lastly meditative yoga,
the exotic trees and owers, the yoga space, treatment pavil- after which I quick-step back to the room to relax until
ions, dining rooms and guest bungalows emerge. Gardens liquid dinner and bed. I am surprising myself. The enemas
for medicinal plants and vegetables, sheds with mooing cattle, are mortifying but I can cope. Even hanging out in the paper
medicine-production facilities, water storage, solar panels pouch is losing some of its alarm. The fasting is manageable,
and that all-important oil-slick production area, make the although I do feel down in the evenings, and have stupid,
estate almost self-sufcient. unsettling dreams about food. But I start to go on walks,
Soukya runs a full range of holistic health provision, but pausing to look at owers and birds. I get to day seven and
its backbone is a combination of Ayurveda, naturopathy, I weigh 10 pounds less than when I arrived. And Im tter,
yoga and intensive panchakarma, a lengthy detoxifying and my yogic breathing feels deeper and my posture is stronger.
cleansing programme. I am here for seven days, so the three- When its time to leave, my two therapists/brethren wave
week hardcore course is not possible. It seems I have escaped me off with a supply of Ayurvedic medicine for my metabo-
the forced vomiting. Soukya runs two streams of traditional lism, and a written plan for the next few months.
therapies: preventative medical (thats me), and therapies It turns out this place is very much what I like about India.
for specic illnesses such as lung disease, back pain, addic- It is expert and even visionary, but remains touchingly
tion or depression. I soon nd out from other guests the human. Particularly the therapists, who accompanied me all
miracles that have been worked on them here, and on a week with their warm efciency and care, have somewhat
long-term basis too. I am both moved and impressed. unbundled my attitude to my body image. I have a sense of
I am shown to a sparsely decorated but lovely bungalow both achievement and positivity, and a fondness for this
with a private garden. I unpack, and then go to my session place, and perhaps even for myself. Cynic? Me?

BOOK IT HEALING HOLIDAYS (+44 20 7843 3592; HEALINGHOLIDAYS.CO.UK/CONDENAST) OFFERS SEVEN NIGHTS AT SOUKYA
FROM 3,450 PER PERSON, INCLUDING FLIGHTS, TRANSFERS, MEALS, DIETARY ADVICE AND ALL TREATMENTS AND ACTIVITIES AS PER THE
PROGRAMME. HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY AYURVEDIC REJUVENATING TREATMENT

24 Spa Guide March 2017


T R AV E L L E R AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

ayurveda resort sonnhof


The Tyrol meets India at this wonderful, 30-room
mountain retreat. A family-run sanctuary that
specialises in European Ayurveda, this hidden gem
is utterly unique. Based on the Ayurvedic pillars of
nutrition, treatment and yoga, it then adapts them
to suit western needs. The experience is totally
immersive and treatments are more than skin deep,
curing internal imbalances in the doshas. A full
meditation and yoga programme forms part of every
stay, along with the best oil massages and nutritious
Ayurvedic cuisine. The Ayurveda programme range is
comprehensive, including hardcore cleansing in the
form of the Panchakarma Detox. Sonnhof is perfect
for those wanting Ayurveda without the trek to India.
Healing Holidays can arrange a three-night Ayurveda
Taster from 859 per person sharing a standard room.
This includes ights, transfers, full board, all treatments
and activities as per the Ayurveda Taster Package.

parkhotel igls
There are no off-the-shelf treatments at Parkhotel
Igls, pioneer of Modern Mayr Medicine and winner
of Most Effective Medi-Spa in our 2015 spa awards.
Were talking serious stuff. Mayr is the theory that
modern syndromes often have their origin in the
digestive system, with symptoms improved or even
eliminated via diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.
At Parkhotel Igls, Mayr is based on six fundamental
principles (usually its four): sanitation, substitution,
self-discovery, sport, security and schooling of the
entire digestive system. First-timers should check out
the Modern Mayr Swift Retreat, which includes a full
health check-up, one full massage, four individually
assigned therapeutic treatments, daily hydrotherapy
treatments, Modern Mayr cuisine, group exercise,
relaxation training, lifestyle management and
mental group coaching.
Healing Holidays can arrange a four-night Modern

kind
Mayr Swift Retreat from 1,345 per person
sharing a double standard room including ights
and transfers.
three of a For a short-haul pick-me-up,
check out this trio of Austrian spas

spa-hotel jagdhof
In the pretty Tyrolean region of Neustift, Spa-Hotel
Jagdhof is home to the super-sized, award-winning
jSPA. Were talking 3,000 square metres dedicated to
you. This labyrinth of facilities features Vitality
World: 20 different saunas, including a rustic Finnish
sauna, baths and relaxation areas, tepidarium, herbal
bath, cistern steam bath, laconium, amethyst steam
grotto, saltwater inhalation grotto and Kneipp circuit.
The relaxation area has waterbeds and a starry-sky
ceiling. New to the spa are products from British
skincare brand REN and the Spa Chalet, dedicated
to relaxation. The hotel is run by two generations of
the same family who employ uber-knowledgeable
staff to ensure youre in expert hands.
Healing Holidays can arrange a four-night stay in a
Burgstall superior double room from 1,399 per
person sharing. This includes ights, transfers, half
board and use of the spa.

For further information call Healing Holidays on


020 7843 3592 or visit healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
DEEP RETREAT
SWITCH OFF IN A TRULY IMMERSIVE AND NURTURING ZONE

NEW AJA MALIBU


CALIFORNIA, USA

IN BRIEF A SPIRITUAL NEWBIE THAT BLENDS PROFOUND WORKSHOPS WITH A DREAMY SETTING

High in the hills above Malibu, on 23 acres that once belonged to the vibrational frequency of different chakra colours, which,
Teddy Roosevelt, is mystic and certied raw-food chef Inannya while you listen to binaural beats, aim to balance your energy
Magicks holistic retreat, where seven-night chakra-based pro- elds. It might all sound a bit bonkers, but for even the biggest
grammes encourage guests to reconnect with themselves and sceptics there is a lot that makes sense. Evenings begin with
nature. Food here is mostly raw: chia-seed pudding at breakfast; soup and share questions designed to make you open up and
huge help-yourself salads and carrot spaghetti with yellow bell pep- think before stories around an open re with a Guatemalan
per and truffle cream for lunch, although on the nal day its liquids shaman. Aja was seven years in the making and you can see it in
only. The rst four days begin with qigong either after a hike along every carefully curated detail, from the incredible bio-dynamically
the Backbone Trail or on El Matador beach followed by a work- planted gardens (one for each chakra) to the quotes engraved
shop related to that days designated chakra. Some of these are on reclaimed wood. On the last night, Magick reads out her
pretty left-of-centre (chanting about water, for example), but the favourites, including Lewis Carrolls: Who in the world am I? Ah,
best are with herbalist Ali Mramor and, on throat-chakra day, thats the great puzzle. Yes Aja is expensive, but after a week
sound therapy with classically trained musician Helane Anderson. here you may have more of an answer. Just dont be surprised if
Most afternoons are spent in the Egyptian-inspired spa, where tra- buried-deep emotional sore spots surface in the process.
ditional treatments such as excellent acupuncture with Michael INSIDER TIP Request the secluded Yogini treehouse room; it has
Veros are combined with sound and crystal-light therapies, including huge picture windows overlooking the purple crown chakra garden.
the John of God machine. Named after its Brazilian psychic inven- BOOK IT A seven-night programme costs from 7,625 per person
tor and dubbed the spiritual X-ray, it has a strip of lights that match full board (+1 310 457 7024; aja.com).
2017
WINNER
MOST months a baby spends in the womb. The Devi Blessings take you on
RAAS DEVIGARH TRANSFORMATIVE a journey through the chakras and combine ancient healing tech-
RAJASTHAN, INDIA PROGRAMME niques with wild-harvested ingredients of the upmost integrity,
many of them sourced in India. Imagine Damascena rose oil, which
IN BRIEF ALL-NATURAL RITUALS IN PALATIAL GROUNDS contains 38 damask roses per drop, poured over your chest to help
nurture peacefulness and awaken unconditional love. Or a body
This is one of Rajasthans most beguiling places to stay, where new scrub of 200-million-year-old Himalayan salt mixed with warmed
ownership has injected fresh spirit and polish into the proceedings poppy seeds rubbed over your entire body to soothe internal vul-
and, most excitingly, a destination-spa get-up from organic British nerabilities. These are treatments as ritualistic ceremonies: subtle
skincare brand Ila. Come for a week or as a mini add-on to a longer om tuning forks, potent purications using black-amber smoke and
trip to India; either way, a stay here will move you. Not only is the Bhutanese chants, crystal-bowl sound healing in the sacred fre-
hotel itself beauty manifest an exquisite 18th-century palace with quency of omega 432 (which aligns us to the heartbeat of Mother
Marwari-horse murals, wooden swings swaying in courtyards and Nature). Hauntingly evocative background music, steaming cups of
the sounds of ankle-bracelets jangling but the Ila-Only spa is a fresh ginger tea and bowls of owers arranged like still-life paintings
refuge of gentle goodness. Here, Denise Leicester, founder of Ila, all add to the cocooning effect. Magnetic views of the surrounding
has designed a series of next-generation bespoke treatments Aravalli Hills older than the Himalayas pull you both inwards and
known as the Devi Blessings, based on the Indian festival of outwards. The sleek, green-slate swimming pool is a lovely refresh-
Navratri: a nine-night period of self-reection symbolising the nine er. Theres a gym and hot tub, and the most gorgeous variety of
places to eat, from the restaurant itself to private open-air rooftop
soires decorated with candles as far as the eye can see. Choose a
three, ve or nine-night Devi Blessings Journey and you can com-
bine treatments with yoga, workouts that leave you feeling nimble
and lose-yourself meditation sessions in secret nooks of the build-
ing. Explore nearby Delwara, which is known as the town of the
gods, with its numerous Jain temples that look like something out
of Indiana Jones, before savouring deep rest in the palace itself.
Prepare to be carried into a graceful dimension.
INSIDER TIP Visiting masters are in the mix for 2017, including
retreats with intuitive English healer Fiona Arrigo, who offers won-
derful workshops on feminine wisdom for modern times.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 5592; healingholidays.
co.uk/condenast) offers a ve-night Devi Blessings Journey from
2,499 per person full board, including ights and transfers.

NEW CHABLE RESORT


YUCATAN, MEXICO
IN BRIEF LATIN AMERICAS COOLEST SPOT TO RELAX

This place is quite something: a destination spa in 750 acres of


steamy Mayan jungle, half an hour from the Yucatn states capital,
Mrida. Ten years in the making, its a hotel of two halves: a stun-
ning modern spa and painstakingly restored 19th-century hacienda.
The original walls now form spaces in which to practise Ayurvedic
yoga, walking meditation, qigong or tai chi. The grandeur of the
main house has been pristinely maintained and rolling lawns frame
the building, which includes a library, bar, wine cellar and plenty of
corners to kick back in while sipping one of the aged local spirits
(Chabl has the worlds largest private tequila collection). Its not all is staying horizontal by the spas pool, or eating and drinking
extremely well, thats covered too. The consulting chef is Jorge
TEN YEARS IN THE MAKING, ITS A HOTEL OF Vallejo of Quintonil in Mexico City (currently number 12 on the
TWO HALVES: A STUNNING MODERN SPA Worlds 50 Best Restaurants list), and his right-hand man, Luis
Ronzon, is in charge of all three restaurants. As well as using the
AND PAINSTAKINGLY RESORTED HACIENDA hotels own organic vegetables and herbs, Ronzon has sourced
PHOTOGRAPHS: ANA LUI; JESSICA SAMPLE

hedonism and headaches though. This is one of the only spas in the the best ingredients from around Mexico and keeps menus light and
world with its own cenote a natural limestone swimming hole cel- inventive (carpaccio of grilled mamey fruit and avocado; venison
ebrated by Mayans as the entrance into the sacred underworld. tartare with bitter orange and habanero-chilli vinaigrette). Bed
Hypnotic three-hour rituals blend traditional Mayan therapies with down in one of the 40 villas, each with its own pool, hammock and
Eastern healing methods plus a healthy dose of modern technology outdoor shower. Just down the road is the village of Chochol,
(bespoke otarium; hi-tech gym). If you want to embark on a hard- where you can pick up delicious honey, and Mrida, with its won-
core detox programme or seek profound transformation, there are derful museums and restaurants, should denitely not be missed.
hand-picked therapists offering every possible treatment, such as INSIDER TIP Fireies take over the lawn leading to the guest rooms
chakra therapy, reiki, Mayan rebirth massages, sound cleansing, at dusk during summer months. Its the perfect spot for meditation.
three different types of temazcal a pre-Hispanic sweat-lodge BOOK IT From about 620 per person per night, including break-
and sessions with local spiritual guides. But if your idea of wellbeing fast and activities (+52 55 4161 4262; chableresort.com).

March 2017 Spa Guide 29


DEEP RETREAT

NEW SAN LUIS


SOUTH TYROL, ITALY
IN BRIEF FAMILY-RUN ALPINE IDYLL FOR EPIC UNWINDING

None of the clocks seem to work at San Luis. The one in reception
and the one by the pool are both antiques silent and unmoving.
Its not intentional. The Parisian antique dealer who sold them
apparently swore blind they were functioning. But it seems right
that theyre stilled. Time feels stretched here, slowed down, imma-
terial. This serenity comes from the setting the stunning backdrop
of the Italian Alps, the ring of the pine-fresh air. But also from the
owners, the super-hospitable Meister family. They dont rush things.
Their rst hotel, the Irma in nearby Merano, had been going for
almost a century before the San Luis welcomed its inaugural guest
just over a year ago. An opening that was itself the culmination of a
decade of unhurried endeavour, not least sourcing the 28,000
square metres of antique wood needed for the stunning chalets
that circle the lake, and the treehouses up in the forest. The careful
design of similarly considered interiors is overseen by family matri-
arch Ilse Meister and her daughter Claudia all Belgian linen and COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE
contemporary, handmade furniture. Given that each chalet has its BALI, INDONESIA
own sauna, you would be forgiven for hunkering down were the
communal spaces not so lovely. There is a sophisticated clubhouse IN BRIEF THE ISLANDS POWERHOUSE SPA IS STILL ON TOP

THERES A SUPERLATIVE POOL AND The setting a ercely private estate in jungle clearings, high above
SHOW-STOPPING HOT TUB SUNKEN INTO the rainforest-shrouded river outside Ubud is not only spectacular,
but also deeply therapeutic. And what the COMO group has cre-
THE JETTY THAT JUTS OUT INTO THE LAKE ated is a holistic sanctuary of the highest order: top-notch facilities,
with a superlative indoor/outdoor heated pool and a show-stopping ahead-of-the-curve treatments, phenomenal practitioners and 30
hot tub sunken into the jetty that juts out into the lake. And, of rooms served by almost 380 staff. Come here for complete self-
course, the spa: a gym, steam room, sauna and six simple, elegant restoration and utter tranquillity apart from a relentless chorus of
treatment rooms, where the emphasis is on anti-ageing facials and cicadas and you wont be disappointed. Of course, it isnt a regi-
a packed menu of body therapies from the super-soothing oil mas- mented boot camp, nor somewhere that offers cookie-cutter quick
sage to the energising full-body treatment, which incorporates xes; instead, it focuses on realistic healing and positive changes.
reexology to great effect. High up on the remote Avelengo plateau, The six wellness programmes stress management, cleanse, be
the property where full board is standard might feel a little too active, rejuvenation, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda
secluded were Arturo Spicocchis daily-changing menu not easily run from three to seven nights, though there are also longer stays if
equal to the task (hes worked at Michelin-starred La Sta de Michil you can stretch to it. A team of resident health experts includes an
at Hotel La Perla just over the mountains). As betting the regions exceptional Ayurvedic doctor, nutritionist and TCM consultant, as
Italo-Austrian identity, he serves up everything from substantial well as the nest instructors in yoga, Pilates and qigong. Expect a
South Tyrolean dishes, such as smoked pork, sauerkraut and dump- gentle results-driven approach: you can still drink coffee and
lings for those refuelling after a day of hiking, to light Mediterranean indulge in a glass of wine, as its all about moderation without
plates of turbot with asparagus and coconut-potato foam, using forsaking too much comfort a fact not lost on the undisclosed
ingredients grown in the hotels fertile gardens. Whether youre celebrities who check in here. Itineraries match up your goals with
lingering over breakfast in your room, lying lazily by the pool, or your current health status: a combination of Asian-based thera-
drifting off on your massage bed, this a place outside of time. pies, bodywork, diet and treatments such as pranayama meditation
INSIDER TIP Glorious in summer, the San Luis is a winter wonderland and Japanese-style acupuncture run in tandem with workouts in
too, with roaring res by the pool and ice-skating on the frozen lake. the jungle gym and guided estate walks. A personal assistant
BOOK IT From about 160 per person full board (+39 0473 assigned to each guest co-ordinates a surprisingly busy schedule.
279570; sanluis-hotel.com). For more information on trips to But there is still time to pause. At lunchtime, head to the 150-year-
PHOTOGRAPHS: GUILLAUME DE LAUBIER; STEFANO SCATA

South Tyrol, visit suedtirol.info. old Javanese restaurant, high up in the hills, for magical views of the
valley. Everything on your plate is outrageously healthy, balancing
raw and vegan foods, with dishes inspired by Italy and more remote
Indonesian islands. The food is an integral part of this holistic
education, and this immersive process is an education, have no
doubt. Youll leave armed with homework: post-treatment notes,
wellness road maps to help maintain the newly acquired lifestyle
habits back in the real world, and a long-term spring in your step.
INSIDER TIP Half-board rates incorporate wellness sessions and
complimentary activities for a more exible introduction (you can
join a programme afterwards). Whatever option, hole up here for as
long as your budget permits, maximising the on-hand expertise and
slow diffusion into the uplifting surroundings.
BOOK IT Red Savannah (+1242 787800; redsavannah.com) offers
a one-week stay from 5,425 per person full board, including treat-
ments, ights and transfers.

30 Spa Guide March 2017


T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

Clockwise from above:


Lake Altaussee; Vivamayr
Altaussee; relaxing at
Vivamayr Maria Wrth;
Vivamayr reception;
a detox breakfast

ivamayr Maria Wrth and Vivamayr Altaussee


total
V are for those serious about a total system reboot
rather than pampered spa-goers. These are
medical spas focused on detoxication, and
theyre not afraid to admit it. On arrival, theres a no
holds barred medical consultation with an assigned
doctor who will create a unique treatment and diet
programme. You will then be met every day to check
on progress and receive an abdominal massage.
Both clinics specialise in Modern Mayr Medicine, a
combination of rest, strict cleansing, re-education of
detox
Press pause on your life with
a strict detox break at one of
eating habits and holistic healing treatments. This is Austrias medically minded
an MOT like no other. There are rules: more chewing Vivamayr properties
than you ever knew you were capable of; no raw food
after 4pm; water by the litre and meal sizes that shrink therapies such as Watsu (Water Shiatsu) and Micro Healing Holidays can arrange a seven-night Basic
as the day goes on. It may not be for the weak-willed Immune that use the healing power of mountain air Medical Programme at Vivamayr Maria Wrth from
but it is denitely worth every gulp of Epsom salts. and salt from the nearby Glauber spring. All becomes 2,199 per person, sharing a Double Comfort room.
clear when immersed in the Mayr world. This includes ights, transfers, full board, medical
Vivamayr Maria Wrth is the original Vivamayr consultations and spa treatments.
location. Situated on the shores of Lake Wrth, the
setting whispers R&R. Light, bright and white, the There is also a seven-night Detox Retreat at Vivamayr
recently revamped medical centre has cleansing Altaussee from 2,025 per person, sharing a
written all over it and now features ultra-modern Mountain View room. This includes ights, transfers,
rooms, a high-spec lab and new colonic hydrotherapy full board, all treatments and activities as per the
and hyperthermia rooms. There are also wonderful basic medical programme.
walks, direct access to the lake for revitalizing summer
plunges and excellent stretching classes. Alternatively,
check into the newbie sister, Vivamayr Altaussee, a To book, contact Healing Holidays on 020 7843
chalet-style hotel in the Austrian Alps. Comfortable 3592 or visit healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
and cocooning, it has quickly become one of the
worlds leading medical detoxication centres. Its
wonderful alpine location is reected in signature

TOP TIP
The Mayr cure
can be tough, so stay
off caffeine and alcohol
in the run-up to ease
you into the
detox process.
DEEP RETREAT

SANARA
TULUM, MEXICO
IN BRIEF HIP HEALING FOR A CLUED-UP CROWD

Since opening in 2014, Sanar has fast become the Tulum insiders
holistic hangout. This smart hideaway is British co-owners Charlie
Stuart Gay and Daniella Hunters eco-chic vision for sustainable
healthy living. There are no timetables here (apart from yoga three
times per day and any spa treatments you book), so feel free
to wander, swim and eat. Sanars caf-restaurant, The Real
Coconut, is Hunters baby, inspired by her own journey to heal her-
self from the life-threatening asthma she suffered as a child, and is
grain-, gluten-, dairy- and rened-sugar-free to improve digestive centre, theres no spa pomp and ceremony in the form of robes and
health. Detoxers, vegans and meat-eaters are all incredibly well fed slippers. Treatments are all bespoke. A reexology and sobada ses-
(caramelised beetroot with avocado and seafood; organic eggs on sion with local Mayan healer Leo is a deeply shifting experience.
paleo plantain muffins drizzled with dairy-free hollandaise). It takes Initially learning from his father, Leo has studied Eastern and
at least a week to work through the drinks menu, from warm cacao Western therapies, integrating it into his one-of-a-kind, top-to-toe
milk to gut-healing chicken-bone broth. Even non-yogis will even- massage. Its a blissful release that induces deep sleep luckily its
tually want to brush the sand off their feet and join classes at the less than ve minutes back to the minimal beach suites. Whether
glass-walled studio, as much for the jaw-dropping ocean view as youre in tune with your chakras, able to stand on your head or
the great selection of styles. Warrior-woman-like instructor not, youll nd a path here that suits. This gentle take on a retreat is
Alessandra Montana swapped a fashion career in Italy for barefoot surprisingly effective.
life in Tulum and now runs Sanars eclectic programme. Her INSIDER TIP Head to the yoga studio at dawn when no-one is
renowned sound-healing sessions meld live music and gongs with around. Slide open all the doors (you may need to ask for the key at
precision vinyasa ow. She also brings in the areas best Iyengar and reception) sit silently as the sun rises and fall into a natural medita-
hatha teachers, such as Blanca Azucena who, as well as directing tion. Tulum was once known as Zama, which means place of dawn.
spot-on alignment, encourages you to let go, expand and breathe Its easy to see why when experiencing the full beauty of it.
into your body, opening up to the more elemental depths of yoga BOOK IT Doubles from about 350 per night (+1 310 933 6408;
we often miss in physically orientated urban practices. At the wellness sanaratulum.com).

WEIGHT spa, tucked into the hillside, and let the switching-off continue.
NEW SANTANI LOSS Everything is covered: weight loss, anti-ageing, joint pain, exhaustion,
KANDY, SRI LANKA trauma and depression. Following an assessment by Dr Sreekanth to
determine your dosha, gear up for a tailored programme. The full-
IN BRIEF JUNGLE ESCAPE HIGH UP IN THE HILLS body massage, Choorna Swedana, and the tension-alleviating
Udwarthanam are deliciously soothing, but dont think you get
Set among 48 acres of tea plantations and lush vegetation including away that easily Sneha Vasti, an oil enema, and the nasal-cleansing
every fruit tree imaginable (mango, avocado, guava and mandarin), treatment, Nasyam, are also on the agenda (ask for Beenitha, who
this place is about getting in touch with your inner self. Founded by calms nerves in seconds). Theres also a thermal-salt bath that is
Sri Lankan Vickum Nawagamuwage, who was educated at Harvard excellent for skin conditions. Yoga ticks all the boxes: Gillian has every
before being snapped up by Deloitte, Santani is the hardcore type up her sleeve, teaching ashtanga, restorative and yin yoga. The
Ayurvedic big hitter that Sri Lanka really needed. Twenty architectur- pavilion is ideal for meditation, but ask to have a session beside
ally edgy villas slotted seamlessly into the landscape sit upon the sparkling waters of the Hulu Ganga, a half-hour walk from the
exposed steel pillars with naturally nished cement walls and timber retreat. Thanks to executive chef Wajira Gamage, a Relais & Chteau
ooring. Its all very simple, almost stark, and inspired by the coun-
trys Buddhist meditation caves. Best of all is the view, maxed out by SET AMONG ACRES OF LUSH VEGETATION,
floor-to-ceiling windows, of the spectacular Knuckles mountain THIS IS THE HARDCORE AYURVEDIC BIG
range. Fresh breezes replace air-conditioning and theres no Wi-Fi
(dont panic, a modem can be delivered to your room). Head to the
HITTER THAT SRI LANKA REALLY NEEDED
veteran who spent 16 years in France, theres no deprivation when
it comes to the dosha-specic menus just super-fresh, healthy
food made with seasonal produce from the local farm. When its
time to go home, you will be sleek and sparkly-eyed with spirits
soaring. Santanis aim is to restore balance, and with the help of the
charming staff, its achieved with aplomb. Excitingly, plans for a
European outpost are in the offing.
INSIDER TIP Its a long drive from the airport, so get the seaplane
from Colombo to Kandy and enjoy a thrilling view of the Hill Country,
plus the odd elephant, before landing on Mahaweli Ganga river.
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night yoga programme from
2,799 per person full board, including flights and activities.
HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE Seven nights for the price of six
plus complimentary transfers for stays booked by end of April 2017.

32 Spa Guide March 2017


T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

ice
queen
Anne Semonin brings a whole lot of cool to skincare treatments
with its unique Cryotherapies the latest in a pioneering range
ORYHGE\EHDXW\DFLRQDGRVDOORYHUWKHZRUOG

Clockwise from top: Cryo Massage


f you walk in the footsteps of Grace Kelly and

I
Balls used in the Cryo-Lipoliss Body
Catherine Deneuve, you walk in the footsteps of Treatment; Lipoliss Anti-Cellulite Gel,
beauty royalty. And if you put yourself in the hands 60, and Firming Body Serum, 50;
of their favoured beauty therapist, you can expect to Express Radiance Ice Cubes, 50;
feel like royalty yourself. Super Active Serum, 119. All by
Anne Semonin
For over 30 years Anne Semonin has been creating
custom-made skincare guaranteed to restore radiance, complemented by a
using secret plant and marine extracts, natural essential neurocosmetic containing
oils and trace elements for results-driven wild indigo to stimulate the
products. Based on the belief that every individuals release of b-endorphins.
skin is unique and that it continues to evolve daily, The combined result?
Anne Semonin pioneered a made-to-measure beauty An extraordinary sense of
concept that was applied to treatments and home wellbeing, inside and out.
skincare regimes for clients at the spectacular LAtelier
de Beaut in Rue des Petits Champs, Paris. Today Alternatively, say au revoir to dimpling with the new
Anne Semonin treatments are also available in over three-phase Cryo-Lipoliss Body Treatment: the
200 luxury hotel spas around the world, from Lucknam ultimate anti-cellulite, rming and toning cure. First
Park and Cliveden in the UK to Huvafen Fushi and comes the ultra-cold treatment, designed to rev up
Niyama in the Maldives and, most recently, Four blood circulation and boost the immune system;
Seasons in Egypt and Mauritius. then the detox massage, using a unique complex of
brown and red algae; and nally a rming body
Not content to rest on its laurels however, Anne mask application for problematic areas. Skin is
Semonin continues to break international boundaries refreshed, skin tone is visibly improved, and skin
with extraordinary cryotherapy treatments based contours look rmer and more even after just one
on using low temperatures on all parts of the body. treatment. Post treatment, the Lipoliss Firming Body
Take the Cryo Time Freeze facial. Think immediate Serum and Anti-Cellulite Gel ensure results are
toning, radiance and brightness, thanks to the drainage maintained at home. A royal experience indeed.
of damaged cells and toxins; smoother, tighter skin and
rapid absorption of skincare products, such as the age- Anne Semonin products are available at
defying Anne Semonin Super Active Serum, Harrods and selected spas across the world.
reinforcing the skins rmness at a cellular level. This is Visit annesemonin.com
ANONYMOUS CONFESSION

HUNGER GAMES
THE INDIVIDUAL
AN UNHAPPY, STUCK-IN-A-RUT
TWENTYSOMETHING WITH SERIOUS
SUGAR CRAVINGS AND MOOD SWINGS,
I had always been what you might WHO IS INCREASINGLY DEPRESSED your knife and fork between mouth-
call skinny, but in the past few years fuls and chew until your food is pulp.
Ive harboured a secret: a stubborn Just outside Innsbruck, Parkhotel
THE REMEDY
ring of fat around my belly, hidden Igls is one of the friendlier places to
masterfully under A-line clothing. THE FEARED AND REVERED MAYR CURE, undertake the Mayr cure. Your left
But my skin had been getting pro- A WEEK OF FLUSHING OUT THE DIGESTIVE shoulder is still higher than your right
gressively worse and my mood lower SYSTEM AT PARKHOTEL IGLS, THE MOST too much gas in your torso, Dr
and lower, so when I looked in the COMFORTING MEDI-CLINIC IN AUSTRIA Gardner tells me as soon as I walk
mirror I barely recognised myself. I into his consultation room. Im only
was swinging between extremes, from here for a week (most guests are not
stufng my face with anything edible to panicking over what only regulars but are in for two or three weeks), so I am
to order in restaurants. All I thought about was what I was given blood tests, weighed and measured. But candida testing
going to eat next. None of my friends took this seriously takes two weeks. Im prescribed the Stage Four anti-fungal
because I was still relatively small, but two stone heavier diet as a precaution, so yeast and sugar are out, rock-rose
than my normal weight of seven stone. I felt out of control tea is in. The diet includes enough protein to preserve muscle
and ultimately miserable. while losing fat. Yes, there are some guests merrily tucking
Then, Dr Peter Gartner, the Mayr-method practitioner into puddings on Stage Eight but there are also some who
at the Parkhotel Igls in Austria, changed my life during a eat soup three times a day. Every morsel is exquisite, from
30-minute consultation in London. He poked and tapped juicy Stubai chicken to velvety courgette velout.
my stomach like a judge in court. The space just below my Chewing is paramount and drinking water is forbidden
ribs sounded hollow full of air, he said. He asked me half an hour before and after meals as it dilutes saliva and
questions about my diet and bowel movements (normal digestive juices. When you think about it, all the elements
until I travel now two magnesium tablets at bedtime works here make sense. Everyone complains about taking the bitter
a dream when Im on a trip) and suspected an overgrowth water (Epsom salts), which ushes everything through three
of candida (an intestinal fungus which feeds on sugar, to four times a day with little warning. But for me, mealtimes
creating intense cravings). I had all the symptoms: extreme are uncomfortable. Phones are not allowed in the restaurant
tiredness, bloating, sugar longings. Candida overgrowth is which, as a solo traveller, led me to stare into space to avoid
quite common and can be caused by prolonged use of gazing at others. And thats when I realise the cure could be
antibiotics that kills good bacteria (I had been on acne healing my mind, too. I have time to reect on my day as
medication for two years before this) and by stress. It was well as properly taste every avour.
all starting to make sense. I spend the mornings wobbling about on a waterbed,
Dr Gartners advice was to follow the principles of the wrapped up in towels with a warm compress on my liver
Modern Mayr method until I was able to check into before prancing in a pool of ice-cold water (the zingy Kneipp
Parkhotel Igls and undertake the cure with his supervision. treatment for improving circulation). Theres always some-
That was two years ago and for three months I didnt touch thing to do: Nordic walking, yoga, Pilates, aqua running,
rened sugar and coffee (too acidic); I dropped a stone in strength training, lectures. But the odd gentle stroll with Dr
weight, my skin cleared, and I was a much calmer, less Gartner through the village is all that interrupts my schedule
up-and-down person to be around. And then Christmas of detoxifying massages and topping up on vitamin D in the
and all the sticky, marzipan-coated temptation came and I gardens. After just three days here I am visibly slimmer, and
found myself back in a rut. by the end of the week my epigastric region (a triangle shape
Dr FX Mayrs original diet is a bit drab: spelt bread roll just under the chest) has shrunk by an enormous 15 degrees.
after spelt bread roll after spelt bread roll. Modern Mayr My heart rate has dropped eight beats per minute and Im
medicine focuses on the digestive tract: we eat too much, bouncing with energy. Ive lost four centimetres around my
too fast, too late in the evenings no raw after four is one middle and Im over two pounds lighter, although it feels
of the golden rules. Now the roll is simply used as a tool to much more. A follow-up call with Dr Gartner later conrms
teach you how to chew properly, something weve all been that I dont have abnormal levels of candida after all. But
doing wrong without even realising. The trick is to put down actually, that seems beside the point now.

BOOK IT HEALING HOLIDAYS (+44 20 7843 3592; HEALINGHOLIDAYS.CO.UK/CONDENAST) OFFERS A FOUR-NIGHT


MODERN MAYR SWIFT RETREAT AT PARKHOTEL IGLS, INNSBRUCK, FROM 1,345 PER PERSON INCLUDING FLIGHTS, TRANSFERS AND ALL
TREATMENTS, EXAMINATIONS, LECTURES AND CLASSES PER THE MODERN MAYR SWIFT PROGRAMME

34 Spa Guide March 2017


FAR-FLUNG THRILLERS
GO THE DISTANCE FOR A MOOD-BOOSTING, LIFE-AFFIRMING BLAST OF SUN
INTERCONTINENTAL DANANG SUN PENINSULA RESORT
DANANG, VIETNAM
IN BRIEF SOOTHE STRESSED-OUT MINDS AND BODIES WITHOUT THE DEPRIVATION FACTOR

Set amid the hills of the Son Tra Peninsula, surrounded by lush lagoon, to nd an extensive list of treatments which follow a selec-
jungle and ancient temples, Danang is Vietnams riviera. And the tion of scrubbing, body-working, face-cleansing and foot-rubbing
InterContinental is its standout hotel, a resplendent xture with journeys, from the Oriental Rose (with co-enzyme Q10 and antioxi-
plenty of imposing clout. Designed by Thailand-based architect dants for anti-ageing) to the Eurasians (with lemongrass
Bill Bensley (see Bangkoks stunning Siam hotel and Krabis and lavender to reduces stress and relieve muscle tension). The
otherworldly Phulay Bay), its an extraordinary and spirited feat of Journey of the Oriental Hammam takes place in a Turkish-style,
building, inspired by local villages, with a hint of French colonial- marble-clad room built with stone from the surrounding moun-
ism, tumbling down a hillside so steep theres a funicular railway to tains and is an immersive experience of skin buffing and
get you from top to bottom. Come here and do nothing else but deep rinsing. There is also the expected roster of rigorous yet
walk from the shoreline to the main reception and back again a few highly benecial massages to destress and unknot even the most
times and youll leave with buns of steel. But you can also just hole rigid of backs, and the ultimate in mani-pedi stakes Bastien
up and drink in the scenery. Bedrooms have uninterrupted views Gonzalezs podiatrist-driven treatments. This is just the sort of
of the tempestuous sky and the milky sea far below. All of them place where lotus-eaters can easily throw themselves into deli-
are vast, light-lled and smart, with cious self-imposed isolation. But
monochrome fabrics and bath- DANANG IS VIETNAMS RIVIERA. AND THIS the more adventurous can float
rooms with carved stone tubs (via that steep train-ride) from
almost big enough to swim in. IS ITS STANDOUT HOTEL, A RESPLENDENT immaculate lap pools to daily yoga
Most private are the spa villas, FIXTURE WITH PLENTY OF IMPOSING CLOUT classes, from a secluded stretch of
tucked away beside a luscious beach to the day beds at the Long
PHOTOGRAPH: MARTIN WESTLAKE

lagoon with just the odd monkey peering in for company. With low Bar or the private dining booths at Citron restaurant, which hover
muted lighting and panels of foot-massaging rounded oorboards, more than 100 metres above the waves.
plus their own hot tub, steam room, dry sauna and outdoor shower, INSIDER TIP Pack a few glamorous clothes if you plan to head to
these villas encourage proper switching off. And there are treat- La Maison 1888 for French dining with a Vietnamese twist by
ment rooms attached so you can op straight onto your bed in that award-winning chef Pierre Gagnaire. Fellow guests will be well-
post-kneading dazy haze. Before you ring for your therapist have a heeled, ultra-chic South Korean, Japanese and Singaporeans
Mixology consultation, where you ll in a detailed questionnaire to seeking a little R&R from the fast-paced Asian cities.
identify what scents you prefer so they can create an individual oil BOOK IT Doubles from about 315, including breakfast (+84 511
for you. Or venture across to the Harnn Heritage spa, also on the 393 8888; danang.intercontinental.com).

March 2017 Spa Guide 37


FAR-FLUNG THRILLERS

SAXON HOTEL
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
IN BRIEF AFRICAS TOP CITY HIDEAWAY UPS ITS GAME AGAIN

More of a stately home than a hotel, the Saxon has to be the ulti-
mate soft landing in South Africa for anyone spilling off the 11-hour
flight from the UK. Its hard to believe that Johannesburgs
energetic epicentre is minutes away. Once inside the propertys
immensely high walls, there are 10 acres of pristinely landscaped
gardens to explore, swimming pools to cool off in, and several bars
and restaurants, including the intimately scaled Luke Dale-Roberts
at the Saxon, which started as a wildly successful pop-up and has
been a permanent xture in the hotel since mid-2016. Its not his
award-winning Cape Town restaurant the Test Kitchen, but it sure
comes a close second. Several years ago, the hotel doubled its size
from 24 to 53 suites, but it remains reassuringly private and dis-

THE ORIGINAL SPA WAS ALREADY A


STOP-OFF DESTINATION BUT HAS NOW SUGAR BEACH,
BEEN EXTENDED AND UPGRADED AVICEROY RESORT
creet. The bold contemporary African interiors by Stephen Falcke ST LUCIA, WEST INDIES
may not be to everyones taste, but its difficult not to be impressed
by the sheer scale of the place, the art collection (dont miss the IN BRIEF NATURAL TREATMENTS IN A UTOPIAN TREEHOUSE
Nelson Mandela prints), and the fact that almost every piece of fur-
niture was crafted from South African materials by local artisans. What would you do for one last blast after the rocknroll fun of
The two-level 700-square-metre spa has just reopened after exten- being an accountant to The Beatles, then heading mega-successful
sive renovations. The original spa was already a city stop-off destina- chains Caf Rouge and Punch Taverns? Roger Myers splurged on
tion, but now it has been extended and upgraded with lots of dark this place, the most spectacularly located hotel in the Caribbean, for-
wood, copper leaf on the walls, extraordinary chandeliers from the merly the Jalousie Plantation, an 18th-century sugar mill in a forested
Alexandra township made of recycled glass and pinkish hunks of valley running down to a sandy bay. He bought adjoining land from
Himalayan salt to ionise and energise the spaces. While there are one-time neighbour, the amboyantly barking Lord Glenconner,
half a dozen spa packages worth the splurge, guests short on time and scattered the hillside with big, high-ceilinged, white-on-white
would do well to squeeze in a body exfoliation and pressure-point gingerbread-trim villas with hardwood floors, private pools and
massage using fragrant Harnn essential rice oils, followed by an wraparound terraces. Arriving here feels like entering some magical
intensive anti-ageing La Prairie or QMS facial, and a Margaret kingdom at the end of the world, so secure from prying eyes its
Dabbs pedicure lovely indulgences after a night on a ight. For a drawn everyone from Matt Damon to Gwyneth Paltrow. Once
fully immersive spa experience, there are traditional hammams and here, you wont want to leave until you have to the 45-minute drive
rasuls, hydro pools, a steam room and a sauna constructed with from the airport winds around many cliff-edge hairpin bends. So that
more of that circulation-boosting Himalayan salt. Regulars keep the gives you plenty of time to laze, loll, and make the most of the spa.
rigorously trained therapists busy, so make sure to book in advance. It thrills from the start. Enter via a long, dark corridor lined with
palm-leaf walls that beautifully sets up the surprise to come when
you emerge into a tropical forest, looking up at the trees and,

OWNED BY A FORMER ACCOUNTANT TO THE


BEATLES, THIS PLACE DRAWS EVERYONE FROM
MATT DAMON TO GWYNETH PALTROW
among them, seven timber treatment rooms on stilts. Therapies are
all natural with a leaning towards local beauty wisdoms: coconut as
exfoliator, mashed banana for wrinkle-busting. But there are also
heavy-hitting Natura Biss facials and CACI sessions. Have a bamboo
massage from Maria St Clair, whos worked here for 18 years and is
typically St Lucian, all wit and warmth. When youre not in the spa or
wandering delightedly around your villa open the door onto the
INSIDER TIP To make the most of Dale-Roberts eight-course terrace and the looming Petit Piton seems absurdly close youll be on
degustation dinner, build up your appetite with a green smoothie the beach. That, or at the Bayside Restaurant for sand-beneath-
from the spas new juice bar for breakfast and a light salad lunch. your-feet lunches lots of fresh sh, salads and spices. Evenings
BOOK IT Africa Travel (+44 20 7843 3591; africatravel.com) offers are mostly quiet but night snorkelling provides a dose of excitement.
four nights from 1,795 per person, including British Airways INSIDER TIP Villas at the top of the property have superb views, but
flights, transfers, use of the spa hydro facilities and breakfast. that hillside is super-steep. Stay at beach level if you have small children.
AFRICA TRAVEL EXCLUSIVE The rst 100 readers to book receive 25 BOOK IT Carrier (+44 161 492 1354; carrier.co.uk) offers seven
per cent off the Saxon Himalayan Signature Journey. nights from 2,280 per person, including British Airways ights.
CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI includes a daily one-hour spa treatment and private tness sessions
with meals personalised to your regime. Cheval Blanc is renowned for
NOONU ATOLL, MALDIVES its indulgent food so Le Gall prepares detox menus that dont feel
punishing: gazpacho, spaghetti that turns out to be ribbons of
IN BRIEF SWISH LOCATION WITH SUPERCHARGED SERVICE
freshly caught tuna in a lime-leaf infusion, and passion-fruit panna
cotta. There are more than 50 tness options here. But rather than
In terms of luxury, this is the big dog of the 120-plus island resorts hitting the air-con gym (admittedly with a dreamy view), you can
in the Maldives. Staff greet you with bonjour and everything is trs, take most sessions outside. Opt for scuba diving and, as well as
trs chic, from the hotels own seaplane that picks you up for the swimming with the shes (and sharks, turtles and rays), youll also be
40-minute whizz from the capital Mal to the 45 super-size Jean- burning up to 600 calories per dive. While on land, the tropical climate
Michel Gathy-designed villas and the monogrammed espadrilles by
the bed. And the swank doesnt stop there. Choose your wellbeing GO SCUBA DIVING AND, AS WELL AS
journey and head chef Sbastien Le Gall, spa director Corinne
Laurette and tness director Paulina Ratajczak will huddle together SWIMMING WITH THE TURTLES AND RAYS,
to curate a totally bespoke itinerary. The detox and tness package YOULL BE LOSING UP TO 600 CALORIES
means every exercise class becomes a bikram version of itself. So
theres hot boxing, hot yoga and, particularly exciting, hot tennis.
Spa treatments, devised by Guerlain, can take place in your own
room. But then youd be missing out on the dedicated Spa Island,
where therapists greet you with sunny smiles and rm hands. Request
Devi Darniati, who eases out shoulder knots and performs some
kind of slimming lymphatic drainage, which involves tummy-rolling
and bum-slapping. Afterwards, theres welcome relief in a seaweed
wrap, which when peeled away reveals smoother thighs ready to
be paraded among the beautiful people being fabulous at the pool.
INSIDER TIP Feeling well is about balance, so ditch the detox for a
night and tuck into a tasting dinner at Le 1947 restaurant.
BOOK IT Abercrombie & Kent (+44 1242 547 708; abercrombie
kent.co.uk) offers seven nights in a Water Villa from 5,095 per
person, including ights, seaplane transfers and breakfast.

by the pool and in the spa. Upping the ante yet further is the Spa
MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BANGKOK Studio, four glamorous treatment rooms in the serene Garden
THAILAND Wing, with an emphasis on results-driven, time-efficient thera-
pies: reexology-induced micro naps; warming head and shoulder
IN BRIEF ADDED FIRE POWER AT AN ASIAN BIG GUN
massages; facials by German skincare specialist QMS
Medicosmetics the Collagen Vita Skin will leave you with the
Hasnt Bangkoks grande dame aged beautifully? Transcending the complexion of a toddler. Then theres the Bastien Gonzalez
competition while maintaining the history and traditions so adored Mani:Pedi:Cure Studio, the rst in Thailand, where consultants
by her repeat guests (more than 20 per cent of the Mandarin (hand-picked and trained by the man himself) not only perform
Orientals visitors have stayed more than once), the 140-year-old synchronised hand and feet polishing, but also offer advice on
hotel only appears to get more ravishing. As part of the anniversary everything from posture to diet and wellbeing. All in all, the
celebrations, the original 19th-century Authors Lounge has Mandarin Oriental offers a masterclass in growing old gracefully.
been preened to perfection. Its marble oors gleam glacial white, INSIDER TIP Try to plan your trip around the visit of practitioner Dr
rattan fans swirl above peacock chairs and potted palms, while the Buathon, who uses Tibetan singing bowls and qi massage along-
citys best-dressed chatter over tiers of fruity afternoon tea. Upstairs, side psychological techniques to unlock the causes of stress.
four dreary signature suites have been replaced with the marvellous BOOK IT Red Savannah (+44 1242 787800; redsavannah.com)
Grand Royal Suite, 600 square metres of carved woodwork, silver offers ve nights from 1,695 per person, including ights, trans-
filigree and shimmering silks. In the adjacent Garden Wing, 12 fers and breakfast
revamped rooms have balconies with sensational Chao Phraya
River views. A metamorphosis has taken place in the spa too. With its
2017
focus on traditional, deep-reaching treatments, plus a stunning WINNER
PHOTOGRAPHS: DAN KULLBERG; ELSA YOUNG

waterside location, the Oriental Spa has long been a destination in


MOST
its own right. The setting remains the same 10 shadowy
treatment rooms in a 100-year-old teak mansion haloed by frangi-
OUTSTANDING
pani but new three-day retreats have added an extra dimension.
CITY SPA
Try the Oriental Pampering programme to go full Queen of Siam or
for a more spiritual bent, try the Life Balance Ayurveda, which includes
two sessions of mind-melting shirodhara and yoga one-on-ones.
The spas signature rituals have also been updated to include digital
detoxes (colouring books at the ready), rosemary-and-black pepper
rubdowns and coconutty organic journeys, all of which appear
alongside good old-fashioned Thai massages. Healthy food is on
the menu now too: mango salad, sweet-sour tamarind sh soup,
and shrimp and peanut curries, available in the restaurants, rooms,

March 2017 Spa Guide 39


FAR-FLUNG THRILLERS

NEW FAENA MIAMI BEACH


FLORIDA, USA
IN BRIEF GUT REACTION IN THE SUNSHINE STATE

Its tricky to classify Tierra Santa, the holy-moly, knock-your-


socks-off spa that occupies the entire third oor of Floridas most
on-pulse place to stay, the Faena hotel. This Latin America-
inspired spiritual sanctuary is a place of ancient southern wisdom,
palo santo tree oils and shamanic rituals. And its a cutting-edge
laboratory with a premium on preventative cardiology, probiotics
and whole-health overhauls. Its also a gloriously opulent primping
palace, all Rossano Ferretti hair and feelgood facials. This is an
impressive offering for a city already pumped with wellbeing clout.
Start with a deeply meditative Tree of Life treatment from lead that hell even have his in-house nutritionist scrutinise the menus
therapist Marsida Keskin, who uses the vibrations of her sound at your favourite haunts around town so that going out to eat can
bowls to massage deep into weary limbs, and then follow on with a be a relatively guilt-free affair. Perhaps best then to visit the Faenas
surreally brilliant session with an incense-waving, conch-blowing sensational Filipino-inspired restaurant Pao by Paul Qui for its sig-
Mexican shaman who whips you with his sheet to cleanse energies nature Unicorn dish, a gloriously indulgent combination of creamed
and lift spirits. Of course, all this soothing of the soul needs to be corn and sea urchin, before meeting with Dr Cooper. Or the really
balanced with similar attention to the body, so make sure to book virtuous can stick to the special vegan spa menu: breakfast of raw
in with Dr Matthew Cooper (aka Dr Enzyme), the man on a mission oatmeal with almond milk and chia seeds, and lunch of baby-kale
to revolutionise gut health. He provides a jerry can for you to pee in salads. Of course, if all this sounds too puritan, there is the option
over the course of a day before its contents are sent off for analysis to of deep-tissue massages and top-notch mani-pedis: this is Miami,
determine how well you digest the major food groups: carbohy- after all, where they want everyone beautiful on the outside. And
drates, protein, fats and fibre. He then tailors a meal plan and now the inside too, gut lining very much included.
probiotic regimen to rebalance your gut ora which, he professes, INSIDER TIP Ahead of your visit, do talk to the wonderful spa direc-
can cure a surprising array of ailments from psoriasis to IBS, obe- tor Vivianne Garcia-Tunon to put together a bespoke schedule.
sity to chronic pain. Such is Dr Coopers dedication to the cause BOOK IT Doubles from about 530 (+1 305 534 8800; faena.com).

and artisanal furniture from South African makers Pierre Cronje and
James Mudge, are a foil for the owners hand-picked contemporary
art collection. In the restaurant, a short, sharp, seasonal menu
focuses on local avours but also includes the chefs love of British
classics and pays respect to the owners heritage with dishes such as
Madras-curry-cured salmon. Comparable in the region only to
Delaire Graff Spa in Stellenbosch, Leeu Spa is a light-lled sanctu-
ary with a sleek, glass-walled relaxation room and a tness studio
for private yoga and Pilates tuition. Given that the owner is from
India and his son owns the exquisite wellness destination Vana

JUST OVER AN HOURS DRIVE FROM CAPE


TOWN, FRANSCHHOEK HAS NEVER BEEN
SHORT OF SMART PLACES TO STAY
NEW Malsi Estate, its hardly surprising that transformative rituals with an
LEEU ESTATES authentic Ayurvedic inuence are in hot demand here. They incor-
FRANSCHHOEK, SOUTH AFRICA porate indigenous botanical oils buchu, rose geranium, baobab
and marula and the nourishing organic Ila range. The spa food is
IN BRIEF SOPHISTICATED SPOT FOR POST-SAFARI DOWNTIME terrically good. Lunch, poolside with mountain views, could be
sesame tuna ceviche with blood orange, mango and ginger or
Just over an hours drive from Cape Town, Franschhoek has never cont pork belly with black pudding. And yes, the fruit sorbets are
been short of smart places to stay, from sassy Le Quartier Franais heaven in hot weather, but forgoing the afternoon tea fruit scones
to lavishly decorated La Residence. Since businessman Analjit with homemade blueberry preserve and cream, smoked-salmon
Singh bought several prime properties in the valley, desirable digs sandwiches would be a sin.
now include Leeu House (12 chic, art-lled rooms in a garden set- INSIDER TIP Tucked away above the spa are two spa suites with re-
ting on the high street) and the 17 elegant suites at sister property places, large balconies and marble bathrooms the size of a Parisian
Leeu Estates, opened last year. The manor house, as well as its cot- apartment with Purearth products from the Himalayas.
tage suites, are surrounded by Franchesca Watson-designed gardens BOOK IT Africa Travel (+44 20 7843 3591; africatravel.com) offers
and vineyards overseen by A-game winemakers Chris and Andrea four nights from 2,050 per person, including British Airways
Mullineux. Like Leeu House, the rooms have interior designer flights, transfers, breakfast and a complimentary tasting of
Beverley Boswells sumptuously textured style stamped all over them. Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines at Leeu Estates. AFRICA TRAVEL
Pared-down, elegantly proportioned spaces, rich with natural linens EXCLUSIVE Receive one complimentary Prana Vitality massage.

40 Spa Guide March 2017


T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

mind and body


recharge
Clockwise from left:
wellness with a view;
the clinics sleek
interior; SHA cuisine;
the swimming pool;
the presidential
master bedroom

In need of a complete emotional, mental and physical overhaul?


SHA Wellness Clinic is king of the health kick

blood tests are followed by individually prescribed Healing Holidays can arrange a seven-night
treatments. During the week there are weigh-ins, Essence programme from 2,459 per person
extensive consultations covering energy, nutrition, sharing a Deluxe Suite Mountain View. This offer
healthy ageing and derma-aesthetic; then theres includes ights, transfers, macrobiotic full board,
personal training, acupuncture, aquatic therapy, weekly activities and all treatments as per the
shiatsu, detoxifying baths, lymphatic drainage, colon Essence programme. Exclusive to Healing Holidays
hydrotherapy and cryotherapy. And thats barely is a complimentary welcome massage, a room
scratched the surface! upgrade (subject to availability) and early
booking discounts.
You couldnt dream up a more comprehensive
approach, but after all is said and done, it doesnt feel
like hard work when youve got killer views of the For further information call
Med and surrounding mountains, a gorgeous rooftop Healing Holidays on 020 7843 3592 or visit
innity pool, tropical gardens, Zen-like relaxation healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
triking, cool and minimalist, SHA Wellness areas and vast bedrooms complete with terraces for

S Clinic is hidden away on a hillside near the


pretty town of Villa de Altea, overlooking
Spains southern coast. Gleaming white, like
a beacon of health, this ve-star hotel-cum-clinic is
home to wow-factor facilities and a 360-degree
naked sunbathing. The food (macrobiotic but not
morsel-ish) is absolutely delicious and the lovely staff
are genuinely encouraging. If your goal is healthy,
clean living, its a SHA thing.

approach to wellbeing. Winner of Most Directional


Clinic in our 2016 spa awards, if its a results-driven
ethos and lifestyle re-education youre after, youve
checked into the right place. If uffy white dressing
gowns and gentle back rubs are more your thing, run
like the wind. SHAs 360-degree approach means
no hot stone or piece of technology has been left
unturned. This is one of Europes best medi-spas
and it offers every programme and health check-up
imaginable. Since opening in 2008, each year
sees more treatments, therapies and units added.
From sleep clinics, anti-stress and depression, to
addiction, total rejuvenation and the excellent
detox and weight loss programme, spa acionados
and celebrities swear by SHA.

This clinic excels across the board, but the detox and
weight loss programme is currently its most popular
(and one of the strictest). A medical check-up and
ANONYMOUS CONFESSION

LET IT GO, LET IT GO


THE INDIVIDUAL
A FIFTY-SOMETHING WOMAN WITH
CONTINUAL BACK PAIN WHO
STRUGGLES WITH GUILT AND ANXIETY
I took up yoga seriously in my thirties pain in my shoulder. By morning, my
after a nagging backache had been THE REMEDY lower back had that familiar, sicken-
plaguing me, and years of work stress ing nerve sting. I stretched gingerly
A WEEK OF PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL
and a sedentary life meant I couldnt through the class, and noticed vividly
touch my toes. Soon, I was hooked. REALIGNMENT AT THE GO-SLOW how my mind was reacting. A certain
Regular practice dealt with physical YOGAROSA THERAPY RETREAT ON IBIZA kind of spinal twist has always
stiffness, and I also began to discern awakened this sacral pain and I felt
pain coming from repetitive movements such as carrying irritated that Id pushed too far, tearful that I was trapped
a handbag on one shoulder and from a more subtle kind in a self-inicted cycle of strain. My stiffness got worse during
connected to places in my body where I was containing the day and I had to lie down for the evening meditation.
negative emotions and uneasiness. I put my intermittent Later, Rosa told me people often feel real discomfort with
back twinge down to desk-bound stiffness, but also knew it this yoga process three days in its a psychosomatic reaction.
had to be linked to my held-in belly, taut from nervous I had to go through it to release it. My lower-back soreness
tension and shallow breathing. I was always fretful, even as was intermittent and unrelated to injury, but it subsided with
a child, and had come to accept that I was a naturally anxious the meditation, surely a sign that it was in the mind as
person; so although there was nothing medically wrong with much as the body. At home, Id avoid yoga positions that
my lower back, an underlying strain continued to pluck away. aggravated it. Now it dawned on me that I was resisting
As I also found it increasingly hard to switch off, the hope change on some level. In fact, some holistic therapies link
was that a week at YogaRosas nca, with its shady pines, tension in the right side of our bodies to an inability to move
pool and aromatic lavender, would help me keep a mental into the future, which resonated with me as I had been
distance from urban life. After a warm welcome from owner putting off making changes in my life for a while. It felt good
Rosa Klein (glowing and serene from a morning class), I to talk about it, yet the next day my lower back had practi-
feasted on a breakfast of porridge with cinnamon and goji cally seized up. Rosa, whose spine exed and bent despite
berries, scrambled eggs peppered with chopped chives from fused vertebrae post-surgery, advised me to not dodge any
the kitchen garden, and smoky hot coffee. After Id eaten, postures and to trust the slow rehabilitation of the morning
there was a rare chance to laze. My only appointments were class. And with her gentle encouragement, I was able to
the evening yoga and meditation class followed by dinner. breathe into the agony in that nemesis twist, and release a
Yet my mind whirred into guilt mode about what else I rush of emotion as hot tears rolled down my cheeks some-
should or could be doing. The more my thoughts raced, the thing I couldnt imagine ever allowing back home.
less I was able to relax and that niggling pain was there again. It was the breakthrough I was looking for. In that even-
I drifted in and out of a hazy light sleep until it was time for ings meditation, I felt a wave of expansiveness come over
yoga. I joined the other guests in a Bedouin tent with ut- my body. I spent the next day in silence, which was a great
tering prayer ags as Rosa guided us through an hour and way to capitalise on the release. I was able to savour every
a half of pranayama breathing exercises. This led seamlessly mouthful of food, and allow myself to rest without guilt and
into meditation accompanied by the pure sounds of just be. A rush of creative ideas owed and I scribbled in my
a singing bowl. There were delicious moments when the journal. I came home feeling like I had not only a new lower
constant whirr of thoughts in my mind dropped into com- back, but also a massive spring in my step and the head space
plete stillness with the fading golden-pink glow of the Ibizan to move forwards. Rosas authentic yogic teachings were
sunset. I learnt that Rosa travelled to India to recover from truly therapeutic, her understanding of anatomy and the
a serious car accident that had left her with brain and spinal body/mind connection rare in a world of insta-yogis. It
injuries. Surgery xed her body, but it was traditional yoga helped that the retreat had such a wonderfully individual
therapy, along with other meditative practices, that brought ethos, from the one-on-one attention and the beautiful hand-
back her exibility, energy and spirit. Heading for dinner painted black-and-pink mandalas on the walls to chef Philipp
later, my city walking pace had at least halved, and already Gandlers epicurean food and the dogs, chickens and micro-
I felt less tired and on edge than I had in a long time. pig Lola that roam the grounds. It was a deeply supportive
As I settled into a routine, it turned out the unravelling place in which to explore how deeply yoga could help me
had just begun. On the third night, I was woken by a searing acknowledge pain and anxiety in order to fully let go.

BOOK IT HEALING HOLIDAYS (+44 20 7843 3592; HEALINGHOLIDAYS.CO.UK/CONDENAST) OFFERS A SEVEN-NIGHT RETREAT AT
YOGAROSAS EL NIDO FINCA FROM 1,820 PER PERSON FULL BOARD, INCLUDING FLIGHTS, TRANSFERS, YOGA AND MEDITATION

42 Spa Guide March 2017


T RAVELLER PROM OT ION

available, thereby increasing the absorption rate and


making sure the body can make the most of its ingredients:
marine collagen peptides and active ingredients such as
Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Omega 3 & 6, L-lysine
and MSM. At 35 calories a serving, it comes refreshingly
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Skinade is available across the UK, USA and Dubai


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your skin. The liquid formula makes it highly bio-
SHORT-HAUL
HEROES
BAG YOUR DOWNTIME FIX WITHOUT THE JET LAG
MONTEVERDI
TUSCANY, ITALY
IN BRIEF NOURISHING RECHARGE IN A LOVINGLY RENOVATED VILLAGE

American lawyer Michael Cioffis medieval toy town in the heart of Novella, the Florentine apothecary where potions were first
the Val dOrcia is pretty as a picture. The 900-year-old hamlet created by Dominican monks in the 13th century. Staff, who are
of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, off a winding gravel road that snakes mostly local, use time-tested Italian ways of healing, combining
across the hillside, was largely in ruins when Cioffi stumbled upon those products with all sorts of natural ingredients from the
it over a decade ago. Since then, hes lavished it with love, atten- kitchen gardens sage, burdock, lemon balm and sweet orange.
tion and plenty of money, and the results are stunning. Now its The signature candle-wax massage is evocative and grounding,
home to a handful of year-round residents and Monteverdi, a using the molten oil to melt away aches and ailments in a room
grown-up hideaway. Eleven bedrooms and suites, as well as three that is both humble and beautiful. Outside are steaming-hot
villas, are dotted throughout the quiet streets. All are a short potter private stone baths on a terrace with views over the valley. This is
across the cobblestones to the remains of the ancient castle a place to properly recharge your batteries practise yoga in the
or to the innity pool, with its sweeping views of hills studded lavender gardens, or try an Etruscan mud wrap. For the bedrooms,
with cypress trees and faraway rooftops. In the autumn, mornings interior designer Ilaria Miani has used colour palettes of washed
can start with a hunt for white truffles in the nearby forest with the stone and muted green to complement rustic fireplaces,
PHOTOGRAPHS: BERNARD TOUILLON; RHIANNON TAYLOR

help of a local forager and his dog. free-standing tubs and four-poster
The gourmet swag will later be put TREATMENTS USE POTIONS FIRST MADE BY beds. Giant shutters open up to
to good use in a cooking lesson with panoramas of the countryside. The
in-house chef Giancarla Bodoni,
DOMINICAN MONKS IN THE 13TH CENTURY, restaurant, Oreade, has an incredi-
making fresh pasta by hand while MIXED WITH INGREDIENTS FROM THE GARDEN ble commitment to sourcing organic
accompanied by endlessly refilled produce, even overseeing each step
glasses of smooth, plummy wine from nearby Montepulciano. The in the farming process. A rib-eye steak on the bone is typically
class turns into lunch and its particularly satisfying to eat your own Tuscan, and ricotta ravioli in butter and sage sauce is rich and sat-
homemade tagliatelle and matriciana sauce with morsels of crispy isfying. As you make your way back to your room afterwards, the
pork fat. Walk it all off with a gentle hike through the surrounding evening air fragrant with chopped wood, the only interruption may
elds or take a much quicker stroll to the hotels new spa. Set in a be a chat with a villager or a gorgeous sunset.
thick-walled rustic villa, once the village granary, treatment rooms INSIDER TIP If you can peel yourself away from the carved stone
are simple, with the pink cast of raw plaster or bare stone on the seat beneath your rain-shower, pop down to the art gallery, where
walls and low exposed beams on the ceilings. They feel calm, global artists, scholars and performers appear on a regular basis.
austere, spiritual even. Which may have something to do with the BOOK IT Doubles from about 500 (+1 513 579 1666; monte
fact that treatments use cult brand Farmaceutica di Santa Maria verdituscany.com)

March 2017 Spa Guide 45


SHORT-HAUL HEROES

NEW SAO LOURENCO DO BARROCAL


ALENTEJO, PORTUGAL
IN BRIEF SERENE TIME-OUT IN A WILD, EVOCATIVE LANDSCAPE

Fifth-generation hotelier Susanne Kaufmann has had the fashion bathtub and bright treatment rooms. Kaufmanns traditional
set climbing mountains to the spa at Hotel Post in the Austrian methods avoid chemical procedures and aim to counteract pre-
village of Bezau since 2003, when she launched her organic skin- mature skin ageing with active ingredients foraged from Austrias
care range. Now a handful of properties in Europe stock her Bregenz forest valley. The therapists mostly from nearby Evora,
eponymous products (Scandi chic rather than Alpine twee), but some with backgrounds in traditional Chinese medicine can per-
so intent was she on nding the right t for her brand only two sonalise treatments for guests. The signature body treatments
other hotel spas carry her name. The new addition is So Loureno sweet-smelling, sesame-and-apricot-kernel scrub combines
do Barrocal, a working winery, olive grove and hotel in Portugals lymph drainage and acupressure techniques to help the body
wild, sun-bleached Alentejo region. After the two-hour journey release toxins. And ultrasound during the anti-ageing facial
from Lisbon, you drive down the oak-lined drive and realise youve encourages the ingredients to penetrate deeper, stimulating the
stumbled upon something special. bodys own collagen synthesis.
Twelve years in the making, this TWELVE YEARS IN THE MAKING, THIS Pilates, yoga and trail-running are
remarkable project is the work of offered at the weekend and during
former investment banker Jos REMARKABLE PROJECT IS SOMETHING SPECIAL: the week sessions with a personal
Antnio Uva, who was determined SOHO-HOUSE STYLING AT A FAMILY FARM trainer can be arranged. Horses are
to reinvigorate the family mont on standby for scenic hacks, and
(farming village). His attention to detail has resulted in very smart theres a eet of bicycles and recommended routes to the vast
interiors theres a denite touch of Soho House styling in the Lake Alqueva. In the former kitchen garden is a tranquil swimming
farm-to-table restaurant and bar with pendant lampshades, slate- pool with an enormous boulder at one end the area was once a
blue and moss-green doors, and communal tables laid with saucers magnet for tribes who used the huge granite outcrops, or barrocais,
of deep-green olive oil, sheeps cheese and cured hams served found all over the estate, as ceremonial sites. The peace that comes
with pumpkin jam. There are simple salads of just-picked pears from such a deep sense of history pervades the whole place.
and walnuts, octopus rice and ame-cooked Alentejo black pork INSIDER TIP There are cottages to rent as well and a farm shop
from acorn-eating Iberian pigs. The spa itself is cool and calm with stocking the house wine and olive oil. This year, with the vegetable
its monastery-like white archways and masses of space, and garden established, the farm aims to become self-sufficient.
includes a dry sauna, a hydrotherapy room with a cedar-wood BOOK IT Doubles from about 225 (+351 266 247 140; barrocal.pt)
2017
WINNER
MOST weather is reliably good: warm enough for T-shirts as early as
ANASSA CONSISTENT March, with a balmy sea you can still swim in at the end of October.
LATCHI, CYPRUS HIGH Which is why its heavingly popular with families. And yet for all its
PERFORMER permutations of interconnecting rooms, a Scott Dunn kids club
IN BRIEF SUPER-SOLID BREAK, EVEN WITH THE FAMILY slicker than most London nurseries and the tireless friendliness
from the staff towards tiny ones, its a place that is also remarkably
There is a Russian physiotherapist here called Vladimir Papakides sophisticated and hushed. Even in the summer holidays theres
who has been practicing at the spa for eight years. He works won- enough space for anyone who wants to nd a private retreat. Away
ders with sports injuries, spinal ailments, torn tendons and all sorts from the squeals and splashes of the mini pool are contemplative
of aches and pains. People come back time and time again for his corridors, the gentle sound of fountains and the rustle of the
rehabilitation therapies and thorough massages. He is a constant breeze through 300-year-old olive trees. And the spa, ooded
at Anassa and he is brilliant. The same goes for the hotel itself. It is with sunlight and fresh air, is a serious set up, designed as much for
strikingly dependable, so its no surprise that there are so many those who want a five-day programme (fitness or anti-ageing,
regulars. The rooms are reliably lovely (with Provenal blue shut- for example) as for those who just want the odd treatment, use the
tered windows, huge high beds and creamy marble bathrooms; gym or swim in the saltwater exercise pool. The main focus is
there isnt a dud out of the whole 166), the food is reliably deli- thalassotherapy, with water for the invigorating and restorative jet
cious (the soft-shell crab at Basiliko restaurant, the wagyu beef in sprays and hydro baths pumped straight from the Mediterranean.
Helios, the sweet sticky nuts with local honey at breakfast) and the Theres a comprehensive range of Ila therapies alongside QMS
anti-ageing options, but its the newly introduced Anastasia
Achilleos facial that everyone seems desperate to book (ask for
gentle, intuitive Claudia). This extraordinary treatment is a fully nur-
turing session where you are cradled in the therapists arms while
lying on a heated water pad. The attention on the face is soothing
and hydrating but its the rest of the 90 minutes that really gets
interesting, with a kundalini massage using warm argan oil, abdom-
inal work, a gentle foot rub and a scalp massage. The healing bubble
doesnt burst when you emerge. As evening falls there is peace and
quiet, whispered tones at supper and early nights had by all.
INSIDER TIP Bring your Amex in case you stumble into the new
boutique Kult, which features a collection of Gucci, Bottega Veneta
and Saint Laurent to rival Matches.
BOOK IT Scott Dunn (+44 20 8682 5040; scottdunn.com) offers
seven nights from 1,290 per person half board, based on a family of
four, including ights, transfers and childrens club.

BANYAN TREE TAMOUDA BAY NEW


MOROCCO
IN BRIEF ASIAN SAVVY ON THE NORTH AFRICAN COAST
Until now, to nd yourself in the cocooning embrace of a Banyan
Tree spa has meant a long-haul ight, the commitment of at least
a week-long trip and a whack of jet lag. Last autumn that all
changed with the opening of Tamouda Bay on Moroccos northern
coast, just across the water from Gibraltar. It does mean two
ights, but it feels do-able for a long weekend. Afavourite seaside
resort of well-heeled Moroccans, the Mediterranean waters are
clear, the sands beach-combing-perfect and the weather year-
round good. The place resembles a low-rise village of simple
houses topped with triangular cobalt roofs (the vernacular style). muscles, try the deep, palm-rolling Moroccan massage (ask for
Slip through your villas heavy wooden doors, however, and theres Nareerat Pathueng, who will dig deep to undo that pesky knot).
a maze of coffee-coloured rooms with domed ceilings and billow- Dry skin? Thatll be a coconut-and-sesame scrub. Uptight and
ing muslin curtains. Beyond is the pool surrounded by high walls wired? Denitely the pouches of lemongrass, cloves and coriander
and pillars and cleverly designed so guests can skinny-dip with dipped in warm oil. In the sybaritic Moroccan Banyan, your body is
abandon. The resort mixes the simple and exotic: cool whites and slathered with olive-skin soap, steamed, scrubbed, massaged,
wrapped in clay, cooked again and, finally, steeped in Thai-
FOR STIFF MUSCLES, TRY THE DEEP, chamanard-blossom lotion. This is no tucked-away Banyan Tree:
PALM-ROLLING MOROCCAN MASSAGE, it opens onto a public beach, and has a family-friendly atmos-
WHICH DIGS DEEP TO UNDO PESKY KNOTS phere. After dinner the restaurant, Saffron, does a mean tuna
tartare order a cocktail and settle back on a rooftop day bed.
rich blues, hidden ponds and Islamic patterns, bowls of pale roses Braziers send sparks into the night sky while the waves break upon
and bronzed Moroccan wall sconces. The spa is a sepulchrally the beach. Its the simple things that make this place work.
calm space next to a tranquil garden, where traditional techniques INSIDER TIP The best time to stay is when Indian-born, Marrakech-
combine with natural ingredients; no white coats or hi-tech kit based yoga teacher Perumal Koshy is on one of his regular visits;
here. These treatments start at 90 minutes and can last three sunrise yoga on the beach is a must.
hours. Tight shoulders and tension headaches? Balinese or lomi- BOOK IT Destinology (+44 1204 824619; destinology.co.uk) offers
lomi massage followed by a wallow in a mint-tea bath. For stiff ve nights from 859 per person, including ights and breakfast.

March 2017 Spa Guide 47


SHORT-HAUL HEROES

ONE&ONLY THE PALM


DUBAI, UAE
IN BRIEF SHINY AND SLICK FLY-AND-FLOP REMEDY

Just across the water from Dubai, at the very tip of one of
Jumeirahs man-made leaf-shaped fronds, One&Only The Palm
feels like a tucked-away country club in contrast to the busy main-
land. Inside, large Moorish-style rooms are light and bright with
carved wooden furniture and tiles. Bathrooms have huge egg-
shaped tubs and stacks of Acqua di Parma by the sinks. One of the
restaurants, Stay, is overseen by chef Yannick Alleno from
the three-Michelin-starred Le Meurice in Paris, so there is foie gras
and grilled lobster on the menu. The other, Zest, has an endless
supply of everything you could possibly want at any time of day.
For breakfast there are smoothies, coconut yogurt and bowls lled Orchide Impriale facial is a slow, rm massage using Guerlains
with seeds, nuts and fruit. And for lunch, its fattoush, hummus anti-ageing creams and serums; its main ingredient is taken from
and baba ganoush or sashimi and just-fried scallops. For those the roots of the gold orchid and meant to increase the life expec-
feeling guilty having wolfed down the tarte tatin or millefeuille at tancy of cells. Hands and feet are kept immaculate thanks to
the Pastry Library after supper, there are yoga sessions in the gym podiatrist Bastien Gonzalezs team. Their dry treatment blades
most mornings, as well as waterskiing, kayaking and windsurng and drills are thankfully more tickling than they are terrifying. Yet
on the beach. The swimming pool, however, is the hotels biggest more decadent is the Solar Evasion body scrub which prepares skin
draw. Its enormous, even against the backdrop of Dubais surreal, for tanning and helps prolong colour once home incentive
pencil-shaped skyline. A eet of staff do the rounds with cucumber enough, if any were needed, to head straight back to one of the day
slices for eyes, cocktail sticks of fresh fruit and homemade iced beds that ank the palm-fringed pool.
tea. Heat is guaranteed and so days are spent itting lazily between INSIDER TIP Youll probably get the run of the tness suite so make
the bar, the pool and the spa, which is now run by Guerlain, so the the most of the spanking new Kinesis suspension machines, which
focus is on fragrance as well as skincare. Appointments start with give core muscles a full workout.
a cold-pressed juice (pineapple, green apple and mint) and then BOOK IT Virgin Holidays Wonderlist (+44 344 739 6491; virgin
the choice of a bespoke essential oil that will be used for all treat- holidays.co.uk/wonderlist) offers four nights from 1,046 per
ments do you want to leave relaxed or hyper-energised? The person half board, including Virgin Atlantic ights and transfers.

sive range of Bamford and Cellcosmet treatments for Cleopatra-


like attention, after which you can crash out on a relaxation water-
bed. But the stars of the show are the seven cavernous dedicated
detox rooms, which alternate piping-hot and freezing-cold water
for Kneipp therapy its a spa playground of saunas and ice caves
around a central pool. The alternate use of extreme temperatures
widens the arteries in the legs, stimulates blood ow and metabo-
lism, and strengthens the immune system, as well as helping to
increase cardiovascular and muscular endurance. No need to
book, simply experiment in your own time each has detailed
instructions on the door. Lavender and herbs infuse the steam
room, the bio sauna is laced with orange and lemon, and the

STARS OF THE SHOW ARE THE CAVERNOUS


DETOX ROOMS, WHERE FREEZING-COLD
WATER THERAPY GIVES INSTANT RESULTS
Himalayan salt grotto is a gentle place to start. Thrill-seekers can
LE GRAND BELLEVUE take on the Turkish bath, Finnish sauna or outdoor ice plunge
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND pool. The results are instant: a healthy ush to the face, energised
blood ow and an overall sense of wellbeing. The rest of the hotel
IN BRIEF REVIVED YEAR-ROUND ALPINE RETREAT is just as enlivening; deep velvet and plaid sofas plus bird-cage
chairs for swinging in, intelligently curated bookshelves, and bed-
The much-needed revamp of this grande dame a few years ago rooms with pale-wood oors and soft-taupe fabrics. And just look
was better than anyone could have expected. While there are out of the vast oor-to-ceiling windows to be reminded that the
tempting tasting menus in the Michelin-starred restaurant and Bellevue is on the doorstep of some spectacular hikes, mountain-
full-pelt cocktails served in a bar containing one of the longest biking and, of course, in the winter, a social skiing scene like no
Chestereld sofas in the world, it is equally possible to take a more other. Heres a hotel that has whipped the party image of this
therapeutic line. The vast subterranean spa is now open in the small resort into substantially healthier shape.
summer months and in the winter, plus all the top-notch wellness INSIDER TIP Dont overlook the exceptionally well-cut sweaters
boxes are ticked here a serene yoga studio with the option of from Vivian Graf in the mini boutique located by the spa.
up-the-mountain classes, a super-hero style gym with sophisti- BOOK IT Doubles from about 490 (+41 33 748 00 00; bellevue
cated tech and indoor pool with hydrotherapy showers. Alongside gstaad.ch). Swiss (swiss.com) offers return ights from London to
a focus on detoxing and cleansing therapies, there is a comprehen- Geneva starting from 96

48 Spa Guide March 2017


WELLNESS
BY COMO
is not just about chic and ease but the deeper experience
of nurturing body, mind and spirit
Healing Holidays, the UKs leading independent spa specialist, has partnered with
COMO Hotels and Resorts on new offers at two COMO properties to inspire personal
discovery in extraordinary parts of the world. COMO Shambhala Estate, a 23-acre
wellness resort set amongst Balis rolling hills and lush jungle, is a world-class flagship
destination spa for those seeking to boost their health and reduce stress. COMO
Parrot Cay, a private island in the Turks and Caicos, offers crystal-clear diving and
powder-sand beaches that stretch into the distance. Both retreats specialise in
COMO Shambhalas award-winning line of holistic therapies and yoga instruction a
combination sure to make differences that last well beyond your stay.
From April 1st to June 20th 2017 inclusive, Healing Holidays is offering a seven-night
stay at COMO Shambhala Estate which includes a twenty per cent discount, all flights
and transfers, accommodation with full board, and specified spa treatments. We are
also offering seven-nights for the price of five at COMO Parrot Cay, from 2,089
per person sharing. This includes flights, transfers, accommodation on a bed and
breakfast basis and complimentary group activities.
For more information, please email healingholidays.co.uk/condenast, or call us on
020 7843 3592.
ANONYMOUS CONFESSION

RUNNING SCARED
THE INDIVIDUAL
A MOTHER WHO FEELS SHES AGEING
In the cross-country sessions at school
SO FAST SHE NO LONGER RECOGNISES 4. Have a vitamin drip with the pocket
I would race off at the start then HERSELF IN THE MIRROR WHO rocket that is Geeta Sidhu-Robb from
amble to the bushes to smoke fags. ALSO HAS SLEEP PROBLEMS AND AN Nosh Detox, who is as dynamic as a
Ive never really run for anything. Ive OPPRESSIVE SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY disco ball and super-intelligent. Shell
never done a workout class. And Ive analyse you spot-on between giving
never met a salad I liked. And for a motivational speeches to staff at
while that was all OK. I have always THE REMEDY Morgan Stanley. I wanted to do a
been slim. And yet suddenly, folds A TWO-MONTH-LONG EATING AND detox. She said I wasnt strong enough
were appearing: wrinkles like a little EXERCISE ROUTINE BASED AT LONDONS and gave me a drip instead. Twenty-
elephants above the knees, a pot- BODYISM, TO SEE IF IT COULD MAKE A four hours later I felt sensational. My
belly like Poohs that stared at me in brain was working like it used to in
the bath. More worryingly, my energy
DIFFERENCE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY my 20s, as if Id been through a
was as skittish as a lost cat. Sometimes cranium carwash.
sparking off like a Catherine wheel in all directions, 5. If I could eat Spring Green food every day for the rest of
sometimes so sluggish I couldnt remember how to spell my life, I absolutely would. I cant bear healthy food. I only
mesmerising, or whole. Worse, the anxiety. A low-level eat it because I want to live longer than a chocolate-hobnob
landscape of anxiety that spread across my stomach like an diet would allow me. But this fodder was so good I ended up
insidious mist above an unhappy sea, and sleep that played ghting over it with my husband. How do they make it so
tricks. Sometimes I couldnt get to sleep at all, so that all the tasty? I dont know. Its magic ju-ju.
demons would rush in. Sometimes, falling asleep so fast, just 6. Dont judge me but I had ller in the line between my eye-
to be woken up at 3am, as if a bomb had exploded in my brows. I didnt know I was going to have it before I did. I
chest. Impatient and sad, and angry all around the edges, I went to Dr Sebagh simply because all roads of unhappy faces
wondered whether I would ever get back to being the person eventually lead to Dr Sebagh. Oh no, look at your lopsided
I was before, or whether this was indeed the accumulated smile! he said, pointing out issues I didnt even know I had.
facts of me, the limescale of my life clogging my system. Oh sheesh, look at your party face, sunshine face, oh tut tut!
So, I decided to make a commitment. I have always been He wielded his needle, I started to panic. Wait, we need
impatient, so I knew I needed something that would work fast, to chat before you go in with that weapon! I yelled. Oh no,
with palpable results, or I would lose interest. And between not chat! he said, jab jab. You are so crazy, why so much
a full-time job, being a mother to two boys, and a hectic social nervous energy? Reeeelax crazy woman! Afterwards, I went
life, I didnt have much time to devote. to the bathroom to calm down. Petried, I looked at myself
Of the many diets, classes and trainers I saw over a two- in the mirror. The rivet, the crease, the gutter of a line that
month period, this is what I learnt: used to slice down between my eyes, that I saw as the physi-
1. Yoga was not for me. I loved the classes themselves, and cal manifestation of all that had happened to me in the last
thrived on the breathing, and the meditation and the stretch- decade, was gone. Im not vain, but I felt like I looked like
ing. The problem was post-class I would be irritable all day. the person I was supposed to be and I was ecstatic.
Was I doing something wrong? Who knew? 7. Psycle classes. Psycle as in psychotic. Psycle as in the rst
2. Boxing was absolutely up my street. My arms are usually time you do it cycling in the dark for 45 minutes to rave
so weak I get tired holding a telephone to my ear. But the music without ever putting your bum on the seat youll
energy and the adrenalin required to box is thrilling. I could have post-traumatic stress. After that, you can cope. Because
feel my pupils dilating, which I took as a good sign. you can feel it working, fast.
3. The best place to box, and to have personal training some- Eight weeks in, bearing in mind Id sometimes only done
thing that as an idea usually makes my esh crawl is Bodyism two classes per seven days, my axis was shifting. I was sleep-
in Notting Hill. The smoothies are great, the trainers look like ing better, and capable of seeing around the problem and
angels but work you as hard as the devil; they are entirely into solutions; I looked fresher, and was calmer. Then, one
exible around your schedule, and they make it interesting. day, I felt a little something under my ribcage. What was it?
(What shape would you like? said Fun George one day, while A muscle! Ive never had a muscle! I call her Frederica. And
stretching me out after a session. A rhombus! I shouted with on the rare occasions I do feel overwhelmed, I give her a
glee. He looked confused. No dude, he said, what shake?) little jab. And everything feels so much brighter.

BOOK IT BODYISM MEMBERSHIP 420 PER MONTH; PERSONAL TRAINER FROM 100 A SESSION (BODYISM.COM.) VITAMIN
INFUSIONS FROM 147, NOSH DETOX (NOSHDETOX.COM). SPRING GREEN PLANT-BASED PROGRAMMES FROM 36 PER DAY (SPRINGGREEN
LONDON.COM). SESSION WITH DR SEBAGH FROM 500 (DRSEBAGH.COM). PSYCLE FROM 18 A CLASS (PSYCLELONDON.COM)

50 Spa Guide March 2017


T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

the feel-good

factor
Cocoon yourself at one of Marbella Clubs
all-encompassing wellbeing breaks

boot camp sessions, boxing, jogging and TRX to


hiking in the hills, paddle boarding and cycling.
Then, once Blanco has blasted you, the more Zen-
like Mari Angeles Linde will stretch, strengthen and
soothe you with all things holistic: yoga, meditation,
Pilates and Five Tibetans.

Food for thought comes courtesy of nutrition expert


Amanda Hamilton who runs a variety of seminars Healing Holidays can arrange a ve-night stay from
and workshops throughout the year (youre even 2,699 per person sharing a Deluxe Double. This
allowed a 150ml glass of organic wine). All things includes ights, transfers, full board and all
medical are supervised by the well-respected doctor treatments as per the four-day Mediterranean
Jos Luis Guijarro Arcas. They take a thorough Lifestyle programme. Exclusive to Healing Holidays
approach here, so be prepared for a full medical and is a 10% discount on the wellness programme and
nspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet, body analysis, a genetic test, checks on nutrient and a 25-minute welcome massage. Exclusive to Cond

I Marbella Clubs new wellbeing programmes are


set to be a 2017 health hit. Covering everything
from healthy food and tness activities to effective
medical, holistic, therapeutic and thalassotherapy
treatments, we take a sneak preview.
vitamin levels, organ condition and more.

Not only does this all take place in one of Europes


most iconic hotels; the results are usually immediate
and sustainable. When you leave (although youll be
Nast Traveller readers: enjoy a complimentary
50-minute massage when booking a seven- or
14-day wellness programme.

For further information or to book, call 020 7843


desperately trying to nd ways to stay), the team of 3592 or visit healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
There are ve options to choose from: Mediterranean experts put together a complete homecare health
Lifestyle, Beauty, Emotional Rebalance, Performance and wellness guide to ensure that what goes on
and Body Rebalance. These are then personalised to tour certainly doesnt stay on tour.
suit each individual. Much of the action takes place
at the beyond impressive Thalasso Spa, where they
Clockwise from top:
specialise in invigorating treatments that use the
garden views from
ancient healing powers of seawater. Tension melts
Marbella Clubs Junior
away as soon as you step inside. This is a cocoon Suite; a beach training
where you can indulge in everything from a Marine session with Daniel
Massage and Sweet & Salty Bath to the two-hour Blanco; the resorts
Al-Andalus Thalasso, perfectly complemented by jetty; healing waters
mineral-rich showers, seawater hydro-jet massage at Thalasso Spa
pools and algotherapy.

Exercise is key to all ve programmes and head


trainer Daniel Blanco leads an exceptional team of
coaches. After a personal assessment, a bespoke
itinerary is devised, which can include anything from
FITNESS
KICKS
FEEL THE BURN AND GET PHYSICAL FOR REAL RESULTS

00 Spa Guide
52 March
Special March2017
2017
2017
WINNER
WEIGHT
BEST NEW WILDFITNESS LOSS
FITNESS HIGHLANDS, SCOTLAND
REGIME
IN BRIEF BACK-TO-BASICS, BODY-CHANGING WORKOUTS

WEIGHT
RANCHO LA PUERTA LOSS The Wildtness set-up is not for everyone. It involves forgetting
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO inhibitions and reconnecting with your inner child. But the payback
for immersing in the hunter-gatherer concept is an undeniably
IN BRIEF THE ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP IS STILL LEADING THE WAY rousing way to lose weight, get t and tone up. Tumble about on
the sand in the African heat of a Zanzibar beach, gallop through the
ancient olive groves in Crete, or head for Alladale Wilderness
The oldest destination spa in North America, which opened to
Reserve in the Scottish Highlands, the tribes newest outpost con-
guests in 1940 (you had to bring your own tent), has everything
veniently about an hours ight from London to Inverness. The base
going for it, especially for action bunnies. Fly to San Diego and
is a Victorian stone lodge in a whopping 23,000 acres of dramatic
drive across the Mexican border into the foothills of Mount
mountains, gorse-clad hills and inky-black lochs. This is where
Kuchumaa, held sacred by Native Americans. The atmosphere is
multi-millionaire MFI heir Paul Listers re-wilding programme, in
spiritually vibrant, and the location, chosen by author, philosopher,
psychologist and natural-living mentor Edmond Szekely, sparkles THOSE USED TO LOLLING ABOUT ON
with high-vibrational energy. An incredible landscape awaits:
4,000 acres of stunning private grounds lled with trailing African THEIR WELLBEING BREAK WILL BE SERIOUSLY
daisies, sunowers and roaming butteries. Days start with early- OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE HERE
morning hikes some on challenging routes, hence the need for
the daily post-breakfast stretching classes. And classes are what action since he purchased the estate in 2003, has begun to restore
stays are centred on, ranging from gentle release-and-mobilise the native ecosystem, which once saw wolves, bears and lynx roam
exercises and several types of Pilates to more hardcore cardio, (the red squirrel is back, and theres a breeding programme for
boxing, kettle bells and bootcamp. The biggest danger is packing Scottish wildcats underway). Those used to lolling about on their
so much into your day that you then render yourself unable to walk, wellbeing break will be seriously out of their comfort zone here. The
which isnt ideal as getting around the campus easily clocks up to wild workouts are designed to take you back to those childhood
ve miles on the provided pedometer, there to measure what the days of unselfconscious play. Youll be scrambling up steep mossy
ranch likes to encourage: incidental tness. Its easy to accomplish banks, forward rolling on muddy lawns (often strewn with stag
when wandering from workouts to talks including speakers vested poo), walking along wooden planks with eyes closed and slacklining
in the latest nutrition know-how and emotional intelligence to the above whirling rivers. During downtime youll want to disappear
swimming pools, gyms, meditation spaces and spa areas. Signature under your duvet in the tartan- and tweed-trussed bedrooms (ask
treatments are good rather than sensational, so be sure to seek out for a highland view). But theres a sauna to warm up in and roaring
the more transformative specialists, such as Jonelle Rutkauskas. log res in the sitting rooms, plus talks on healthy living before
She offers extraordinary energy healing, which helps release past supper. Delicious, plant-rich meals are rened-sugar- and dairy-
traumas and reset the central nervous system. Food is healthy but free. Fill up on protein: a healthy version of a Scotch egg wrapped in
abundant, and suppers are sit-down, four-course affairs where venison for lunch and bone broth with shcakes and celeriac mash
you are encouraged to bond with other guests, most of whom are for supper. Hold out for the beach day on the west coast for cart-
old hands. Indeed, it seems almost everyone is American, and wheeling in the sand, rock climbing and learning to run like a pro.
nearly all have visited more than ve times, which really does say

THE RANCH ISNT HIP OR CUTTING EDGE,


BUT IT DESERVES A PLACE IN THE ROLL-CALL
OF THE WORLDS BEST DESTINATION SPAS
something. Szekely is now long gone (he died in Costa Rica in
1979), but his wife Deborah, who also founded Californias Golden
Door, and their daughter, Sarah Brightwood, remain at the helm,
and a feeling of a tight community reverberates. This is perhaps
most apparent in the hilariously exuberant and popular dance class
with Yuichi Sugiyama. A Hollywood choreographer, he is one of the
stars of the present-day manifestation of the ranch and is utterly
amazing, with a diamant-crop-top flamboyance all his own.
Nothing will get you smiling more. The ranch isnt hip or cutting But the highlight of the week is a youthful version of the Highland
edge, but it deserves a place in the roll-call of the worlds best des- games: welly throwing, caber lifting, shot putting, rope jumping and
tination spas, with all the pioneering touchstones on which it was a highly competitive tug of war. At rst it can be hard to let go of the
founded remaining: a belief in fresh air, natural foods, exercising in instinct to resist everything, but somehow youll do it anyway and feel
nature, personal reflection time and human connection. And mighty proud of yourself afterwards with a reshaped body to boot.
INSIDER TIP The weather is unpredictable and its common to expe-
PHOTOGRAPH: JULIE MIKOS

above all, it rests in one of the most exquisitely beautiful pockets


of our planet. Seek it out. rience four seasons in one day, so bring layers for every conceivable
INSIDER TIP Beware of the skunks that skulk near pathways. If they condition. Laundry is included, and theres a drying room too.
spray you, a bath in tomato ketchup is the antidote to the foul smell. BOOK IT A week-long retreat costs from 2,400 per person full
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays. board, including assessments, skills sessions, workshops and a
co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night Barefoot and Blissful spa deep-tissue massage (+44 7415 884 312; wildtness.com). British
programme from 4,599 per person full board, including ights, Airways (ba.com) offers a daily return service between Heathrow
transfers and all treatments and activities as per the programme. and Inverness.
FITNESS KICKS

WEIGHT
NEW IN:SPA AT CAL REIET LOSS
and smooth, creamy locally sourced stone (also used to build Palmas
cathedral). But when In:spa rolls in, its in full take-over mode. After
MALLORCA, SPAIN hiding all the biodynamic wine from the pool-side restaurant, a crack
team of experts devise schedules. Programmes are a mix of combined
IN BRIEF SHAKE UP YOUR SYSTEM WITH A LASTING LEGACY
activities (HIIT workouts, a 10km coastal hike, yoga) and more tai-
lored, emotionally nourishing sessions (personal training, nutrition
It is testament to the popularity of In:spa that more than half of the advice and massages). Its not particularly exible, but relinquishing
attendees are repeat visitors. No doubt this is thanks to a winning decision making for a week is hugely relaxing, as is exercising in such
formula based not on denial (as per well-known Austrian and German lovely surroundings. The spacious yoga pavilion means youll never
clinics) but on a realistic, holistic approach to wellness. The result is a have a sweaty armpit in your face during a vinyasa class. At the heart
break that feels both physically demanding and self-indulgent. The
company has expanded its peripatetic programme beyond its THE PROGRAMME ISNT PARTICULARLY
original location in Morocco to an outpost in south-west France FLEXIBLE, BUT RELINQUISHING DECISION
and, now, Mallorca. Base camp is Cal Reiet, a fantastically smart
15-bedroom manor house: all serene white walls, antique furniture MAKING FOR A WEEK IS HUGELY RELAXING
of the experience is the food, a menu of mainly vegetarian dishes
such as seed bread slathered in almond butter and avocado, tur-
meric and pea salad. Yes, its caffeine-, wheat- and dairy-free, says
nutritionist Tanya Borowski, not because abstinence is a cure-all for
everyone, but because this approach impacts the widest range of ail-
ments. She offers specics too cutting out wheat to relieve PMT, or
increasing time between meals to boost weight loss. Her enthusiasm
is so infectious its hard not to take a little bit of it home with you,
which is surely one of the best things about the In:spa blueprint a
wellness break that makes you feel cosseted when youre away, and
keeps making you feel better, if you keep trying, weeks later.
INSIDER TIP Brief the personal trainer and nutritionist about specic
concerns ahead of sessions so they can prep accordingly.
BOOK IT Seven-day retreats costs from 2,195 per person full board,
including activities (+44 20 3235 0120; inspa-retreats.com).

WEIGHT friends and mother-daughter pairings, who lie in the sun like lizards
EPIC SANA ALGARVE LOSS
between appointments. The most secluded rooms are the garden
PORTUGAL suites, but whichever you go for, the interiors are clean-lined and
contemporary with pops of lime to break up the white. If youre not
IN BRIEF HEART-PUMPING CHALLENGES BY THE BEACH
watching what you eat at dinner, tuck into a bowl of pasta at Italian
restaurant and bar Lima; made-to-order sushi at By Epic Bar; or a
This four-year-old Algarve hotel combines a seaside setting thats tasting menu at Al Quimia, which is overseen by executive chef Lus
hot and close to home, with comprehensive wellness retreats. There Mouro (as seen on the Portuguese Top Chef television series).
is a certain joy that comes from exercising outdoors in such beauti- Theres often live music in the courtyard, and when there is a full
fully landscaped grounds. Sign up for a bootcamp and your rst moon, a make-shift bar is set up on the sand and a reggae band
glimpse of the sand could be while running up and down the 149 plays late into the evening.
steps of the wooden boardwalk that leads down to Falsia beach. INSIDER TIP Do stroll down to look at the boardwalk at night. Its cut
Twice. There are also circuits burpees on the lawn, tricep dips on into the cliff face, which is lit up after dark so the rock looks like
the tennis courts, press-ups on a tyre by the family pool and otherworldly green and pink coral.
mountain bike rides through pine forests and along red-soil cliffs BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
towards Vilamoura Marina. The other ve programmes range from co.uk/condenast) offers a ve-night yoga retreat from 1,250 per
de-stress to detox the latest, which launched in November, is person, including ights, transfers, treatments and activities as per
mindfulness and all run for either ve or seven nights. Some have the programme. HEALING HOLIDAYS EXCLUSIVE Book a ve-night
personalised meal plans devised by a nutritionist: sip mid-morning programme and receive a free upgrade to a Deluxe Ocean Facing
protein shakes in the sunshine and eat in the main restaurant Abyad, room and 15 per cent off wellness treatments.
where no one bats an eyelid if youre dining solo. If you dont have
the time to commit to a full retreat, there are one-on-one tness
sessions, or you can dip into the Epic Vital plan, a daily programme
of classes including spinning and tabata (high-intensity, 20-second
exercises with a 10-second rest in between). Yoga is taught by
Frenchman Joo Gouveia, who also heads up the twice-daily classes
on the retreat. He shies away from traditional poses and instead
offers a hybrid form of cosmic yoga aimed at increasing mobility and
unlocking energy channels. Many of the treatments can also form
part of a retreat, such as the more straightforward deep-kincho
massage (good for releasing muscle tension) using Aromatherapy
Associates oils, and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, including
mesotherapy for targeted fat reduction. The vibe is friendly and laid-
back; the place is full of 30-something couples, 50-something

54 Spa Guide March 2017


Apply
now!

COURSES
World-class fashion education in
the heart of central London
www.condenastcollege.ac.uk

Get the degree


youve always
dreamed of !
BA (Hons) Fashion
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kingdom of
wellbeing
Healing Holidays scours the globe for the very best spa experiences, and
every year Thailand invariably comes out top. Whether youre dabbling
RUGHGLFDWLQJ+HDOLQJ+ROLGD\VZLOOQGWKHULJKW7KDLUHWUHDWIRU\RX

olistic and spiritual healing are part and parcel of one of the rst places to be associated with the term

H Thai life, an essence that evolves from its gentle


loving people, calm waters, sun-drenched islands,
healthy food, holy monks and healing hands.
The word relax permeates Thailands silky soft sand
and jungle interiors. This natural idyll encourages
destination spa (the brilliant Chiva-Som opened in
1995). Since then the countrys spa scene has gone
stratospheric, its offerings reading like an A to Z of
wellbeing. From holistic healing weeks to hillside burnout
retreats; from yoga courses and Pilates boot camps to
travellers to escape the rat race, slow down and reconnect. sleep therapy; from medical spas to beachside detox
Whether youre going for the horizontal approach on a weeks, you name it, Thailand does it.
faraway beach or elephant trekking through national
parks, Thailand itself is a tonic. But throw in the spa Healing Holidays recommendations are always based
factor and youll nd a new you sipping green tea and on rst-hand experience places tried, tested and trusted
practising yoga in no time at all. Given the countrys by experts who have been there. Bespoke trips are then
rejuvenating nature, it comes as no surprise that Healing created for each individual and value for money
Holidays has unearthed many of the worlds best spas, (particularly in Thailand) is guaranteed. Whether
retreats and clinics on Thai shores. As the UKs leading youre in need of gentle time out or a hardcore health
independent specialist, the expert team travels extensively overhaul, Healing Holidays has picked a trio of Thai
in search of new gems to add to its ever-impressive health retreats that will help you get back on track. Whether
and wellness portfolio. Many are in Thailand, with some its for a weekend or for life, Healing Holidays and
remaining exclusive to Healing Holidays. Thailand was Thailand will help you relax and recharge.
T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

Clockwise from
bottom left: local
owers and spices;
welcome to Krabi;
Absolute Sanctuarys
pool; aerodynamic
exercises and healthy
cuisine on offer at
the resort

Absolute Sanctuary into three phases: cleansing, change and anew.


If youre partial to small but brilliant spa hotels, this Whether youre cocooned for two days or two
Koh Samui hideaway is one to hole up in. Gorgeous months, this piece of mind- and body-altering
but under-the-radar, Absolute Sanctuary is a simple paradise might be small but its big on results.
Moroccan-inspired spa and Asias rst Fitness
Wellness resort. Originally known for its yoga retreats,
it has grown into a fully edged wellness destination, Healing Holidays can arrange a seven-night Yoga
a dream place to lose weight, get tter, eat healthily Programme from 1,939 per person sharing a
and indulge in total me time. Superior room. This includes ights, transfers, full
board and all treatments according to the Yoga
Yoga bunnies will be in Zen heaven but its also big on Programme. Exclusive to Healing Holidays, for
Pilates, being home to Asias rst Pilates Reformer every seven-night programme booked, guests
bootcamp, a challenge for even the strongest core. receive two complimentary nights on a B&B basis,
This year sees two newcomers to the wellbeing an upgrade to a Deluxe Room, a complimentary
agenda: Meaningful Holiday and Lifestyle Change. Pilates class and a 60-minute Thai massage.
The three-day/two-night Meaningful Holiday is a
go-with-the-ow introduction to a wellness holiday. For further information call Healing
For anyone with time to spare, the Lifestyle Change Holidays on 020 7843 3592 or visit
programme is a serious 30- or 60- day retreat split healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

and set against the soundtrack of birdsong and rushing


holistic water, just being at Kamalaya works wonders on the
mind, body and soul. And thats before you set foot in
the vast villas, sink into a massage bed for died-and-

heaven
gone-to-heaven treatments, hide away in a yoga pavilion
or meditate in the candlelit monks cave.

Holistic is the word du jour and Kamalaya offers a vast


range of life-enriching wellness programmes including
Head to Koh Samui to detox, emotional balance, tness, yoga and three
QGWKHQHZ\RXDWWKH different solutions for stress and burnout: Relax &
EOLVVIXO.DPDOD\D Renew, Asian Bliss and Balance & Revitalise. Some Healing Holidays can arrange a seven-night
guests arrive at breaking point, while others just need Relax & Renew Programme from 2,119 per person
uilt around a tiny cave where Buddhist monks some time out. Relax & Renew is the gentlest sharing a Hillside Room. This includes ights,

B once came to meditate, Kamalaya Wellness


Sanctuary and Holistic Spa remains cloaked in
spirituality. Its essence is expressed in its name:
programme, more on the spa side of recovery. With
soothing treatments complemented by nourishing food
and holistic activities, its perfect for those who just
Kamalaya means Lotus Realm, an ancient symbol for need to slow down and reconnect. Theres an emphasis
the growth and unfolding of the human spirit. And this on synergy, and Kamalaya nds the perfect balance
transfers, full board and all treatments as per the
programme. Exclusive to Cond Nast Traveller
readers: book a seven-night wellness programme and
receive a complimentary 150 wellness voucher. In
addition, book your stay in a Suite Sea View and
is exactly the effect Kamalaya has on its hundreds of between ancient Asian healing traditions, holistic receive a complimentary upgrade to a Sea View
guests. This heavenly hideaway is a place to relax, approaches and medical research. A team of Villa or a Superior Suite Sea View, including early
reconnect, nurture and heal. Hidden in a jungle-clad naturopaths can also work with you to create your check-in/late check-out. Terms & conditions apply.
ravine (theres a private sandy beach at the bottom), own personalised health programme.

Clockwise from top: Kamalayas approach is unusually (but effectively)


Kamalayas open gentle. This could be down to the fact that it is
treatment room; an the creation of husband-and-wife team John and
abdominal detox
Karina Stewart, a former yogi and monk, and a
massage; meditation
in a candlelit cave Masters graduate of traditional Chinese medicine,
respectively. Whatever it is, Kamalayas otherworldly
vibe is far removed from 21st-century modern living
and inspires, empowers and motivates guests to
continue their healing journey at home.

To book, contact Healing Holidays on 020 7843


3592 or visit healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
T RAVELLER AD VERT ISEM EN T FEAT U RE

good for

the soul

ow in its 22nd year, Chiva-Som International Chiva-Som International Health Resort

N Health Resort remains the Grande Dame of


wellness destinations, purging and cleansing its
faithful following since 1995. Back then, the
word spa was a novelty. Today its a multi-billion dollar
industry and Chiva-Som remains triumphantly at the
is looking better than ever. We check
out whats on the agenda for 2017

is, of course, personalised. In addition to the brilliant


top, pioneering health and wellbeing with its results- resident spa therapists, nutritionists, doctors, personal
driven ethos. Tucked away in Hua Hin (a three-hour trainers and naturopaths, there is a stream of visiting
drive from Bangkok), Chiva-Som tackles everything consultants. The 2017 calendar includes experts from
from weight loss and detox to health issues such as around the world, dealing in everything from energy Healing Holidays can arrange a seven-night stay
hypertension and burnout, and new retreats to support healing and Chinese medicine to hypnotherapy and from 3,679 per person sharing, including ights,
guests with conditions like migraines, stress and excess Noguchi Seitai therapy. You name it, Chiva-Som will transfers, accommodation in an Ocean Room, full
weight were launched last year. The facilities 70 most likely do it. The food is saintly yet scrumptious. board, a wellness consultation, weekly activities
treatment rooms, a kinesis studio, watsu pool and Kneipp Fresh, calorie-counted and packed with therapeutic and daily spa treatments.
Healing Holidays Exclusive Offer: enjoy a 625
bath, to list just a few are second to none. There is an ingredients, it is free from salt and fat but bursting with
wellness voucher to use towards treatments from
encyclopedic range of spa and alternative treatments so many avours, youd never know. The rooms have
the health and wellness menu.
on offer, including some of the best massages youll also undergone a recent refurb by American architect
ever experience, facials, scrubs, polishes, milk baths, and interior designer Edward Tuttle. Lighter, brighter
acupuncture, chakra balancing and physiotherapy. and more spacious, the Ocean Rooms are particularly To book, contact Healing Holidays on 020 7843
The activity roster is equally impressive, with tai chi, good for the soul. Overall, the resort has never looked, 3592 or visit healingholidays.co.uk/condenast
personal training, Pilates, Thai boxing, TRX, Zumba, felt or been better. And as all the Chiva-Som devotees
aqua box and all variations of yoga. Sheer volume is know, once Chivad, theres no going back.
matched by total expertise, and every individual stay

Clockwise from top:


Chiva-Soms Thai
Pavilions; an Ocean
Deluxe Room; toning
ball exercises;
cleansing cuisine
60 Spa Guide March 2017
FINDING YOUR BALANCE
AUTHORITATIVE AND REFRESHINGLY HOLISTIC OUTFITS IN INCREDIBLE LOCATIONS

NEW

SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON


FELICITE ISLAND, SEYCHELLES
IN BRIEF THRILLING ARRIVAL FROM AN ACCOMPLISHED PLAYER

For many, being on a private island surrounded by luminous waters,


in a villa hidden amongst mango and papaya trees, would be enough
in terms of a restorative rest. Especially given the 200 staff for the
30 villas here. For others though, more intent on science and solu-
tions, meditations and massages, a remarkable spa awaits. After
two Maldives hits, this is Six Senses third foray into the Indian
Ocean and its a game changer. It opens with an Integrated
Wellness programme, a highly bespoke schedule based on
various tests after arrival. A nger oximeter and electrodes measure
key physiological biomarkers in just ve minutes. The details this
throws up are revelatory from the way stress is dealt with to
digestion, spinal health and condition of arteries. Body-composition
analysis follows, and a discussion on lifestyle where theres no point
bbing about the teatime KitKat habit itll show up in the data.
Centring on nutrition, sleep patterns and tness levels, a schedule of
treatments and activities is then worked out to enhance or correct
where necessary. By contrast, the architecture of the spa couldnt
feel less clinical. The ve treatment villas are set above the tur-
quoise surf, each with a side open to the elements and designed
according to its purpose. The Floating Villa, for example, is built on
a large rock and cantilevered over the water to create a feeling of
being suspended, and the Floating Journey treatment inside aims
to de-stress the mind and heal the body through deep relaxation.
Using organic skincare brand Terres dAfrique, it involves an acu-
pressure massage and a facial using jasper-crystal wands, which

KEY PHYSIOLOGICAL BIOMARKERS ARE


MEASURED IN MINUTES AND THE DETAILS
THIS THROWS UP ARE REVELATORY
smooth away ne lines. In the Nature Villa therapies draw on indig-
enous ingredients, from a coconut and salt scrub to a massage
using the hotels signature baobab oil; while the Rock Villa is held
captive between two granite slabs. Here aching shoulders and long-
held tensions are teased out through stretches and cross-muscle
bre techniques. Yoga takes place in a pavilion positioned to catch
sunrise so get up early. The emphasis on wellbeing spills out of the
spa into the bedrooms where handmade mattresses (Naturalmat
from Devon) are topped with Hanse organic pillows and duvets,
which have breathing and cooling pockets. A Sleep Ambassador is
also on hand to talk though and improve troublesome nocturnal
patterns. But it could be that snorkelling among powder-blue
surgeon sh and stripy Moorish idols, or lazing in a hammock on
beaches where turtles lumber up to lay their eggs in season, is
all that is required to rejuvenate and re-group. If not, you are de-
nitely in the right hands.
INSIDER TIP Make the most of the no room-service charges and
order a dairy-free coconut pancake with lime syrup and mango
compote to start your day with a healthy zing.
BOOK IT Scott Dunn (+44 20 8682 5055; scottdunn.com) offers
seven nights from 5,999 per person half board, including ights
and private helicopter transfers.
FINDING YOUR BALANCE

DWARIKAS RESORT
DHULIKHEL, NEPAL
IN BRIEF EASTERN HEALING AND GOOD VIBES AT ALTITUDE

Over the past 45 years, Dwarikas Hotel in Kathmandu has become


the stuff of legend, a quirkily opulent sanctuary amid the noise of
the capital. Its younger sister is Dwarikas Resort, a sprawling spa
retreat above Dhulikhel, a medieval city on the ancient trade route
to Tibet. Here there is the same combination of rosy brickwork and
dark wooden accents that characterises the original, though on a
grander scale, set over acres of lushly planted hillside. The property
is vast guests are given a map on arrival, and its advisable to hang
on to it. In addition to the 39 suites there are meditation and yoga

THE SINGING BOWL RITUAL IS THEATRICAL,


SENSUOUS AND PROFOUNDLY
MOVING, IN THE MOST LITERAL SENSE
halls, chakra sound chambers and a maze of 84 Shiva Linga carv-
ings as well as three restaurants (including a marvellous, wholly
vegetarian Japanese one) and a helipad (handy for those keen to
watch the sun rise over a glass of Champagne at Everest base
NEW camp). Perhaps most extraordinary, though, is the Himalayan salt
TRI therapy room, composed of chunks of pure rock salt. The translu-
LAKE KOGGALA, SRI LANKA cence of the walls admits daylight from outside ltered, softened
and imbued with a lovely pale-pinkish glow. The crystals impart a
IN BRIEF DYNAMIC YOGA PRACTICE THATS MAKING WAVES
tang and thickness to the air itself (good for respiratory issues), and
the effect of spending a few quiet moments here is as pleasing as it
In the heart of an old cinnamon plantation by the palm-shaded is mysterious. On hand to explain this and other mysteries is Dr
banks of Lake Koggala, this is a place to switch off in style. Eight lake- Nirmala Suwal, the in-house Ayurvedic specialist, who will appraise
side villas, some with private pools, are curled around the hill, so the state of your mind, body and even soul, identifying imbalances
hidden among the jungle-sprawl as to be almost invisible. British and prescribing dietary and other lifestyle solutions accordingly.
owner Rob Drummond is big on sustainability, so walls are clad in Highlights include the Shirodhara head massage, using warm
cinnamon and living roofs planted with creepers. Muslin curtains bil-
low in the breeze; doors lead onto terraces overlooking the water.
Its tempting to spend days horizontal beside the sparkling innity
pool jutting out over the lake, but get off the lounger for a yoga
session taught by Robs wife, Lara, whose clients include Gerard
Butler and Sienna Miller. Held in a treetop sala above the bamboo
grove, its not just the usual sun salutations. This is Quantum Yoga,
developed by Lara herself and tailored to your dosha. While youre
there in the cobra pose, do pick Laras brains; shes an Ayurvedic
expert who can sort out your diet and balance your body once and

PHOTOGRAPH: JOSHUA MONAGHAN VIA DAM/HOUSE & GARDEN (PHOEBE GAYDON)


for all. Stretch out further with visiting practitioner Jessie Quon, a
therapist specialising in structural alignment. Youll nd yourself
moving as never before. Keep active by kayaking around the lake, or
try stilt shing, climbing a coconut tree (tricky) and watching out for
wildlife: monitor lizards darting across the paths; electric-blue king-
fishers dipping in the lake, colourful butterflies flit around the
foliage. Afterwards, hole up in the glass-walled library packed medicated oils This is mamas massage, according to Dr Suwal,
with beautiful art, design, architecture and travel books. The food and is believed to grant immunity from illness for a full year. Then
is sensational; there are a whopping seven courses for dinner, which theres the Pancha Kosha Singing Bowl Treatment. This extraordinary
is accompanied by distant chanting from a nearby Buddhist ritual involves metal bowls of various sizes, which are placed against
monastery. Prawns from the lake and herbs from the garden are the body and rhythmically struck. The effect is theatrical, sensuous
among the local ingredients used in interesting takes on Sri Lankan and profoundly moving in the most literal sense, since, as MRI
dishes that include mullet tartar with burnt onion and smoked technology conrms, our internal organs vibrate at particular fre-
potato, and curried cauliflower, spicy carrot, lime emulsion and quencies. This is not something you are likely to encounter so
pickled cucumber. Save space for the buffalo-curd ice cream: its authentically elsewhere. Even the staunchest of spa sceptics will
such a hit they now serve it for breakfast with fresh fruit. Tri is fresh be compelled to think again.
to Sri Lankas hotel scene and its already packing a punch. INSIDER TIP Dwarikas is splendidly situated for views of the
INSIDER TIP The three bedrooms in the water tower, surrounded by Himalayas. Whether or not youll actually see them, however, is in
a moat, are cheaper but just as lovely, with 360-degree views. the hands of the weather gods. Remember, the Second Noble Truth
BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays. of Buddhism states frustrated desire is the root of all unhappiness.
co.uk/condenast) can arrange a seven-night stay from 1,599 per So if the outlook is cloudy, simply try to want to see the mountains less.
person half board, including ights and transfers. HEALING HOLI- BOOK IT Scott Dunn (+44 20 8682 5055; scottdunn.com) offers
DAYS EXCLUSIVE Complimentary room upgrade on arrival. ve nights from 4,200 per person, including ights and transfers.

62 Spa Guide March 2017


NEW KEEMALA
PHUKET, THAILAND
IN BRIEF DREAM-LIKE PLAYGROUND WITH SERIOUS SAVVY

If you like the idea of a spa that will transport you to another world,
one with a great big hit of magic and make-believe, then scoot past
Thailands more established wellness institutions to Keemala.
Arriving at Asias most talked-about new hideaway, its hard to take
it all in; 40-foot pillars shoot from the ground with pod-shaped
chambers set precariously on top, treehouses dangle between
palms like giant Christmas baubles, a tiny waterfall tumbles into an
opal-blue pool. The villas are equally fantastical, ranging from
charming little clay cottages and glammed-up safari tents to ram-
bling villas with enormous pools. Its not theme-parky, though, or
contrived. Interiors are beautiful and not nearly as unconventional
NEW as the exteriors might suggest, with cavernous ceilings, warm
PHUM BAITANG woods and mosaic floors. And then there is the Mala Spa, a
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
THIS MIGHT NOT BE AS LARGE OR AS STRICT
IN BRIEF RESTORATIVE BASE AWAY FROM THE CROWDS
AS ITS COMPETITORS, BUT IS CERTAINLY
Waking up and throwing open shutters to nd a couple of rotund WORTHY OF A PLACE AT THE SAME TABLE
water buffalo trundling through a eld of green is a sight to soothe collection of eight treatment suites overseen by Khun On (previ-
the soul and its one that comes as standard at this Cambodian ously of Kamalaya), each with its own sauna, steam room and
hotspot. Designed to echo the aesthetic of a Khmer village, the 45 aromatherapy tub. Dip in and out of a menu of muscle-thawing
villas are propped up on stilts and separated by frangipani trees massages, seaweed wraps and ve-hour anti-ageing beauty rituals.
and glassy rice paddies, with walkways leading to an excellent res- The products, from Bangkok-based skincare experts Siam
taurant, breezy bar and swimming pool. The overall effect slows the Botanicals, are all-natural lots of lemongrass and ginger root
pulse of even the most frazzled control freak to that of an Indian without a single chemical used. To dig deeper, opt for one of the
yogi within hours of arrival. The second project from the ambitious four holistic living retreats, which include bundles of treatments,
little Zannier Hotels group (its rst being a deeply smart Megve health consultations (with properly useful take-home advice), one-
chalet, with Vietnam, Namibia and Belgium outposts on the way), to-one wellness sessions such as reflexology and yoga, and a
Phum Baitang hits the sweet spot between the big bland brands specially tailored menu of health food expect morning deliveries
and austere heritage hotels that pepper Siem Reap. The focus on of probiotic honey tonic laced with colon-cleansing triphala, ginger
providing deep-reaching spa treatments desperately needed after and turmeric; Chinese herbal consomm, and just-caught sea bass
full days pounding the ruins of Angkor also sets it apart from the with crunchy wing bean and coconut salad. Therapists are intuitive
pack. Constructed from giant slabs of grey sandstone and ornately and caring, often stroking your cheek or braiding your hair at the
carved pillars under a cloak of bamboo and coconut palms, the end of treatments. And visiting practitioners can tune your vibra-
Temple Spa channels the monastic beauty of Angkors ancient tions, dissolve emotional toxins or power-up your chakras try to
architecture. But what really makes this spa sing are the signature get an Integrative Thai Bodywork appointment with Nok Chotalee,
rituals, which are lavish and long-lasting (anything from 80 to 170 who arrives with a toolbox full of crystals, bamboo poles and wood-
minutes), with an emphasis on local ingredients such as jasmine, en chisels to chip away at physical and emotional trigger points.
turmeric, rice powder, raw honey and miracle plant moringa, revered With its laser-focus on the individual, combined with an imagina-
tive environment and supportive staff, a physical, mental and
THE FAR-REACHING TREATMENTS ARE emotional unravelling comes almost immediately. Keemala might
DESPERATELY NEEDED AFTER FULL DAYS not be as large or as strict as its competitors, but is certainly worthy
POUNDING THE RUINS OF ANGKOR of a place at the same table.
INSIDER TIP Dont rule out a visit during the May to November
across Asia for its restorative properties. The peal of a Buddhist med- green season; theres a deeply therapeutic quality to the nightly
itation bell signals the start of the Angkor Ritual, in which the body thunderstorms and pounding tropical rains.
is brushed from head to toe, massaged with a nutty-smelling herbal BOOK IT Cottages from about 510 (+66 76 358 777; keemala.com)
paste, purified with chlorophyll water, then wrapped in banana
leaves. A rose-water facial then tips you from profoundly relaxed to
snoring like a navvy. Too fussy? Try the Touch of Cambodia mas-
sage. Performed dry (wearing cotton pyjamas), two hours of
rhythmic pressing, pounding and stretching help to unravel coiled
muscles, with hot herbal compresses applied to crunched-up
shoulders and frozen lumbar this is the one for those who spend
hours curled over a laptop. Treatments are available until 10pm so
you can roll straight into bed afterwards and be lulled to sleep by a
chorus of chirping cicadas and burping frogs.
INSIDER TIP For a physical hit, take a 20km cycling tour of the
Angkor Wat complex with Grasshopper Adventures, an on-the-
ground outt that has access to parts of the park others cant reach.
BOOK IT Red Savannah (+44 1242 787800; redsavannah.com) offers
ve nights from 1,668 per person, including ights and transfers.
2017
WINNER
BEST NEW
NEW YAAN WELLNESS HIDEAWAY 60-minute session - you lie down as he cradles your head craniosa-
TULUM, MEXICO cral-style and sings soul-stirring American Indian chants. Its a tting
start. Klein has gathered a group of local healers who meld modern
IN BRIEF AUTHENTIC MAYAN SORCERY IN A FAR-OUT SETTING
spa practices with mysticism, massage and herbal medicines their
families have used for generations. It doesnt matter if your basic
Many of Tulums inhabitants came to visit and never left. Its the pull Spanish isnt enough to converse; youre in safe hands with Elizabeth
of nature: miles of aqua sea and white sand backed by thick for the Yan Traditional Mayan, a mesmerising, nurturing ritual
Quintana Roo bush; off-grid night skies full of starlight and moon- including Sobada Maya, deep organ-realigning massage that mirac-
beams. As well as honeymooners and partygoers it has drawn ulously lifts the belly and eliminates bloat. Therapist Arlette has
world-class teachers; one of these is Yaans wizard-like spa director, studied with Mexican tribal leaders and you feel this connection
Bobby Klein. A former rock photographer who hung out with The as she whispers sacred words at the start of the Four Elements treat-
Doors and the Stones in the 1960s, ment and rolls onyx crystals up and
Klein was one of the rst Westerners
to practice acupuncture in LA. These
THE WIZARD-LIKE SPA DIRECTOR IS A FORMER down the spine to unravel back
tension. The Thai Temple treatment
days hes an in-demand Intuitive Life ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER WHO HUNG OUT WITH with Carolina is a physical experience
Counsellor and his powerful energy THE DOORS AND THE STONES IN THE 1960S of deep stretching and unravelling of
radiates throughout Yaans sparkly- muscles, combining recognisable Thai
walled wonderland. Follow the white smoke trail of copal (a sacred massage moves with her own delicate, precision release in long-
resin Mayans burnt to connect to the divine) and itll take you down neglected joints. Klein curated Yaan as a place to reach higher states
to the therapy pools and garden treatment cabins. The lo- style, of awareness. A lofty vision, yes, but its certainly one of a kind, and
modern with rustic touches (changing-room sinks sunk into the more you let go of that urban armour, the more the place opens
reclaimed tree trunks, a vintage Fifties-style dresser in the relaxation you up to self-recovery.
area) is the creation of Sebastian Sas, who co-owns Yaan as well as INSIDER TIP Allow an hour to dip into the therapeutic waters, drawn
Nomade, the accommodation choice of drifter fashionistas, with from cenotes. Spa angels clad in white smocks bring scrubs to the
ocean-front rooms opening out to pristine beach. Yogis will love the steam room, urge you into the cold shower, give a talk through
(more affordable) Bedouin tents. Kick things off with a one-to-one meditation and afterwards offer sweet tea and a shoulder-melting
multi-dimensional counselling with Klein, whose background in hot pad as you lie in the shade under the palms.
Jungian psychotherapy brings forth life-coping strategies as well BOOK IT Doubles at Nomade about 265, including breakfast (+52
as connection to your spiritual side. Healing is a big part of the 984 179 1530; yaanwellness.com).
FINDING YOUR BALANCE

KAMALAYA
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
IN BRIEF TROPICAL HAVEN FOR HEALTH ISSUES

On a steep outcrop, all birdsong and boulders, above one of the


islands remotest beaches, Kamalaya is unlike anywhere else. It
opened in 2005, the creation of Karina and John Stewart, whod
met in the Himalayas: she a Princeton academic with a Masters in
traditional Chinese medicine, he a yogi and founder of an Indian
ashram. Innovatively, they chose an artist, Rob Powell, rather than
an architect to design it, incorporating existing rocks and trees into
the buildings. And to the usual spa menu of massages they stirred
in a blend of Eastern and Western therapies: TCM, homeopathy,
naturopathic treatments, hi-tech diagnostic procedures, Pilates, qi
gong, pranayama. The gentle vibe and that intelligent mix have
made it a success from the start. As one Notting Hill regular says,
Why go anywhere else? There are killer treatments; coffee, croissants
and organic wine are allowed; and where else does the receptionist huge expectations, and youll be utterly hooked. Rajesh and his two
own an elephant? The networking is a lot of fun. Some evenings equally chilled colleagues, Smitha Jayakumar and Sujay Seshadri,
the communal restaurant table feels like a kind of mini UN, with talk such profound good sense that an increasing number of busi-
expats based in Singapore, Shanghai or Hong Kong noisily catching ness folk come here specically to sound out their plans. The three
up with new-found friends. Theres usually the odd familiar face of them are leading a programme called Finding Emotional Balance,
too, Jasmine Helmsley say, giving everything a cool current. The one of the small-group life-enhancement retreats launched this
beauty of the place provides another draw, and there are so many year, and if you want a place youd better be quick.
enticing spots to tuck yourself away with a book that its a mistake INSIDER TIP The most covetable rooms are not, as you might
to reserve too many treatments in advance. Early-morning yoga is a expect, the beachfront villas but the mid-level ones, which have
delight and free and after that simply breathing in the scent of views of the sea and arent too much of a climb from the restaurant.
frangipani and listening to the breeze ruffle the leaves of the banana BOOK IT Healing Holidays (+44 20 7843 3592; healingholidays.
trees proves mind-washingly relaxing enough. End each day with a co.uk/condenast) offers a seven-night Relax & Renew programme
group meditation or a candlelit massage, though, picking your way from 2,119 per person full board, including ights, transfers, all
along paths lit with Japanese lanterns. Also worth booking is the treatments and a 150 wellness voucher. HEALING HOLIDAYS
opportunity to discuss anything you like with a mentor. Go along EXCLUSIVE Book a stay in a Suite Sea View room and receive a com-
for a session with Rajesh Ramani, a former monk, even without any plimentary upgrade.

else, make an appointment with Pilant Ananchaipatana-Auitragoon.


Her directional wellness consultations are not just about analysing
measurements - height, weight, BMI and blood pressure - but nd-
ing out how healthy the mind is through a series of tough-to-answer
questions. Tears are not uncommon, nor a bad thing, as she chal-
lenges guests to properly think about their relationship with food,
stress and exercise. Like the river that rushes past, Mandapas ther-
apists are powerful. The signature Mepijet massage with ESPAs
detoxifying oil combines acupressure, kneading and long, forceful
strokes to obliterate stubborn knots. Youll feel groggy afterwards as
your body ushes out toxins, so curl up by the pool with a fresh coco-
nut. Smiling, says Ketut Bandiastra, brings health. His early-morning
pranawayu classes are about breathing goodness into your belly
and life into your brain cells with physically demanding poses. Come

A SERIES OF TOUGH-TO-ANSWER
PHOTOGRAPHS: JON ATTENBOROUGH; PRUE RUSCOE

QUESTIONS FINDS OUT HOW HEALTHY THE


NEW MANDAPA, A RITZ- MIND IS. TEARS ARE NOT UNCOMMON
CARLTON RESERVE back tomorrow, he says, when you cant master a trickier asana. Tapa
BALI, INDONESIA meditation is something extra-special. Led by Ketut Madi, the son
of a local priest, its more strenuous than it sounds, incorporating
IN BRIEF WONDER THERAPISTS AND A FRESH ISLAND VIEW eyes-shut tree poses (go on, try it) and rhythmic breathing exer-
cises that work the brain as well as lungs. Along with everything else
Its not surprising Ritz-Carlton wanted a slice of Balis feelgood at this wellbeing heavyweight, its incredibly grounding.
action for its third Reserve property (after Krabi in Thailand and INSIDER TIP Align your stay with visiting specialist blind healer Ketut
Puerto Rico). On the banks of the Ayung River, the jungly retreat of Mersi, who scans your body with reiki and reexology techniques to
Mandapa has all the bells and whistles thats expected of it. Built in make spookily spot-on diagnoses.
the style of a traditional Balinese village around an existing Hindu BOOK IT Doubles from 350, including breakfast (+62 361 479
shrine, the 60 suites are slick and hi-tech. Before doing anything 2777; mandapareserve.com).

March 2017 Spa Guide 65


HOMEGROWN HEALERS

PUT A SPELL ON YOU


IN LONDON OUTSIDE LONDON

BEST FOR SHEDDING WEIGHT BEST FOR IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS


AKCELINA CVIJETIC ANDREW WALLAS
A nutritionist with an edge, Harley Street-based Cvijetic (who counts Hailed as the Modern Day Wizard, Wallas specialises in clearing
Goldie Hawn and Imran Khan among her clients) asks people to keep repetitive negative patterns of behaviour to release true potential.
a food diary to analyse how diet affects their mood and life goals. Practicing from a crystal-covered healing room in his home near
Depending on her ndings she may perform neuro-linguistic program- Henley, he uses a number of techniques including bodywork (using
ming or hypnotherapy to help reset healthier eating patterns and boost controlled breathing to release holding patterns in the body), and role
condence. Shes hot on supplements play (you might have to pretend to
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GHEE WHIZZ
AYURVEDA, INDIAS TRADITIONAL HEALING SYSTEM, IS OLDER THAN
BUDDHISM BUT IS NOW HAVING A DISTINCTLY MODERN MOMENT

BY DAISY FINER. IMAGES BY SAMANTHA CASOLARI

After years of experiencing all manner of European at my pace. Several months afterwards, I had integrated
detoxes from juice cleanses to the famously ushing Mayr much of what I learnt (respecting my unique body clock,
diet it wasnt until recently that I underwent a detoxifying eating the right foods, sleeping for enough hours) into my
Ayurvedic panchakarma. Despite the fact that I wasnt daily life with much greater ease than I have after returning
exactly slumming it I stayed in ve-star style at one of my from other, more familiar cleanses.
favourite spas in the world, the Four Seasons Landaa So I am an ardent convert to Ayurveda. I already knew
Giraavaru in the Maldives it was denitely one of the most it was the traditional healing system of India, believed to be
challenging and unpalatable regimes I have encountered. the oldest surviving complete system of knowledge in the
What surprised me the most was that none of the usual rules world. Now I also know it to provide one of the most excep-
applied. Under no circumstances was I allowed to exercise, tional and spiritual cleansing regimes I have come across.
nor could I drink fresh coconut water, usually advocated for One that works on all levels without just being concerned
its nutritional benets. Other rules included no sunbathing, with weight-loss. Ayurveda has been practiced in India for
no sex and, honestly worst of all, no sleep during the day around 5,000 years and descriptions of it appear in the Vedas,
the idea being to reset your body clock. I had left three small the countrys original literature. It translates as science of
children behind at home. I was serious, and more than a tiny life in Sanskrit ayu means life and veda means knowledge
bit angry, when I explained to Dr Shylesh, the Ayurvedic and this holistic system is a subtle, complex, all-embracing
prescription for how to live your life. As one starts to explore
BY THE TIME I GOT HOME I the subject it seems a shame the philosophy has, until recent-
WAS SO GROUNDED MY FEET ly, been so little known in the West.
LITERALLY FELT MAGNETICALLY Plenty of Ayurvedic lifestyle advice is easy to take on
board. Nutmeg stirred into hot water will help you sleep,
ATTACHED TO THE FLOOR
chewing fennel seeds will get rid of bad breath; a paste of
doctor in charge, that I hadnt slept properly in years. At one turmeric and sandalwood powder clears acne; inhaling steam
point he actually appeared from behind a bush just as I was from hot water mixed with powdered ginger can relieve a
about to doze off on the beach, declaring No sleep Miss cold. It is also considered important to sit up straight when
Daisy, NO sleep. I soon realised that while I might not be eating, avoid distractions and focus on the sensation of
in motherland India, they take their Ayurveda seriously here. chewing. One should consume no more than the equivalent
Most challenging of all? Drinking a daily cup of mildly spiced of two handfuls of food at a meal because overeating, appar-
and salted ghee, the claried butter revered for its seem- ently, causes the production of toxins in the digestive tract
ingly endless benecial effects. It is said to loosen the toxins but eating light foods such as millet, tapioca and rye will
until they seep through to your pores. Once this happens not increase your weight even if taken in large quantities.
the body is ready for a variety of rather horric toxin- One should try to incorporate yoga and meditation into a daily
releasing techniques such as emesis (vomiting), purgatives,
enemas and even nasal therapy, in which strips of linen are I NOW KNOW IT TO PROVIDE
passed up both nostrils the door to the brain before ONE OF THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL
being threaded out of the throat. AND SPIRITUAL CLEANSING
I completed my panchakarma in 10 days, the shortest
REGIMES I HAVE COME ACROSS
period allowed; the recommended time is 21 days, and if
undertaken for this long the effects are meant to last three routine, and rise with the sun, sleep with the moon. Ayurveda
years. While admitting that it was by far the most difcult provides a pattern to a whole way of life. With the crazy pace
detox I have ever done despite the joy of the two-hour, of our modern world its no wonder that we are starting to
two-therapist spa treatments (on wooden massage beds with see an emerging acceptance of this ancient wisdom.
brass jugs of oil and lots of steam-room heat) I can also
hand-on-heart say that it was the most effective, transform- In 2015, emine rushtons book The Body Balance Diet Plan
ative and revealing experience Ive been through. By the time was praised for translating this philosophical medical system
I got home I was so grounded my feet literally felt magnet- into a language that makes it easily applicable to 21st-
ically attached to the oor. I had been taken back to the century living, including advice on eating with the seasons,
basic essence of me. Free. Gap Year alive. Time was owing the power of spice, curbing cravings, and understanding your

March 2017 Spa Guide 69


HEALTH REPORT

body type. And in the same year, the UKs rst proper Cotswolds and who runs a clinic in London. She has been
Ayurvedic retreat opened: Clover Mill in Worcestershire. practicing for more than 30 years, and gives wonderful tours
While owner Julie Dent doesnt offer the full panchakarma of her garden where she grows more than 150 species of
cleanse, she does arrange personal programmes with deli- herbs, including those to help babies to sleep and wild yam
cious, home-cooked Ayurvedic meals, expertly delivered spa and ladys mantle to promote fertility. Her ofce is packed
treatments including abhyanga massage and the insanely with enticing bottles, labelled BFG-style with the complaints
relaxing shirodhara (the continual pouring of warm oil onto they are said to cure, from night coughs to love handles.
the middle of the forehead) daily yoga, and lovely eco- As ancient as Ayurveda is, says McIntyre, it is based on
lodges to sleep in. I recommend even a three-night stay if truths that are still relevant today.
you are seeking a turnaround. There is a lot to nd out about Ayurveda and should you
Elsewhere, Jasmine Hemsleys pop-up caf East by West wish to learn more youd be following a long line of students.
on Londons Conduit Street was inspired by her own pan- The first Ayurvedic school, McIntyre informs me, was
chakarma journey in India last summer and served modern
food based on Ayurvedic concepts, including golden milk, BOTTLES ARE LABELLED, BFG-
avoured with a powerhouse of spices: turmeric (anti-inam- STYLE, WITH THE COMPLAINTS
matory) and cardamom (anti-spasmodic). In Ayurveda, THEY ARE SAID TO CURE, FROM
warm milk (organic and full fat) is believed to be easily digest-
COUGHS TO LOVE HANDLES
ed, nourishes all the tissues and promotes balanced emotions.
Jasmine has also just secured a book deal for an Ayurvedic founded in 800bc by a physician called Punarvasu Atreya.
cookbook and the East by West website has an online To be enrolled, prospective students were given the task of
questionnaire so you can establish your body type, or dosha. collecting plants from the jungle that had no medicinal value.
Understanding your dosha is key to Ayurveda. For those Only one student, Jivaka, returned empty-handed and was
not familiar with the basics, an Ayurvedic approach to health instantly accepted. Over the centuries Ayurveda thrived,
is ltered through a framework of three different body types. inuencing systems of medicine across the world, from
Dr Vasant Lad, who, in 1984, founded the Ayurvedic Institute ancient Greece to China. The Buddha was a follower, and
in New Mexico, is author of the most comprehensible books so it spread via monks to Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea
on the subject. He was inspired to become a doctor after and Sri Lanka. It is shameful to think that in 1833 the British
seeing how an Ayurvedic expert cured his grandmother of closed all Ayurvedic schools, proclaiming it as nothing more
high blood pressure and swelling so bad that even taking than native superstition. And yet this was knowledge that
her pulse was impossible. As he explains, each persons con- had been handed down through countless generations, by
stitution is made up of the ve basic elements air, re, water, traditional healers, grandmothers and nomadic elders. But
earth and ether manifested as three principles, or tridosha. by 1947 it had begun to ourish again and there are now
Each person has a predominant dosha: vata (made up of Ayurvedic hospitals all over India, and the World Health
ether and air), pitta (re and water) or kapha (earth and Organisation is determined to promote its benets in devel-
water), and these govern all the biological functions of the oping countries where it can provide an inexpensive and
mind, body and consciousness. So what you eat, and the effective alternative to Western drugs.
various lifestyle approaches you should adopt are all depend- Obviously it is preferable to experience Ayurveda in
ent on which dosha you are. Its a solid system that provides retreat environment rather than a hospital. Stalwarts of the
a basis for getting to know yourself inside and out, with much scene include grand dames Kalari Kovikalom and Carnoustie
of the advice straightforward if you have too much heat in Kerala (the latter is the more modern and luxurious), and
in your body, for example, eat more cooling foods. all the bigger destination spas have Ayurvedic treatments,
But dont be fooled into thinking Ayurveda is just about including Vana (where you can undergo panchakarma) and
lling in multiple-choice forms, or, worse still, that it is some Ananda in the Himalayas. Amanbagh in Rajasthan has
kind of hocus-pocus. It is so much more than this, and its recently introduced an Ayurvedic doctor, food menu and
basic philosophy is grounded in truisms that I repeatedly treatments with a sophistication rarely seen in more tradi-
tional outposts. In Europe, The Kempinski on Gozo and
THE BASIC PHILOSOPHY IS Hotel de France in Jersey both offer an Ayurvedic approach,
GROUNDED IN TRUISMS I SEE as does the more comprehensive and immaculate
MANIFESTED IN SPAS AROUND Parkschlsschen outside Frankfurt, where guests are encour-
aged to rest as well as to join the yoga classes or swim under
THE WORLD, AYURVEDIC OR NOT
the gaze of a giant Buddha, and the delectable vegetarian
see manifested in spas around the world, whether they are food is prepared by a German chef who was a longtime
Ayurvedic or not. These include the theory that everything resident of India. And in Austria, Sonnhof is a small, family-
found in nature has medicinal value if used in the proper run Tyrolean lodge that is extremely good value, with a warm
manner, that good digestion is the foundation of good atmosphere and the lovely Dr Alaettin Sinop, an Indian GP
health hence the emphasis on eating the correct foods for and naturopath, who can tell, just by holding your hand, what
ones constitution. Ayurveda teaches that we all have the sort of state you are in like a police car with the siren con-
power to maintain good health through correct diet and stantly on, your adrenalin is on full throttle. Even after just
exercise and a daily routine that includes yoga and breathing a few days youll feel calmer and clearer.
and time for quiet contemplation. Frankly it makes Western Beyond the spa scene, one of the key elements of Ayurveda
spa industry look a trie late to the party. I went to meet that can be brought into daily life is meditation. According
Anne McIntyre, an Ayurvedic herbalist based in the to author and wellness expert Deepak Chopra, the guiding

70 Spa Guide March 2017


HEALTH REPORT

principle of Ayurveda is that the mind exerts the deepest


inuence on the body, and freedom from sickness depends PICK-ME-UPS
upon contacting our awareness, bringing it into balance and THE ANSWERS ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
extending that balance to the body.
Vedic meditation is rooted in those same ancient Vedas,
and is becoming popular because it is a very simple tech- AILMENT An inability to switch off
nique that anyone can practise (no need to be a monk up a SOLUTION T2 Ayurvedic Tea Chai Loose Leaf
mountain). It uses a personalised mantra, given to you by With less caffeine than a coffee and laced with
an experienced teacher and relating to your constitution, cardamom, pink peppercorns and a blend of green
the sound of which is silently repeated to enable the body and white tea, this milky sweet drink is the
and mind to settle down. So theres no trying or straining grown-up version of a hot chocolate. The
to meditate; its an effortless process. It takes you beyond avonoids are said to neutralise free radicals, help
your thoughts so crucial these days as we are bombarded increase peace of mind and slow down those
monkey thoughts. 7.50; t2tea.com
by digital technology and the insatiable processing of
information. This over-stimulation creates a physiological
reaction in the body thats the same as with any other kind AILMENT Bad breath
of stress, causing an imbalance in the nervous system that
SOLUTION Rasasara Royal
makes us feel frazzled. So if we can manage our over-think-
Mukhwas mouthwash
ing minds on a day-to-day basis, we can de-stress the nervous
system and the whole body. A virtuous circle happens: our Ditch the mints for a more holistic
minds feel clearer, more focused, we eat, sleep, feel and look approach. When gargled, the
palate-cleansing rosewater, cinnamon
better, and thats just the beginning.
and clove liquid rinses the mouth of
Based in London, Will Williams is a go-to Vedic- toxins that gather overnight. And a
meditation teacher for forward-thinking peace-of-mind complimentary scraper is included to
keep the tongue clean and ready for
THE MIND HAS A DEEP INFLUENCE breakfast. About 35; rasasara.com
ON THE BODY, AND FREEDOM AILMENT
FROM SICKNESS DEPENDS ON AILMENT Looking exhausted Muscle pain
CONTACTING OUR AWARENESS SOLUTION Pratima Saffron SOLUTION Jiva
Eye Ghee Apoha Parutka Body Oil,
seekers. A musician and former band promoter, Williams
Normally used in cooking, ghee has A sweet almond oil
left the mayhem of the music industry to travel, eventually
amazing benets for the face, too. base heavy with anti-
training in India with Maharishi Vyasananda (aka Thom inammatory marjoram
Resist pinching a scoop from the
Knoles), one of the masters of Vedic meditation. Along with kitchen though this unction smells and turmeric essence
his partner, Jess Cook, Williams leads weekend/week-long much better. The saffron tackles to help soothe sore joints
retreats in a rambling mansion in the Sussex countryside, hyper-pigmentation of dark circles and relieve nagging aches,
where participants bed down as if at a house party, sustained and the nourishing ghee softens ne as well as boosting
by transformative yogic exercises and meditation, deep lines and strengthens under-eye skin. circulation. But youll need
discussion, and lashings of Ayurvedic veggie food. He also About 30; pratimaskincare.com to nd someone to give you
hosts healthy socials in the capital, including a Shavasana the massage. About 50;
Disco where everyone lies down to listen to classic albums jivaapoha.com
such as Diamond Dogs mindfully (its surprising what you
AILMENT Coughs and colds
hear when you really listen). Williams meditation is fuelled
by an ability to put ancient Vedic teachings in context SOLUTION Pukka Wholistic Turmeric
with modern life, the latest health research and advances in Ayurvedic superstar spice
science and technology. And so we see where Ayurveda is turmeric, fam