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The Aragu Restaurant and Cru Lounge at Velaa Private Island.jpg

The Essence of Aragu


Dine to your heart’s desire at this resplendent resort in the Maldives

The Essence of Aragu


Dine to your heart’s desire at this resplendent resort in the Maldives

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Spa from the Madding Crowd 

September 12, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: The Aragu Restaurant and Cru Lounge at Velaa Private Island

  The Ocean Pool House at Velaa

The Ocean Pool House at Velaa

Some spots on Earth have a tranquil quality that infuses itself into your being 24 hours a day. One such place is Velaa Private Island in the Maldives. The island resort boasts architecture that fuses Maldivian culture and nuance with contemporary luxury. One of its prime escapes is the restaurant Aragu – meaning “essence” in the local lingo – an over-water retreat with beautiful, aquatic-themed interiors that flow from the natural surroundings.

Its charms don’t end there. From Gillardeau oysters to organic tofu, from Queensland spanner crab to New Zealand lamb, and from Peruvian chocolate to almond fondant, guests embark on an epicurean odyssey inspired by the daily arrivals of organic ingredients from around the world. Complementing this European-with-an-Asian-twist fare is one of the largest and constantly evolving wine lists in the Maldives. What are you waiting for? (velaaprivateisland.com)

New Zealand lamb features on the Aragu menu

Images: provided to China Daily

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Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and celebrities, who share their favourite places. Here, acclaimed footwear designer Tabitha Simmons extols the beachside virtues of Miami

Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and celebrities, who share their favourite places. Here, acclaimed footwear designer Tabitha Simmons extols the beachside virtues of Miami

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Chic Stays

August 29, 2018

Tabitha Simmons – 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami

Miami does lobbies like nowhere else, and 1 Hotel South Beach is no exception. An expansive space of white and wood, with huge windows and big squishy sofas, it hums with conversation and beautiful people. But the things I love most about it, which surprised me the first time I visited, is that it’s actually all sustainable. 

The reception desk is made from an old oak tree, and there’s a wall that from a distance looks like artwork – a gigantic mural of a swimmer – but when you get closer you see that it’s really moss. Off to one side is a juice bar to pick up that green cleanse on the way back from SoulCycle next door. Waiting outside is a fleet of Tesla electric cars to whizz silently around town. 

It’s green yet glamorous, fun but also fearsomely followed through. Room keys are fashioned out of recycled wood and beds have hemp mattresses covered in organic linen. In the wardrobes are hangers cut from cardboard, made from old packaging, and in the shower there are sand timers set to five minutes. The bedrooms are huge and bright, airy and supremely calming – a refreshing change from Miami’s usual high-tempo vibe. 

Miami for me is always a beach fix, a blast of heat away from New York’s winters. There’s a string of hotels along this stretch of South Beach, and if you wander out from 1 Hotel, you’re on the sand. But anyone can see Miami from sea level; the best view here is up on the roof – it’s incredible. The whole of Miami stretches out below while I sit up there in the sky, sipping tequila and soda by the pool. 

Chic Stays is available for purchase at Assouline boutiques worldwide and through assouline.com 

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Chic Stays
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Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and celebrities, who share their favourite places. Here, globally renowned British fashion designer Paul Smith details a true London institution

Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and celebrities, who share their favourite places. Here, globally renowned British fashion designer Paul Smith details a true London institution

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Chic Stays

August 15, 2018

Paul Smith – Claridge’s, London

It’s an overused word these days, but Claridge’s is iconic. Even before visiting for the first time, I’d heard so much about its fascinating history that as soon as I stepped into the polished revolving doors, I knew that I was entering somewhere very special. 

I first stayed about 20 years ago, but had been going for drinks or dinner for some time before then. I’m not a big drinker, but tea in the Reading Room is a great treat for anyone visiting London. 

I’ve been so many times since my first stay that I’ve lost count. My wife, Pauline, and I have been together since I was 21, but we still like to go on dates. Claridge’s is somewhere we love to visit, particularly if we’re celebrating. 

I love the art deco feel that runs through the hotel. From the black-and-white tiled foyer to the mirrored ballroom where I’ve held fashion shows, everything about it is reminiscent of that stylish period. The history attached to the whole place also comes through in the countless interesting people who have stayed over the years; from film stars such as Cary Grant, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to politicians like Winston Churchill, who moved in after the war – and so many more. 

Even now, every visit feels like a treat. When service elsewhere has become very rehearsed, formulaic and homogenised, Claridge’s has so much personality – especially John, who works in the lift. Many of the staff have been here for such a long time that they are as much a part of the hotel’s story as its famous guests. But ultimately, Claridge’s is part of London’s own story in a way that few others can claim to be. 

Chic Stays is available for purchase at Assouline boutiques worldwide and through assouline.com 

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Chic Stays
Published by Assouline
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Spa from the Madding Crowd


Escape the summer heat and relax with a proper spa-cation

Spa from the Madding Crowd


Escape the summer heat and relax with a proper spa-cation

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Spa from the Madding Crowd 

August 1, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: Banyan Tree Lang Co in Vietnam

   Angsana Velavaru in the Maldives

 Angsana Velavaru in the Maldives

Summer in the city can be truly exhausting, and one of the best relaxation techniques we know is to hop on a plane and head for an exclusive spa and beach resort. For the private-island variety, there’s Angsana Velavaru, set on an atoll of the Maldives amid the calming effect of a vast sea. A ravishing villa on stilts overlooking the ocean becomes an inviolable sanctuary as you contemplate the solemn hush of the deep. And, as nature soothes your spirit, Angsana’s spa treatments are designed to revive your body. The exclusive dive and water sports centre gives you a way to burn off the fresh energy you’ll tap into.

If terra firma and a little more substance are your style, the Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts in Lang Co, Vietnam are situated near several Unesco World Heritage Sites, including the Complex of Hué Monuments. Nestled beneath soothing clouds and the hilly shoulders of Vietnam’s green-clad Central Coast, the resorts boast private villas and pools, impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate guests, with the added fascination of Lang Co village nearby. Think it’s time to get away?

Images: provided to China Daily

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Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and celebrities, who share their favourite places. Here, English model and socialite Poppy Delevingne highlights her top spot in the City of Angels

Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and celebrities, who share their favourite places. Here, English model and socialite Poppy Delevingne highlights her top spot in the City of Angels

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Chic Stays

August 1, 2018

Poppy Delevingne – Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles

The flight is coming in to land, Los Angeles is stretching out beneath me and I have butterflies. Is it the anticipation of the In-N-Out cheeseburger that I’m so desperately craving? Or is it the longing for that feeling of warm sunshine on my face, adding lashings of freckles to my already impressive collection? As the cab pulls up to the Hotel Bel-Air, I realise that, in fact, this is it; I’m coming home – if home were indeed candy-coated and sparkly and brimming with swans. 

The first things I do is order a freshly squeezed watermelon juice and take off into the gardens. Are you sure I’m not in Neverland? I stumble upon hidden alcoves and benches made for secret kisses beneath the purple bougainvillea. 

Rooms are tucked among palm trees and exotic potted plants. At night, the whole place is sprinkled with fairy lights and romance. Everything buzzes and trickles, with creatures making their happy homes and fountains in abundance. I leap onto the bed deep in 78 pillows, so crisp and so clean, while the most charming of bellboys lights the fire. Cosy just took on a whole new meaning. 

I love finding places in LA that hold a little history. The pool house, surrounded by avocado trees, used to be the Bel-Air stables back in the 1920s. And one of the suites, the old Bel-Air sales offices, has its original beautiful wooden ceiling still intact after all its glory. Marilyn Monroe did her very last photo shoot here six weeks before she died. And I’m pretty sure Grace Kelly would have loved the suite they named after her, with hand-painted flowers all over the walls; the place is all about princesses.    

The night draws in, and I head to the bar to drown myself in a bowl of red wine and another of truffle fries. Live jazz music is pouring into my ears, as iconic pictures by Norman Seeff of Tina Turner and Ray Charles look on by candlelight. This place is always overflowing with characters, stories and gossip. 

I’m pretty sure I don’t remember stumbling back to my delicious den, but suddenly morning is seeping in through my windows, and outside it’s so still I feel like I’m on the top of the world. So tranquil, so calm. And all I want to do is melt into these power-pink-flamingo-coloured walls and disappear. 

Chic Stays is available for purchase at Assouline boutiques worldwide and through assouline.com 

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Chic Stays
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Icelandic Utopia


Stir mind, body and soul in the otherworldly landscape of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Icelandic Utopia


Stir mind, body and soul in the otherworldly landscape of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Icelandic Utopia

August 1, 2018 / by Zhang Yen

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It’s only a 20-minute drive from Keflavik Airport to the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, southern Iceland, or 50 minutes from Reykjavik, the capital, but it’s positively surreal. From the main highway that connects Keflavik and Reykjavik, simply turn at the sign marked “Blue Lagoon”, Road Nr. 426, drive for about 10 kilometres, and presto, you’ll arrive at the most sublime otherworldy-ness. 

Grindavik was settled around the year 900CE, and many of the town’s 3,000 inhabitants work in the fishing industry – processing and exporting salted cod is the town’s mainstay – or commute the short distance to Reykjavik. But it’s best-known for the Blue Lagoon, one of the most popular destinations for travellers in Iceland. The water, discovered by accident by geothermal engineers in the 1970s, is extremely rich in silica and sulphur, and has proven efficacious for those suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis, to the extent that the Blue Lagoon now operates a research and development facility to help discover cures for other skin ailments. 

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Yet before you dip a toe into any potential balming or healing volcanic waters, the Blue Lagoon’s location will take your breath away. This jewel in the crown offers a series of programmes for one-day visitors who make it part of a broader stay in Iceland. A so-called premium treatment at the Retreat Spa gains entrance to the lagoon, silica mud masks, drinks, algae masks, and a table reservation with sparkling wine and the tasting menu at Lava Restaurant. (The Retreat Spa also has its own restaurant, which features à la carte breakfast from 7.30am onwards as you gaze out at the mineral-rich waters and centuries-old lava.) The spa amenities are prodigious and include various in-water treatments, as well as massages in subterranean spaces. 

Then there’s Lava Restaurant – did we mention the view? Built into an 800-year-old lava cliff on the west bank of the Blue Lagoon, it’s a place where the food couldn’t be any more dynamic and enchanting; as an unforgettable culinary experience, this is second to none. Inspired by the Blue Lagoon’s surrounding landscape and created by the chefs, the four-course taster showcases the savoury delights of Icelandic cuisine. 

One interesting point to note is that Iceland was mostly an agricultural society in history and the fishing economy has only really taken off in more recent times. A lunch at Lava might consist of langoustine soup, with the garlic-marinated shellfish served with seaweed; beer-cooked blue mussels from Reykjanes Peninsula with herb aioli, crispy potatoes and seaweed; smoked haddock with rutabaga, rye bread, potatoes and dill; or birch- and juniper-cured arctic char. Get ready for a main course of grilled beef tenderloin with Icelandic mushrooms, crispy potatoes, onion jam and Dijon mustard; lamb shoulder served with artichokes, carrots, dates and thyme; cod with barley, fennel and mussel sauce; or the fish of the day, caught in Grindavik Harbour and served with lobster sauce and kale. Desserts are caramel chocolate mousse, vanilla ice cream and salted caramel, or strawberries with coconut, mint and almonds. And that’s just lunch! Sorrel and skyr and sensual nirvana. 

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There are two hotel facilities, the Silica and the Retreat, which are both remarkable. Take the Lagoon Suite and your own private lagoon is just a step away as you succumb to its splendour while observing the volcanic horizon. Travel just doesn’t feel like it gets any closer to the rhythms of nature, or life’s beginnings, than here in the Blue Lagoon. It’s astonishing to behold and to be a part of. 

As you gaze across the volcanic vista, you’ll experience the great outdoors by way of puffins, cormorants, shags, kittiwakes and even the occasional white-tailed eagle. Take a tour and observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat for a poignant dose of reality. And for real thrill, if you have kids, hop on the Viking Sushi adventure boat, with its combination of sailing, viewing small islands, soaking in spectacular landscapes, and catching and eating fresh seafood on the spot. Children – and adults, given the boat we were on – gaped in awe at the variety of marine life drawn aboard the boat in one catch. The scallops were so fresh they barely touched the sides as they poured down the palate. Beyond luxury, this experience touched something deep in our souls and spirits, allowing us to convene with nature in its most unaltered state. 

The Blue Lagoon is unparalleled bliss. If there’s only one drawback, it’s having to eventually leave this natural wonder. Even by day’s end, never mind a whole week, the return to elsewhere, which feels like 1,000 years of time travel into the future, is almost unbearable.    

Images: provided to China Daily

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Mykonos Muse


Myths, like the waves, never cease to define the state of mind that is this miraculous Greek island

Mykonos Muse


Myths, like the waves, never cease to define the state of mind that is this miraculous Greek island

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Mykonos Muse

August 1, 2018 / by Olivia James

Image above: Quiet at Super Paradise beach

  A sinuous, brushed concrete staircase at a house in Chora

A sinuous, brushed concrete staircase at a house in Chora

From a distance, Mykonos, dressed in dazzling white limestone, looks like a giant sculpture. The stark white houses, so typical of the post-Byzantine Cycladic tradition, look like rocks “strewn by the Great Creator of the world,” as the Greek architect Aris Konstantinidis noted in his homage to the island’s architecture, Two Villages from Mykonos. The landscape is naked, sparse, with just a few trees and a few thorny bushes battered by wild winds. 

Mykonos is an island defined by its traditional cubist architecture. “Unless you have seen the houses of Mykonos, you can’t pretend to be an architect,” Le Corbusier, the legendary pioneer of modernism, declared after his first visit to the Cyclades in 1933. “Whatever architecture has to say, it is said here.” 

West of the island lies Hora, the main town and harbour capital. From its ancient promenade and hanging patios, one never tires of witnessing – again and again – the most incredible spectacle repeating itself every early evening: the sun melting or dissolving into a purple-red Aegean. The best spot to experience it is the old area of Kastro; from its heights, one cannot get enough of watching the sun exiting grandly behind the arched bell tower of Panagia Paraportiani. 

The town, one of the most stunning in all the Cyclades, is flat – an exception to the rule elsewhere. Its defining feature is the labyrinth of twisting, tapering alleys – its disorienting layout designed to protect locals from marauding pirates. Even today, it is inevitable for first-time visitors to get lost in the tangled lanes, returning to the same spot time after time in search of clues about which path to follow. 

Mykonos has one quintessential symbol visible from far away: the windmills. They have stood proudly to the southeast of Hora since the 15th century. These three-level cylindrical mills, with their narrow windows and thatched roofs, played a vital part in the island’s economy, providing flour for the countless ships that sailed the Aegean. The millers took advantage of the strong winds; the spinning white triangular sails tirelessly turned the granite millstones that ground the grain to flour. 

Chapels are also ubiquitous on Mykonos. Nobody knows exactly how many; some say 600, others claim more than 1,000. Locals continue to build churches even today, and on the eve of a saint’s day, vespers are followed by a communal feast with singing and dancing, a living trace of ancient sacrifices to the gods. 

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  Kalo Livadi beach

Kalo Livadi beach

The Byzantine Panagia Paraportiani is often described as the “Parthenon of folk architecture”. Built in the late 16th or early 17th century in Kastro, its name derives from paraporti, the secondary entrance to the medieval castle or city walls, which no longer exist.

Today, the austere landscape of Mykonos is still dominated by white houses of pure geometry, dry walls laid stone by stone to mark the boundaries of landowners, and hard-edged rocks. These organic forms always create spectacles of shadow and light under the sun’s rainbow; their footpaths remain magically silent despite the surrounding summer noises; the whitewashed stairs are still lined with fragrant pots of basil and bougainvillea bursting over the balconies. Wild plums, reeds, flowers and prickly pears continue to grow in the fields. The moon shines over the rooftops and lizards spring out of nowhere wherever you go. Every single day is a constant reminder of how lucky one is to live on this island, absorb its energy and leave a footprint on its golden sands. 

Mykonos has undergone a radical transformation from one of the poorest islands in Greece to one of the most glamorous. Its reputation for unbridled hedonism appealed to playboys, aristocrats and bohemians alike, as the harbour teemed with the yachts of Greek shipping tycoons like Aristotle Onassis, who opened a heliport in 1971, and Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Groundbreaking, gender-bending Mykonos became a gay mecca and, perhaps inevitably, a muse for the fashion pack, too. Its bleached alleys and blond beaches provided iconic backdrops for Richard Avedon, Norman Parkinson and, later, Ellen von Unwerth, whose 1991 campaign for Guess featured Claudia Schiffer. Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani and Valentino returned every summer with an entourage of cover girls – Pat Cleveland, Fiona von Thyssen and Naomi Campbell. These were the days of a veritable bohemian rhapsody on Mykonos. 

  The detail of a mosaic from the second century BCE at the House of Dionysus on Delos

The detail of a mosaic from the second century BCE at the House of Dionysus on Delos

For years, people have been saying Mykonos is over; too crowded, too commercial, the old hands grumble. But this feisty little island, only one-fifth the size of Ibiza, is more popular than ever. The old nudist beaches are now smart beach clubs serving wagyu tartare and designer swimwear; fishing boats have been replaced by superyachts, free camping by butlers at the beach. Traditional tavernas have given way to international A-list chains like Hakkasan. 

Yet, despite the flurry of new villas and hotels that has followed on hard into the 21st century, Mykonos has preserved its character and history, partly because the whole island is protected by a preservation order – each new building must comply with the vernacular style – and partly because the scent of jasmine still lingers in the air. 

The honeyed sands and pure-as-gin sea are as postcard-perfect as ever. Monumental rocks and colossal cacti still sprout from the sunburnt hills. Beyond the neon-bright boutiques of Matoyianni, the Fifth Avenue of Mykonos, you might spy an old lady quietly stitching lace in a flowery nightdress. And if you get up early enough, you’ll find leathery men with impressive whiskers philosophising on the port.   

Past, present and future, Mykonos, with its high-energy hedonism and illimited mindset, will somehow never go out of fashion.

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Mykonos Muse, by Lizy Manola with Rachel Howard and Michael Skafidas,
is available from Assouline boutiques or at assouline.com

Images: © Lizy Manola (Super Paradise beach, detail of a mosaic); © Filippos Economou (Kalo Livadi beach); © Ioanna Roufopoulou (staircase at a house in Chora)

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Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and models, who share their favourite places. Here, acclaimed fashion designer Jason Wu details his love for a dreamy Mexican resort in an exclusive enclave

Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and models, who share their favourite places. Here, acclaimed fashion designer Jason Wu details his love for a dreamy Mexican resort in an exclusive enclave

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Chic Stays

July 18, 2018

Jason Wu – Hotel Esencia, Xpu Há, Mexico

Hotel Esencia really feels like a sanctuary. The first time I visited, I arrived at night and was led through these winding, narrow paths to the main whitewashed villa, once the holiday home of an Italian duchess. It really lends itself to the idea of still being that home away from home, which is often easier said than done. 

The owner, Kevin Wendle, has become a close friend. He has impeccable taste and is one of the most generous hosts I know. On that first trip, he gave me a suite on one of the top floors in the house, which is all glass with 360-degree views; there are also little cottages tucked around the surrounding gardens. I woke up that first morning to see the beach, the trees, the lush scenery. It was so incredible to wake up in the middle of all that beauty, when I’m used to waking up in New York City, where it is buildings, buildings, buildings, all skyscrapers and traffic. 

I’m not a beach shack person, and Hotel Esencia is a much more sophisticated spot on the sand. Everything is very refined: the decor, with mid-century furniture and curated art; the food, lots of ceviche and delicious avocado fries; even the tequila. I discovered one brand on my last trip to Hotel Esencia called Casa Dragones, which is so smooth that you sip it from a champagne flute. 

When I’m here, I hardly leave the hotel. This is a place where you just let the day pass, drifting from breakfast to the beach, from lunch to the pool to the spa. When I leave, I stock up on the local oil they use. I love to draw on the beach, and I always take my sketchbook with me – if you look at my resort 2016 lookbook, you can see how Hotel Esencia inspired me, right down to the door. Sometimes to really design, you need there to be nothing crazy going on around you, and Hotel Esencia is exactly where you’ll find that pocket of perfect peace.  

Chic Stays is available for purchase at Assouline boutiques worldwide and through assouline.com 

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Chic Stays
Published by Assouline
(assouline.com)

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Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and models, who share their favourite places in beloved corners of the world for this Assouline title. We start with film director Sofia Coppola, who discusses her luxurious family retreat in beautiful Bernalda, Italy

Chic Stays


Take a tour of the world’s most beautiful hotels with actors, writers, musicians and models, who share their favourite places in beloved corners of the world for this Assouline title. We start with film director Sofia Coppola, who discusses her luxurious family retreat in beautiful Bernalda, Italy

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Chic Stays

July 4, 2018

Sofia Coppola – Palazzo Margherita, Bernalda, Italy

There’s a certain parallel between directing a film and creating a hotel. I think that’s why my father is so good at making hotels. He knows that they have a story and how to create an atmosphere; he has that director’s eye for detail. 

Palazzo Margherita is an old noble family’s house, built in 1892, in the very south of Italy. It sits on a square in the town of Bernalda, a little Eden behind these huge wooden doors. My great-grandfather moved from the town to New York over a century ago, and it still feels like Italy from another era, with grandmas’ laundry hanging from balconies and old men sitting on the sidewalk all day. 

Slip off the street, through the gates and into the gardens, and Palazzo Margherita is its own magical world. I could sit in the courtyard all day or with a book by the pool, where the wonderful staff bring platters of fresh fruit – plums, apricots – on crushed ice. In the summer, when it gets really hot, I wander into the kitchen and feast on incredible pasta or a salad of fresh tuna, handfuls of rocket and fine red onions, served on beautiful, hand-painted blue-and-white dishes that my mother chose from a nearby town. Then I pull up a seat at the Cinecitta Bar, named after the legendary Italian movie studio, and drink iced coffee while the jukebox plays old tunes, or wander into town for gelato at Gelateria Novecento. 

I love to stay in suite four, my room, all pretty pinks and greys, with a balcony overlooking the courtyard and a claw-foot tub in the bathroom. Every room in the palazzo has its own personality. The architect, Jacques Grange, restored a lot of original details; beautiful murals, intricate tiling and frescoes on the ceilings. And upstairs, there’s a big salon with a movie screen, where my father has put the whole Martin Scorsese collection of the history of Italian cinema in the library. I remember one time watching a comedy called Sedotta e Abbandonata (Seduced and Abandoned) from 1964. There’s something very romantic about these old Italian films, in this old Italian house – it makes you feel like you’ve stepped into another life. 

Chic Stays is available for purchase at Assouline boutiques worldwide and through assouline.com 

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Chic Stays
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Como Cosmopolitan


Uma Ubud in Bali is an uplifting and impressively chic addition to the idyllic Indonesian island

Como Cosmopolitan


Uma Ubud in Bali is an uplifting and impressively chic addition to the idyllic Indonesian island

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Go Morocco

July 4, 2018 / by Olivia James

Image above: The resplendent Uma Ubud pool by day

Another jewel in the crown of Como Hotels and Resorts arrives on the Indonesian island of Bali. Overlooking the Tjampuhan valley and the Oos river, Uma Ubud is nestled amidst rice paddies carved out of hillsides, backed by coconut palms and banyan trees, while Ubud is a small, lively town that’s considered to be Bali’s cultural hub. The 46 rooms and suites are expansive, all with front and back patios. Breakfast is served on a frangipani-encircled terrace at Kemiri (which means“candlenut” in Bahasa), while the poolside Uma Bar spills out from a lounge area serving champagne, fine wines, martinis and negronis. The entire property has an air of beauty about it, from the ceramic floor tiles to the deep-teal plunge pools and the Javanese plantation furniture. For total harmony, there’s the Como Shambhala wellness retreat, offering the best in Asian-inspired treatments, with active pursuits including temple visits, biking and trekking. Time to get exploring. (comohotels.com/umaubud)

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Go Morocco


Why Marrakesh is ranked the world’s best place to visit in 2018

Go Morocco


Why Marrakesh is ranked the world’s best place to visit in 2018

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Go Morocco

January 26, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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The northwestern African country of Morocco has inspired countless luminaries – Yves Saint Laurent in particular. The late fashion designer famously paid tribute to the region in 1983, saying, “I owe to this country, to its forceful harmonies, to its audacious combinations, to the fervour of its creativity” and that Marrakesh, Morocco’s fourth-largest city, had “taught me colour.”

A romantic vacation spot and a fount of inspiration, Morocco attracts royalty, political families, luxury powerhouses and rock stars alike. Its distinctive “Moroccan aesthetics” – which refers to the intricate, mystic and enticing mix of colours, geometric patterns and aromas of spices – is a blend of Arab, Berber, French and Spanish cultures. Surprisingly under-explored, Marrakesh is ranked atop the “Go List for 2018” by travel guide book Fodor’s.

Marrakesh is a former imperial city in western Morocco, famous for its well-kept Islamic-style architecture, with elaborate symmetrical geometry and beautiful colours. The Bahia Palace (its name means “brilliance”) was built by the grand vizier of the sultan in the late 19th century. You’ll be amazed by the delicate work of the gibs (stucco plasterwork), zellij (mosaics) and carved cedar. 

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The Ben Youssef Madrasa is another cultural landmark to visit; the largest Koranic school, it was built in the 14th century and completed in the 16th century. The recently opened Musée Yves Saint Laurent is also a top attraction for visitors to take a tour of the late, great designer’s house and his creative studio.

The likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier own a luxurious riad in Marrakesh, but the city is good for travellers at all budget levels. On about US$40 a day, you’ll be able to enjoy the essence of the country by staying in a cosy hotel or a small riad within the main neighbourhoods of the walled medina towns – though you’d be advised to keep a map at hand, as finding your way home through the maze-like streets and souks can be a bit tricky. For something luxe and less confusing, there are a number of palatial resorts surrounding Marrakesh that offer some indulgent retreats at a US$1,000 daily rate.

Spring is the ideal season to visit. In July and August, it can be glaringly hot, with the mercury reaching 40 degrees Celsius; November sees the highest rainfall through the year; and in the wintertime, if the great Sahara is on your itinerary, bear in mind that it can get extremely cold in the desert. From February to April, however, the lukewarm weather allows for some unmelted snow on the splendid Atlas mountains, which also makes for stunning views and photographs. 

Ninety-nine percent of Morocco’s population is Muslim. This year, the holy month of Ramadan will begin from sundown on May 15 to June 14. For 30 days, believers forgo any food or water from sunrise to sunset, intended as a time to contemplate the blessings of having food and to understand the suffering of those who don’t.

As you traverse the markets, make sure you give way when you hear “balak” – the local term to remind people when a loaded handcart or a mule is coming through. Getting lost in the chaos is a delightful part of Moroccan city life, but you might be wise to learn a few necessary sentences in Arabic or French, as English isn’t widely used in the region.

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Haunted Town


Take the world-famous ghost tour in historic Tallinn, Estonia – if you dare

Haunted Town


Take the world-famous ghost tour in historic Tallinn, Estonia – if you dare

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Haunted Town

September 29, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

The capital of Estonia, Tallinn has about 450,000 inhabitants today. With some 5,000 years since the earliest records of human settlement, it’s also known for having a whole lot of haunted tales. Many of them started in the gothic Old Town – situated in the northern centre of the city, it’s one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The post-Halloween period leads straight into winter, the time when Tallinn’s nights are longer and darker. In the Old Town, with its cobblestone streets and medieval defensive walls, every house has a scary story to tell. 

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Rataskaevu 16 (Devil’s Wedding)

This 15th-century house restores the town’s most famous ghost legend: the Devil’s Wedding. Long ago, a cloaked man rented the upstairs flat from a desperate landlord by offering a huge sum of money, with the only requirement being that he would get to enjoy total privacy. In the evening, thunderous noises came out of the flat, as if there were a party for 100 guests. The next day, the landlord’s servant, who had peeked through the keyhole, was found dying; on his deathbed, he claimed he had witnessed the devil having a wedding. 
 

Stable Tower (Tallitorn)

In the 16th and 17th centuries, this tower served as a prison for minor offences. According to town records, in 1626, a young man claimed to be afraid of ghosts that reputedly resided inside the tower, so he was permitted to be accompanied by a servant. However, both of them ended up being discovered in a state of extreme fear after being harassed by evil spirits and they were eventually relocated. 

Neitsitorn (Virgin’s Tower) 

This 14th-century tower was formerly a jail for prostitutes; today, it’s a cafe where you can overlook the views of the whole town. Over the years, the cafe’s employees have reported spectral footsteps and scratching noises – and even claim to have seen a monk drinking wine in the cellar.

Image: Wikimedia Commons: Mb-world/Creative Commons

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Staycation or Vacation?


Planning a weekend trip within Hong Kong or undertaking an overseas adventure in the region? Either one can be an ideal getaway – as long as you know where to go 

Staycation or Vacation?


Planning a weekend trip within Hong Kong or undertaking an overseas adventure in the region? Either one can be an ideal getaway – as long as you know where to go 

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Staycation or Vacation?

June 30, 2017 by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Staycation 1– Hung Shek Mun Trail

Known as the “Red Stone Gate”, this gruelling hike through the northeast New Territories takes you across a narrow straight off Wong Wan Chau (Double Island), near the border with Mainland China. The stunning views feature a unique landscape, with a reddish coastline composed of crimson sedimentary rocks. The 15km hike takes approximately seven to eight hours, and is for experienced hikers only. Start/return from Wu Kau Tang. 


Staycation 2 – Ng Tung Chai Waterfall

Definitely one of the less-travelled hidden gems in Hong Kong, the tranquil, scenic area around the waterfall on Tai Mo Shan makes a great retreat for those who dwell in the urban jungle. Clear signposts are there to guide hikers to the falls. The 6km hike takes approximately three hours and is suitable for intermediate-level hikers. Start/return from Tai Wo MTR station, exit A.


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Vacation 1– Malaysian Borneo

Just three hours from Hong Kong, Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and the second-largest island in Asia, geographically allied to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Malaysian Borneo covers the two northern states: Sabah and Sarawak.

World’s Oldest Tropical Rainforests

Exploring the species-rich equatorial rainforests, home to endangered wildlife including the critically endangered Bornean orangutan, is a must. The best areas of the rainforests are incorporated into national parks, with the two most popular (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites) being Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak and Kinabalu Park in Sabah.

Luxurious Beaches

A deluxe destination for five-star-resort lovers and great for various water sports, recommended spots include Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa and Gaya Island Resort. Built based on the trading ships of the 19th century, the majestic schooner Raja Laut also provides luxury vessel and yacht cruises to the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.


Vacation 2 – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

A mere four hours from Hong Kong, Mongolia is a culturally enriching experience with its deep-rooted heritage, intriguing history and exotic culinary delights. We advise hiring a local driver during your trip, as the city has a reputation for being difficult to navigate.

Gandan Khiid

Of the more than 100 temples and monasteries built around the start of the 19th century, only a handful still stand today. Gandan Khiid (which translates as “the great place of complete joy”) remains Mongolia’s most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery; it was restored in 1990 and more than 600 monks now reside there.

Chinggis Square

The centre of the city was formerly named in honour of Damdin Sükhbaatar, who led the Outer Mongolian Revolution of 1921; in 2013, it was renamed to commemorate Genghis Khan, the founding father of the Mongolian empire. A delectable selection of restaurants and cafes can be discovered on the nearby streets.

Images: Shangri-La International Hotel Management (Rasa Ria/Gaya Island); Flickr: LUFC/Creative Commons (Ng Tung Chai); Flickr: Alex Leung/Creative Commons (Hung Shek Mun Hiking in 2014 Winter); Wikimedia Commons: Angelo Juan Ramos/Creative Commons (Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery)

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Island Life


Mark O’Sullivan, the general manager of the newly opened St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, discusses his decades-long journey in the industry and the importance of a personal touch

Island Life


Mark O’Sullivan, the general manager of the newly opened St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, discusses his decades-long journey in the industry and the importance of a personal touch

Lifestyle > Travel



Island Life

February 3, 2017 by China Daily

  Mark O’Sullivan

Mark O’Sullivan

How’s everything going so far for the hotel in the Maldives? Who are the guests?

Everything is going very well. So far, the US has been our biggest market, but that’s not something that I expect in the full-year results; I still believe that China will be our number-one market by the end of 2017. One of the things that drives American business to Marriott Starwood properties is the SPG [Starwood Preferred Guest] loyalty programme. We get access to so many guests – more than 50 million people to whom we have direct access – and a lot of that is in the US. 

People went on their honeymoons in the Maldives ten years ago; now they want to come back with their children. Also, with the number of two- and three-bedroom villas we have, you can book one unit instead of having to book a few separate villas. 

  The Alba restaurant

The Alba restaurant

Tell us about the unique design of this property.

It’s inspired by the marine life around the resort. The owner and the architect went to the Maldives and went exploring – this island was completely uninhabited and undeveloped; there was nothing there before. Visually, it blends in with the vegetation of the islands. 

In terms of service, what helps this Maldives property stand out when compared to other St Regis hotels?

The service in all the St Regis properties is at a very high level. The main difference here, for me, would be the butler service. Our butlers just do a lot more because of where the property is – I feel it’s very personalised and the guests get to know their butler well, because every day, they have the same person.

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  The deck of the overwater villa features a pool and endless views

The deck of the overwater villa features a pool and endless views

  The unique exterior and plush interior of the two-bedroom family villa with pool

The unique exterior and plush interior of the two-bedroom family villa with pool

What are the current trends you see developing in luxury hospitality? 

One of the main trends is technology. Take the Maldives, say 20 years ago – if you told guests, in the middle of the ocean on a small island, that they could expect wi-fi at the same strength as a city like Hong Kong or New York, they’d say you were crazy. But actually, that’s the reality now. Wi-fi now is almost like water coming out of the shower. If you don’t have it, you might as well close the doors, because nobody is going to stay there.

At the same time, I hope that we don’t lose focus on what makes “luxury” luxury. Technology is a part, as is the furniture and other things. But I think the friendliness of the staff and the personalisation is what really makes a luxury property. You will still need that personal touch. 

One of my butlers recently had a guest who came on his own. He told the butler he came alone because his daughter had just had a baby, so his wife stayed back to help look after their new grandchild. On his departure, the butler left a soft towel with a little note saying “This is for your new grandchild when you go back.” You can’t train a robot to do that. These are personal touches that only human beings can appreciate. For me, that’s really important – that we keep our focus on that, with technology and other things to help us to move forward. 

  The plush interior of the two-bedroom family villa with pool

The plush interior of the two-bedroom family villa with pool

Finding qualified local staff isn’t always easy. How have you tackled this issue to maintain the level of service for which St Regis is renowned?

One thing about the Maldives is that 80% of the gross national product is tourism. Eight out of ten graduates are probably going into the tourism industry – they already have a very solid hospitality mentality. So it’s not difficult to find the people with the right attitude to work in the hotel. As an international company, St Regis has a lot to offer the local population, too, because of the level of training and development as well as access to future opportunities.

As a general manager, how has your personality been stamped on the hotel? 

I think I have a good sense of humour – because I’m Irish! It’s important to have a sense of humour. I don’t see myself as somebody who walks around and thinks he’s the king of the island. I think my staff appreciate that I see myself as one of them. One of the things I do is I interview everybody, no matter what the position, because I want them to see that I am part of the process. Also, I want to be comfortable that the person we’re hiring can fit in with the overall culture of the property. 

  The elegant bathroom inside the beach villa

The elegant bathroom inside the beach villa

You started your career in 1998, then worked for luxury resorts in numerous regions. What motivated you to get into this industry?

I guess I just like working with people and taking care of them. I used to be interested in cooking when I was younger – I wasn’t a great cook or anything, but I helped my mother make this big feast and discovered I enjoyed the experience of catering. That’s what got me interested. In the industry, I started in F&B [food and beverage] – as a general manager, you go into one of the main functions. I worked in a boutique-style hotel in my country; that was when I began to appreciate the level of detail and ensuring that the small things are looked after. 

Any exciting developments for St Regis Maldives Vommuli in the pipeline? 

Right now, I hope the only exciting thing is getting this place up and running fully – I don’t think I’m ready for another project yet for quite some time! [laughing] We will continue to examine what luxury customers are looking for and, if at any stage we feel we need to change something, we will certainly look at that.

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  The 20,000sqft Iridium Spa is suspended above the Indian Ocean

The 20,000sqft Iridium Spa is suspended above the Indian Ocean

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Regal Repose


The Four Seasons Hotel George V has long been a top choice for the rich and famous during their visits to the City of Light

Regal Repose


The Four Seasons Hotel George V has long been a top choice for the rich and famous during their visits to the City of Light

Lifestyle > Travel


 

Regal Repose

February 3, 2017

Just a short stroll from the tourist bustle of the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the illustrious Four Seasons Hotel George V features 244 rooms including 59 suites, boasts three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Cinq and, for wine lovers, offers a cellar with no fewer than 50,000 bottles. 

Opened in 1928, the hotel innovated by having a telephone in every room and by offering suites with two bathrooms, which allowed two people to take a bath at the same time so they would be ready to go down to dinner together. From the 1930s onwards, its elegant revolving front door saw the arrival of numerous Hollywood legends – Marlene Dietrich slept there, as did Greta Garbo. The Royal Suite even hosted Elizabeth Taylor on her honeymoon night with Conrad Hilton, the second of her eight husbands.

In 1964, Scottish photographer Harry Benson shot his iconic image of the Beatles having a pillow fight in their suite; John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed their early hit “I Feel Fine” on a piano they had installed for their stay. Two years later, Bob Dylan blew out the candles of a giant cake as he celebrated his 25th birthday at the hotel after a concert at the Olympia. 

Since 1997, the George V has been managed by the Four Seasons hotel group, which carried out a US$125 million renovation that modernised the hotel’s facilities while maintaining its original character. The king would certainly be proud. 

Image: Hôtel Four Seasons Hôtel George V (Photo taken by Harry Benson)

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The Call of the Wild: Makanyane Safari Lodge


Makanyane Safari Lodge in South Africa delivers an unbeatable combination of adventure and relaxation

The Call of the Wild: Makanyane Safari Lodge


Makanyane Safari Lodge in South Africa delivers an unbeatable combination of adventure and relaxation

Lifestyle > Travel



The Call of the Wild

August 28, 2015 by Blandine Leblanc

The Hurun Luxury Traveler Survey 2015 reported recently that Chinese tourists are becoming more interested in experiential travel, with Mild Adventure ranking third among their travel priorities. The annual report, which focuses on travel trends among Chinese high-net-worth individuals who spent US$30,000 or more on travel in the past year, also listed Africa among its top three travel destinations.

There are many types of safari adventures, from family-friendly whale watching to unique scuba-diving trips. For those wanting to step out of their comfort zone, though, Africa has so much to offer, from trekking gorilla encounters in the secret emerald world of rainforests to balloon flights over the seasonal great migration. Novel experiences and close proximity to the wilds of nature are driving a growing Sino-fari trend.

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That makes the opening of Sanctuary Retreats’ Makanyane Safari Lodge particularly timely.

The exclusive boutique property, named after the African wild dog prevalent in the surrounding area, has an elegant but organic, less-is-more mantra. Designed for minimal environmental impact, its eight glass-fronted suites were constructed from local stone, wood and thatch, and safarists can gaze at the stars while they slumber.

Located in the Madikwe Game Reserve, one of South Africa’s best-regarded but lesser-known safari destinations, the mystical charm of the lodge’s strong regional features, coupled with its location overlooking a watering hole favoured by everything from cheetahs, giraffes and birds to elephants, rhinos and hyenas, are ideal for those in search of exploration and adventure.

Observe big game from the dining area’s spacious lounge deck surrounds, or channel your inner David Attenborough via morning and night game drives and guided walks. Bush dinners and sundowners provide perfect scenes for selfies. Ornithologists are in for a treat, too: there are more than 360 species of bird to observe, and Makanyane lays on bird-watching expeditions to discover them. At the lodge’s raised star-view sleep-out hide, guests can choose to sleep under the stars surrounded only by the African wilderness, the vast skies curving down to meet grasslands rolling to the horizon.

Guests who begin to feel the physical toll of their adventure can enjoy relaxing spa massages and aromatherapy treatments between dips in the swimming pool. Each air-conditioned suite comes with its own private sundeck and outside lounge, and bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers open onto the adjacent wild bush just steps away.

If altruism is an essential part of your holiday experience, Sanctuary Retreats caters to your conscience with its commitment to building long-lasting relationships with local rural communities. According to the Council on Foreign Affairs, rhino poaching hit unprecedented levels in 2015, 10,000% higher than in 2007 in South Africa; as part of continent-wide efforts to protect shrinking rhino populations, Sanctuary Retreats participates in a relocation project transporting black and white rhinos to Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve.

Makanyane redefines luxury travel with a new dimension of sensual self-awakening. Book now and live the dream.
(sanctuaryretreats.com)

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Once Upon a Now: The Eastern & Oriental Express


Two new journeys aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express combine its classical past with a salubrious present, says general manager Nicolas Pillet

Once Upon a Now: The Eastern & Oriental Express


Two new journeys aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express combine its classical past with a salubrious present, says general manager Nicolas Pillet

Lifestyle > Travel



Once Upon a Now

July 10, 2015 by Selena Li / Photo: Parker Zheng

Two new journeys aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express combine its classical past with a salubrious present, says general manager Nicolas Pillet.

Do you travel a lot?

Yes I do, mostly in Southeast Asia, less so in the north of Asia. I’ve been with Belmond for 20 years.  I was on the hotel side based in Indonesia, Bali, and Laos before working on the trains. Currently I travel regularly between Singapore and Bangkok. 

Tell us about your two new routes; Fables of the Peninsula and Ancient Temples of Lama. 

Yes, our classic Singapore – Bangkok – Singapore route is two-nights for the first leg; the return is three days and four nights. The Fables of the 

Peninsula route includes a night at the Raffles Hotel and takes five nights. They’re being introduced for different customers. Some existing clients want to take a five-night trip. Some who’ve been on the classic journey, wanted to return and stay longer for a different experience. Our trains in Europe are a totally different experience so it’s nice that each of our trains is completely different, particularly the interior design. We’re also trying to attract a younger audience than we’ve had before. 

What is most challenging for your travellers?

We try and encourage them to enjoy the experience; it is challenging selecting the products, as there’s no Internet or TV on board and we don’t want it because people who experience the train want to be disconnected.  They want some time cut off from the world, the rest of the world… and they love it. When they are actually on board they forget about it.  The time is for reconnecting with your partner, reuniting with family, and reading, relaxing and meeting other passengers.

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Are there plans for a China route?

In Thailand the line only goes to Chiang Mai, there is no line on the Chinese side yet. But, we would definitely love to have a China route.  

What are the biggest misconceptions about rail travel?

Clients aren’t used to travelling by rail in Asia as they would in Europe. They aren’t used to thinking about the possibility of using shorter trains, or of rail travel as an experience. We try and show people what it’s all about, because if we present it to them in the right way, they can see how beautiful it is. We also invite people from the tourism industry to come and see for themselves and to understand the train.

What are the unique selling points of the onboard entertainment and amenities?

The price is literally all inclusive.  As soon as you pay your fare for the Fables of the Peninsula route, for example, everything from your night at the Raffles Hotel before departure, to any alcoholic drinks you require and everything else in between - is included in the price. Even the unexpected, everything is included. This is unique, and most people don’t expect it. In Europe, tickets include some things, but not everything. Passengers also find the food surprising. 

If you travel in Europe, between London and Venice for example, passengers may have excellent food. But on E&O, they are certain they’ll have excellent food. They really have no idea of the standard of food to expect on our train. We have a French chef onboard; breakfasts are delivered to cabins, each cabin has a butler. For lunch and dinner we have a set menu. We choose a mix of meals between French cuisine and Asian food, with a choice of main courses. The chef also includes local dishes, mostly Malaysian and Thai cuisine.  Considering the size of the cabins and the galley, the food we present to guests is amazing. 

How much has changed during the last 20 years at E&0? 

We launched the first route, between Singapore and Bangkok, in September 1993.  There has been a huge increase in the popularity of luxury trains in Southeast Asia, and we are looking to expand our routes. Our next stop will be Cambodia; we’re working on a possible connection between Thailand and Cambodia at the moment. There used to be 48km of missing track, which is a problem, but we really hope it will happen fairly soon, maybe the end of 2015 or during 2016.  I’d love to be able to take the train to Cambodia.

What makes you confident for the future?

We are not a thousand-room hotel, we have a unique product; a customized service which gives travellers an exceptional, unique experience. This is what we like doing. The train is a perfect example in Southeast Asia and has become a compelling experience for our clients. And not just in Asia, also elsewhere. We are about to launch a new luxury train in Ireland in 2016. That will be a new train and a fantastic opportunity for clients that are travelling in Ireland and Scotland.

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Luxury Family Vacation: Kata Rocks in Phuket


The perfect combination of rest and play

Luxury Family Vacation: Kata Rocks in Phuket


The perfect combination of rest and play

Lifestyle > Travel



Luxury Family Vacation

May 29, 2015

Adjacent to the calm, azure waters of the Andaman Sea, Kata Rocks in Phuket is the ideal destination for an unforgettable family holiday. From outdoor cinema nights to traditional Thai massage treatments, this award-winning resort has something for everyone. All activities and experiences at Kata Rocks are child-friendly. Youngsters can take advantage of the resort’s expansive 35-metre swimming pool and dine at the poolside restaurant with special children’s menu. For adults wanting some downtime, the Infinite Luxury Spa treatments rejuvenate body and soul. Until October 2015, Kata Rocks is offering a complimentary third night with every two consecutive paid nights, including daily breakfast. (katarocks.com)

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Shutterbugs Take Note: Belmond Hotels


Fill your digital album with stunning, unique shots

Shutterbugs Take Note: Belmond Hotels


Fill your digital album with stunning, unique shots

Lifestyle > Travel



Shutterbugs Take Note

May 29, 2015

above image: Hot-air ballooning over Florence and the Chianti Hills

Belmond Hotels has launched a series of bespoke photography experiences at its legendary hotels across Europe as they reopen for the summer season. From night shots to underwater photography, these innovative experiences will allow guests to capture some of the continent’s most inspiring destinations from a whole new perspective. Packages include exploring the secluded courtyards of Venice; navigating the ancient and modern wonders of Naples; birdwatching on Mallorca’s tranquil north-west coast; scuba diving off the coast of Portofino; and hot-air ballooning over Florence and the Chianti Hills. Anyone who loves taking pictures of their food will most certainly make their friends jealous after experiencing the “Cook and Camera” package at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo and Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea in Sicily. Led by Executive Chef Roberto Toro, guests will learn how to cook, style, and photograph delicious dishes before dining on their own culinary creations. Be sure to bring along your own camera because your smartphone camera simply won’t cut it. (belmond.com)

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  Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy

Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy

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What’s Knot to Love? Oetker Collection Weddings


Celebrate your wedding day at an exotic location in a one-of-a-kind Oetker Collection hotel

 

What’s Knot to Love? Oetker Collection Weddings


Celebrate your wedding day at an exotic location in a one-of-a-kind Oetker Collection hotel

 

Lifestyle > Travel



What’s Knot to Love?

May 29, 2015

For couples wishing to tie the knot in style, Oetker Collection’s unique masterpiece hotels provide the perfect setting for a memorable destination wedding.

At the enchanting Palais Namaskar in Marrakesh, couples can exchange their vows against the backdrop of Morocco’s magnificent Atlas Mountains, surrounded by stunning lakes, lush greenery and exotically scented gardens.

At Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles, wedding couples and their guests can enjoy romantic dinners on any of the island’s seven private beaches or a dinner party overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Each Oetker Collection property offers the highest level of hospitality and impeccable service combined with exceptional historic architecture and interiors. In comparison, getting married in Hong Kong seems so pedestrian. (oetkercollection.com)

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  The Mountain Palace, Pal  ais Namaskar, Marrakesh,   Morocco

The Mountain Palace, Palais Namaskar, Marrakesh, Morocco

  nse Macquereau, one of seven private beaches where   couples can get married on Fregate Island Private

nse Macquereau, one of seven private beaches where couples can get married on Fregate Island Private