I have been a travel writer for nearly 26 years. I spent 11 years as deputy and associate editor on BA's High Life magazine and have been freelance for the past nine years. I contribute to a range of newspapers and magazines, including Metro, Mail on Sunday, City AM, Canary Wharf Magazine, Family Traveller, High Life, Sainsbury's Magazine, and many more. I am also a travel contributor for Forbes.com
THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
Norfolk Lavender in Heacham is one of the oldest lavender farms in the UK At Castle Farm in Kent visitors can learn how to make lavender wreaths Mayfield Lavender in Banstead, Surrey, is located just 12 miles from London Who needs Provence?
COUNTRY LIFE MAGAZINE
EVENING STANDARD & ES MAGAZINE
If chintzy florals are your thing, then think again about checking into The Belsfield, on the shores of Lake Windermere. This impressive-looking hotel may have had a revamp by Laura Ashley - a brand once best known for its pretty, whimsical designs - but you'll not find a pastel flower in sight.
VICTORIA MAGAZINE ONLINE - P&G EUROPE
From swimming with dolphins to spotting a wild tiger in its natural habitat - make this the year you tick that amazing animal experience off your bucket list From swimming with dolphins to spotting a wild tiger in its natural habitat, make this the year you tick that amazing animal experience off your bucket list They may be part of Europe, but the nine islands that make up the Azores, off the coast of Portugal, are still relatively undiscovered.
THE JEWISH CHRONICLE
It's fitting that check-in at London's hippest hotel is on the 15th floor. For, just like a tree, it's at the top where everything flourishes. The lobby space is eclectic - there's a bark-covered wall, with wooden bird boxes and lush plants growing out of it.
Presiding along one side of Grosvenor Square, in the heart of Mayfair, The Biltmore hotel is a swish reincarnation of what was originally the slightly fuddy duddy The Millennium Hotel. The £60 million reimagination, by Hilton's new, top-end LXR brand, didn't stint and it shows.
For a holiday destination that's focused on family stays, it's remarkably peaceful at Silverlake. This rural retreat, in the heart of Dorset, consists of a community of sustainable holiday homes perched around a series of lakes, ponds and heathland.
Florence's most famous son, Leonardo da Vinci, didn't actually die in the Tuscan city, but rather in the Loire Valley, where he was holed up with his patron, King Francois I. But that's no reason for his home town not to commemorate the 500 th anniversary of his death.
Even the most jaded globetrotters won't fail to be impressed by the Manhattan skyline as seen from 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Set on the waterfront of the East River, it's five blocks west of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade and next to the Dumbo ferry terminal (so it takes just a few minutes to reach Wall Street).
I knew I had a problem when - at 6am in my darkened bedroom - I broke out in a cold sweat, thinking I had lost my phone. I had got so used to waking up, reaching for my little screen and checking updates, that the thought of not be able to do this had resulted in a disproportionate level of anxiety.
An emerald hummingbird delicately hovers over a hot pink bougainvillea, and when the sun hits the pool, a thousand shades of azure sparkle like diamonds. Lofty ruby and gold Birds of Paradise flowers line the paths and, as you amble around in the Havaianas from your room, huge palm leaves gently sway.
Discover this under-the-radar resort and you'll be rubbing shoulders with the stars
You may not have considered staying in one of the increasingly popular, serviced apartments appearing in cities like London: too soulless and not suitable for a short stay, you might have assumed. But think again. Because Cheval Residences' luxury collection of apartments is upping the ante with its design-led properties available to rent from one night to three months or more.
There's an aura of serenity that permeates the Culloden Estate - a grand country house hotel on the outskirts of Belfast. It's not just the hushed reverence of five-star service that you'll pick up on, for, in fact, the property was once a palatial home for Church of Ireland bishops.
You might not be overly familiar with the name Martin Brudnizki, but there's a good chance you've eaten in one of the many dining rooms he has designed. The interiors guru is the man to have on speed dial if you're thinking of opening a hip restaurant or cool hotel and want to attract an uber-glamourous crowd.
It may be winter in the UK, but Marrakech - just a short three-and-a-half hour flight away - is the ideal spot for basking in some rays. And while getting lost in the city's medina, wandering through its palm-tree gardens and sharing mezze in the rooftop restaurants should all be on your 'must-do' list, you can now get a different perspective on this intriguing destination.
Peer out the huge windows of Sushi Sora - a compact dining room on the 38th floor of the elegant Mandarin Oriental Tokyo hotel - and the vast city skyline glows as far as the eye can see. Night-time is surely the most cinematic way to see Tokyo from up high.
Leatherhead in Surrey is an unlikely place to find what could be the UK's most glamorous recent hotel opening. But, nonetheless here - just a 10-minute drive from the M25 - is Beaverbrook, a re-imagination of what was previously Cherkley Court, the former home of press baron Lord Beaverbrook.
You eat under an ackee fruit tree as the sun dips down. The night is balmy and Ella Fitzgerald - along with a few hundred crickets - is singing the blues. The historic watermill still turns, giving a soupçon of charm that is far removed from the site's actual history as part of the 17th-century Rose Hall Sugar Plantation.
When Dr Carl Ottosen opened his sanatorium back in 1898, he probably didn't envisage that nearly 120 years later, a legion of wellbeing lovers would still be arriving at the same spot.
If luxury to you means cool, funky and stripped back, then don't come to The Lanesborough. After its lavish 18-month, top-to-toe revamp, the hotel has shaken off its scaffolding to reclaim its crown as one of the capital's most luxurious hotels - and if it makes no pretensions to being hip, it's unquestionably special.
On Prague's historic Charles Bridge, the crowds are heavy. At times, its nigh on impossible to get near the imposing Baroque statues of saints that the picturesque bridge is known for. Its the same in the Old Town Square, where tourists with selfie sticks mingle in front of the famous 600-year-old Astronomical Clock, waiting for it to chime the hour and display its moving figures.
As a travel writer, I am used to whizzing off to some incredible places. Some of my trips may be impromptu hops to nearby destinations, other journeys take months in the planning - curating itineraries and discussing ideas for the stories I will eventually write.
From losing yourself within the pages of a glorious travel book to indulging with the pampering products you'd usually find in an exotic spa - there's still an element of travel that you can enjoy while being confined to your homes.
The wellness industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors in travel. In the long-term, however, it will be wellness breaks which will be likely to be in high demand - with many of us looking for places that offer respite for the soul and some much-needed holistic expertise.
In this occasional series for Forbes, I talk to industry insiders and travel experts about their views on how we will travel in the months and years ahead, in light of the pandemic and its impact.
Many of us are confined to our homes with lockdown measures still intact across many countries. While we are unable to spread our wings, the natural world is taking advantage of humankind's retreat. For nature lovers, here are three spots to put on your wish-list for when we can travel again.
Here, I talk to a range of travel 'insiders' to hear their views on the impact of coronavirus and their predictions on how we will travel in the future. Delaying, rather than cancelling your trip - if finances allow - seems to be one over-riding message at the moment.
While the travel industry may not be operating 'business as usual' during the current crisis, it doesn't mean to say that they have lost their fighting spirit. In fact, many companies in the sector have admirably adapted their offerings and risen to the challenge of helping others in need.
Self-isolation and seclusion mean that it can be a lonely, worrying time for many of us. Why not break up the hours by going on a virtual tour of some of the world's most inspiring places?
The fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic is being felt everywhere across the globe. Here, I speak to Alice Gully, co-owner of Aardvark Safaris, who says that the repercussions in the decline of tourism will have an enormous impact on conservation efforts in Africa.
Confinement and self-isolation means that we are unable to go anywhere far at the moment, but that doesn't mean we can't dream and plan for our trips ahead. In fact, many travel companies and tourist authorities are coming up with increasingly innovative and imaginative ways in which we can continue our 'journeys' from our homes and bring a touch of positive dreaming to our lives.
We are surrounded by uncertainty, with travel perhaps the last thing on our minds. But with many of us hunkering down indoors, there's nothing to stop us dreaming. Here are three extraordinary trips to put on your wish-list for when we can spread our wings again...
While it looks certain that travel is off the cards for the world at the moment, here is something to look forward to - Aman has announced it is launching a new company - Janu - with three hotels due to open in 2022, all of which will seek to offer a 'rekindling of the soul'.
Most of us are in the unprecedented position of being 'grounded' for a while, but this doesn't mean we can't plan or dream about our future travel. The following gems are found off the beaten track and will offer the chance to recharge our minds, and rest our bodies, once we're all back on the move.
From Cuba's extraordinary dance scene to Havana's exciting community of artists, Cuban's seem to have a knack of putting their own incomparable stamp onto every genre of the arts. Over the years, international filmmakers, writers and artists have flocked to the island, in search of their own inspiration, but it is, perhaps, Ernest Hemingway who remains the most famous of these talented 'ex-pats' who chose to make their home here.
Found within the shadow of the spectacular Le Morne peak, and framed by the impossibly blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Heritage Le Telfair - a five-star wellness resort - is located in perhaps Mauritius's most spectacular location.
The temperature is humid, and if it wasn't for the rain splattering outside and the grey skies overhead, you might think you were wandering around the rainforest of a far-flung island The 25th edition of Kew's Orchid Festival might be found in London but it has been inspired by Indonesia - an arc...
The only wellness resort of its kind on the island, it is found in a 2,500 hectare private estate, known as Heritage Bel Ombre, partly made up of the immense Fredrica Nature Reserve, a golf course, an untouched shoreline, as well as two sister properties.
From a 'curated' townhouse in Mallorca to the carnival-themed hotel on London 's Southbank - hotels are pushing the boundaries when it comes to design this year. Opening in June 2020, in the quaint rural town of Santanyí in the south east of Mallorca, Can Ferrereta is carved out of a stunning 17 th-century mansion.
Founded by husband and wife restaurateurs Simon Mullins and Isabel Almeida da Silva, Volta do Mar - which translates as 'Return from the Sea' - celebrates Portugal's regional cuisine, of which many dishes are influenced by the country's trading past, with African, Brazilian and Indian influences.
As the sun dips behind the curve of the horizon, the pure white of the iced-over Lule River gives off a supernatural glow against the darkening skies. Inside your room, it's warm and cosy - modern Scandi lamps are dimmed, and on the Mid-century-style sofas you can huddle under faux-fur throws to keep off the chill.
Kent and Britta Lindvall are not your average hoteliers. They may be at the helm of the inventive Treehotel - a collection of weird and wonderful rooms perched high in the trees in a remote Swedish forest - but, they say, they are simple folk at heart.
Travel, it seems, is taking a mysterious turn this year, with a flurry of Agatha Christie-inspired trips being launched for amateur sleuths, and explorers, alike. Putting the Nile on the radar - the setting for perhaps what is Christie's most famous novel - and coinciding with the October 2020 release of Kenneth Branagh's new cinematic version of Death on the Nile-travellers can once again sail on the .
The original Inuit people, who came up with the genius concept of the igloo, some 5,000 years ago, would probably be more than amused to see the amount of people clamouring to stay at the modern day version - The Ice Hotel.
The corner seat is the one to bag. The very same soft, red leather banquette that was Oscar Wilde's favourite and which gives the best view of the resplendent Rococo room. Opened in 1865, on the Piccadilly end of Regent Street, The Oscar Wilde Lounge is the jewel of Hotel Café Royal, and one of the most historic rooms in one of London's oldest hotels.
When it comes to travel, there's nothing better to spark inspiration than a glossy tome which sets out to celebrate the virtues of a destination. Immerse yourself in a new batch of titles for the year ahead and you can silently journey to far-flung destinations and sow the seed for where you'd like to tick off your must-see list next.
Once the festivities are offer, why not shake off the winter blues by heading to one of the new resorts opening in 2020? The best luxury openings - from Miami to St Barths - are ideal for globetrotters who appreciate the latest in design, but who are also conscious about their travel footprint.
If you are looking to explore somewhere new and exciting, look no further than the capital city which is gearing up to welcome three new hotels early next year. The Guardsman , on Buckingham Gate, is one of the most highly-anticipated openings for 2020.
Inside the dining room, it's all curvy lines, teal velvet armchairs and gleaming brass fixtures. The lighting is warm and cocooning and disco-funk is on the playlist. Outside, London might be dripping with rain again, but Folie, the capital's latest restaurant, will welcome you in from the cold with a touch of Riviera sunshine.
Found on the Tsim Sha Tsui Harbour-front in Hong Kong, and having taken 10 years to complete, the newly opened K11 Musea retail development is shining a spotlight on the city's waterfront region in more ways than one.
From the rise in eco-friendly hotels to the search for authentic experiences, the world of travel has never been so 'woke'. In my final feature, as part of a series of articles revealing what's new and what's coming up on the horizon, I continue my look at what's happening in travel for 2020.
From the rise in eco-friendly hotels to the search for authentic experiences, the world of travel has never been so 'woke'. In a series of articles revealing what's new and what's coming up on the horizon, I continue my look at what's happening in travel for 2020.
From the rise in eco-friendly hotels to the search for authentic experiences, the world of travel has never been so 'woke'. In a series of articles looking at what's new and what's coming up on the horizon, I reveal what's happening in travel for 2020. 1.
Outside, the sky is heavy with ominous-looking clouds - it's the end of the monsoon season in Goa, and the sun is struggling to shine. Inside the Figueiredo House , in the village of Loutolim, it's also dark - but this time it's with the laden import that comes with a history dating back to 1590.
There's been a flurry of UK 'rural estate' hotels opening of late - making the usual quiet lanes of the UK countryside practically abuzz with a gentrified, urban crew wanting to find out what all the fuss is about.
In a city where a new hotel seems to open every week, where service levels are sublime across the board and a 'seven star' rating is a reality, how do you - as an iconic hotel brand - compete?
Private jet company, 365 Aviation's new partnership with The Little Grand Tour sees groups of children being able to fly off and tap into unique 'behind-the-scenes' experiences at some of the world's leading galleries and museums and travel by private jet.
Before you enter Old Delhi's Khari Baoli spice market, it might be a good idea to take a deep breath of air. Within the winding labyrinthine lanes, the atmosphere is heady with spice, so much so that your eyes water, you start to sneeze and your chest tightens with the heat suspended in the dust.
The concierge is busy arranging an impromptu bottle of bubbles for a guest's birthday, while in the bedroom there's a curated selection of books themed around London. You might think that this is the latest boutique hotel in the capital, but you'd be wrong.
Crucial to launching the brand, says Saher, she travelled extensively for a year around the world to find just the right suppliers that fitted in with her ethical ethos, to garner style ideas and to find partners who would fit in with her vision.
"You have to keep inventing to say alive," says Raymond Blanc OBE, and in the year in which his noted Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons celebrates its 35th anniversary, it seems that it is this philosophy that has enabled the hotel-restaurant to keep on top of its game for so long.
Inside the jewel of Venice's crown - the inimitable Gran Teatro La Fenice opera house - you might consider wearing a pair of sunglasses. In the lobby the huge, glittering chandeliers remain luminous, giving more than the wow-factor - (gleaming with their multitude of lights, you can't take your eyes off them) - despite the theatre's restoration having been completed back in 2003 (following the third fire of its history).
In all the cities in all the world, the one place where it is actually a joy to get lost in is Venice. One minute you can be in the midst of heaving crowds, the next - turn the wrong way - and you'll find yourself along an empty fondamenta, the lapping water in the canal sending up an eerie echo.
Now the air is turning crisp and the days are getting shorter, you may be already turning your thoughts to your travel plans for next year. So why not plan ahead for a spring trip infused with a touch of romance?
Those wanting to know more about the shape of the travel industry of the future, should look to the finalists of the Radical Innovation competition, which is gearing up to announce its winner next month on 16 October 2019. The yearly competition challenges designers, hoteliers, and students to pioneer compelling ideas in travel.
As you ramble across the heathland, past a wild lake - the air is colourful with blue butterflies fluttering past, and you feel totally at one with the world.
The bell rings throughout the day, accompanied by the soft lapping of the waves - and what could easily be an annoying interruption to a good beach read, turns out to be an incredibly soothing soundtrack to soaking up the sun.
With its micro-room, macro-amenity concept, Moxy Hotels has done much to change the way travellers think about affordable hospitality. Having debuted in 2014 with the opening of Moxy Milan, the boutique hotel brand - from Marriot International - has become known for its tech-enabled rooms, vibrant lobby spaces and modern experiential approach.
Chef Anirudh Arora may have been raised in Delhi, but he is currently bringing a little bit of home-grown flavour to London's dining scene. He started his career by carving out a successful role with the Oberoi Hotel group - he was the youngest Indian chef working for the company during his five years there.
When BAO opened in London, as a street food stand back in 2012, it kickstarted a love affair with Taiwanese cuisine (not to mention those delicious Bao buns). Inspired by her childhood in Taiwan, co-founder Erchen Chang, and partners, have since gone on to conquer the London restaurant scene with a series of cult classics.
Inspired by the natural world, 1 Hotel's Brooklyn Bridge property brings a touch of the outdoors in more ways than one to this urban location. The new opening - the group's West Coast flagship - is also inspired by outdoors - this time, the raw natural beauty of the southern Californian landscape.
It may be best known for its Renaissance art, but Tuscany, in the belly of Italy, is also bursting with culinary richness like no other Italian region. From the most flavoursome Ribollita soup to the juiciest Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the crispest Chianti wine to buttery gnocci, a typical Tuscan meal is often simple, but always a masterpiece in its own right.
From its Art Deco pool to its unique connection to the art world, hotel Molitor 's iconic status is as much down to its rich history as it is to its forward-thinking ethos. This year it is celebrating 90 years since it first opened its doors in Paris's 16 th arrondissement.
Showcasing Drabble's flair for French cuisine - his poached native lobster tail with cauliflower purée and lobster butter is one of his most fêted dishes - the restaurant is found in the St James Hotel & Club, in the heart of Mayfair, and makes for an intimate place to dine.
With its elaborate turrets, honey-hued lime-stone façade and ornate curlicues - arriving at the De Vere Tortford Court in Gloucestershire feels - at first sight - like you've stepped into a Mary Shelley novel. While the hotel may have its feet in a Gothic past, its face, however, is firmly facing the future following its recent £6 million refurbishment.
Pulling up on the crunchy gravel that paves the way to Bowood Hotel in Wiltshire is like arriving at your own country pile. Found tucked away in the dreamy Capability Brown-designed grounds of the historic Bowood House , it is clear that this is not your average hotel.
This month, the American-Art-Deco inspired hotel, The Beaumont, is offering a range of authentic Boston dishes in its Colony Grill restaurant, to mark the two Major League Baseball season games, which will be hosted in London for the first time in history.
Taking the concept of spas to a new level is Sangha Retreat , which has recently added to its immersive offering and is launching to an international traveller. Found in the historic garden city of Suzhou, China, west of Shanghai, it looks set to cause a frisson of excitement - or at least a nod of holistic approval - in the wellness industry and beyond.
Capturing the charms of a locale - particularly when it is an interesting one - is not a new concept for hotel designers.
The recently opened Moxy Chelsea in the heart of New York offers a genius twist on the affordable, micro-hotel trend: glamourous sociable spaces, a top-end Italian restaurant and cool rooms, designed by Yabu Pushelburg and the Rockwell Group, give you more bang for your buck.
With International Recycling Day just ticked off the calendar (17 May) and the World Environment Day on the horizon (5 June), the themes of sustainability and eco awareness are particularly relevant right now. In the travel world, of course, these issues have never been so pertinent, with the brightest, newest hotels looking to tick the right boxes to keep their consciences, and forward-thinking guests, happy.
Following a successful debut last year, Harvest returns to Kaplankaya, Turkey, on 24-26 May, with a new addition to the series - Harvest Nature. This three-day experience, based at the Six Senses resort, will host up to 15 internationally renowned speakers to discuss themes relating to the exploration and conservation of the planet - all with a positive focus.
Last year, when Madeira was voted Europe's 'Leading Island Destination' in the World Travel Awards for the fifth year running, it firmly kissed goodbye to its reputation as destination of choice for sedate retirees.
Attracting five million visitors each year, New York's The High Line is one of the most successful urban tourist developments of recent times. Now, London is set to get its own version with the first section of The Tide , a new cultural, linear park, running alongside the Thames in the Greenwich Peninsula, due to open in July.
This month marks 500 years since Leonardo da Vinci died. As well as his masterpieces, which sees him regarded as one of the world's finest artists, da Vinci's sketches, found in the thousands, across numerous notebooks, also reveal just how ahead of his time he was - with the works showing the first known concepts for bicycles, helicopters and aeroplanes, as well as advanced anatomical sketches and scientific studies.
When it comes to luxury travel, there is one name in the industry who has led the way, particularly when it comes to creating the most enlightening safari experiences imaginable. Geoffrey Kent, the founder of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent , is renowned as a pioneer, with his innovative and upscale approach to experiencing some of the continent's greatest wildernesses.
After leaving Georgia's capital Tbilisi, you can drive for miles, through wild countryside, without seeing a soul. The country - with one foot in Europe and one in Asia - is a small one, with a population of just 3.7 million (a third of whom live in Tbilisi) and travelling here feels like arriving in an untouched, undiscovered land.
Get out of your comfort zone with a visit to the innovative Holmen Lofoten, in the remote north of Norway. Here, you can delve into the Kitchen on the Edge of the World, a foodie adventure with celebrity chefs and inspiring artists.
The honey-coloured exterior is somewhat misleading. Bordering Sussex's idyllic South Downs, South Lodge - a 19 th century neo-Jacobean manor - on first sight is exactly what you'd expect. There are manicured lawns, wooded walkways and a Wisteria covered entrance. Step inside and there's enough ornate ceilings, wood panelling and overstuffed sofas to keep any Victoriana fiend happy.
You wouldn't ordinarily come to one of the most romantic destinations on earth just to sleep, but the latest wellness retreat at One&Only Reethi Rah , in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives, is making it seductively easy to do just that.
Found in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, new boutique hotel Fauchon L'Hotel brings together a playful design ethos with a gastronomic focus. Founded in 1886, is one of France's most famous gastronomic luxury brands - renowned for its gourmet delicatessen, including the most celebrated macarons.
The scent of roses is heady and, wrapped in my traditional pastemal wrap, I am guided into the heart of the hammam where the plumes of steam intensify the aroma. This is the Oriental Hammam found at the heart of One&Only Royal Mirage hotel in Dubai and it serves as a gentle oasis away from the high-octane glitz that is the hallmark of this city.
When the first Aman resort opened in Phuket, Thailand back in 1988, Indonesian hotelier Adrian Zecha was hailed as a trailblazer, due to the property's stand-out minimalist design ethos married with its super-luxury approach to hospitality.
From the terrace, the blue sea shimmers for miles before me and the Bay of Dassia lies resplendent in a perfect arc below. Corfu - a land laden with myth and legend - boasts many pretty spots, and this is one of its most charming.
When Carol Lovell founded STOW back in 2013, she set out to create a leading brand renowned for its luxurious and life-lasting travel accessories. Combining traditional artisan skills with practical storage solutions, that work for the modern-day traveller, the company has become synonymous with the spirit of stylish 'wander-luxe'.
Here, I continue to look back on the trips I made over the course of last year. In this this second instalment, I pick up my journeying, as I touch down for a night away in Edinburgh. There's no grander place to see Edinburgh than from the old railway hotel that is the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian .
It may date back to the 17 th century, but since Dormy House 's makeover by Todhunter Earle in 2017, the hotel has been the touchstone for modern, country-house hotel design.
As well as its innovative sea and river voyages around the world, Viking Cruises is also renowned for its continual support of the arts. Following on from last year's sponsorship of the V&A's major Ocean Liners: Speed & Style exhibition, this year, the cruise line is working alongside the British Museum on the anticipated Edvard Munch: Love and Angst exhibition, which will run from 11 April - 21 July 2019.
As a travel writer, the horizon is always on my sightline (literally and metaphorically). I'm constantly looking forward to an upcoming trip, thinking about a new destination or what will be the next airport I'll be touching down in.
When Livia Manca di Villahermosa wanted to find a holistic holiday which was also nurturing and luxurious, rather than minimalist and depriving, she struggled to find anything that suited. Having worked with luxury brands, such as Chanel and La Perla, in both New York and London, her experience in the luxury world meant that she quickly saw a gap in the market.
Travel has long been a driving force for Zorawa Kalra, the renowned New Delhi-born restaurateur who is set to bring an exciting twist to London's already multi-layered and dynamic culinary scene this month, with the opening of Farzi Café .
London's Little Venice is one of those urban areas that has formed legendary status in my mind. I think of it as a mini version of my favourite Italian city. But, in reality, it's actually one of the city's corners that I know least - despite me being what I'd like to think of as a knowledgeable Londoner.
From a weekend break in the balmy island of Mallorca to exploring the wonders of Costa Rica, these three hotel openings are the ones to put on your wish-list this year... Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Just opened in Mallorca, is the island's newest, and arguably most stylish, retreat.
Whether you opt for a Sky Suite or a two-bed villa, a stay at the cliff-top Six Senses Uluwatu in Bali will be sure to give you an elevated experience of the Indonesian island, which has long welcomed travellers who on a quest for harmony and spirituality.
Another new year has started, and, with it, travel thoughts inevitably turn to the quest for a 'new you'. Whether you are looking for a reboot, a health overhaul or just some head space, January is the perfect time to go on a journey of self-discovery to set you up for the year ahead.
When Wilbert Das, the ex-creative director of Diesel Jeans, arrived in Trancoso back in 2004, he gained much more than just a well-earned rest from the fashion empire he had left behind.
For the past few years, there's been a little coastal revival simmering away on the east Kent coastline. It started with Whitstable, and its impossibly pretty fisherman's cottages and stylish oyster restaurants. Next came Margate, with its Turner Contemporary gallery and buzzing art scene.
From futuristic cruise ships to interactive architecture for hotels - the ways in which we see the world, and how we want to experience different destinations, is changing. I speak to some of the industry's leading experts to discover the latest travel trends.
From its uber-luxury, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel to the Burj Khalifa , the tallest building on the planet, when it comes to impressing even the most world-weary travellers, Dubai knows how to pull out the stops. It latest addition to the skyline - the 95m-high The Opus building - has ramped up the city's architectural prowess even further.
The ways in which we see the world, and how we want to experience different destinations, is changing. Here, I speak to some of the industry's leading experts to discover the latest travel trends. Bite-sized travel According toNobu Hotel Ibiza Bay , 2019 will be the year of 'bite-sized travel', with travellers looking to squeeze in curated travel itineraries into shorter time-frames.
For a hotel inspired by one of our greatest Brits, Sir Winston Churchill, The Hyatt Regency London is surprisingly buzzy, and not in the least bit stuffy as you might perhaps expect. The five-star hotel, known as The Churchill, on Portman Square in Marylebone, has nods throughout towards the great leader and politician - from bronze busts to a curated book collection on display in public areas.
Found in the sleepy Bahian town of Trancoso, UXUA Casa Hotel has a magical quality. Built by local artisans, the collection of rustic-chic houses mean that visitors can get under the skin of what makes this Brazilian beach town just so special.
Voted best country to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet, all eyes are on Sri Lanka. For something different, look to Teardrop Hotels which offer small and stylish places to stay with a batch of new openings along the country famous - and picturesque - tea route.
The Experimental Group brings its hip ethos to Verbier with its Experimental Chalet opening in December. The new opening offers a signature cocktail bar, club and modern restaurant and is perfect for skiers after a contemporary interpretation of chalet living.
The new Ikos Dassia in Corfu may offer five-star all-inclusive living, with a luxury twist, but it also has a unique take on local living - by encouraging its guests to go beyond the walls of the resorts with innovative experiences.
There's something mesmerising about the myriad hues of turquoise, that swirl like inky drops, in the Bahamian seas. Beckoning sailors from around the world, these waters, surrounding some 700 islands, offer up the dream yachting destination, with the island of Abaco - the second largest in the Bahamas - often referred to as the world's sailing capital.
Located in the heart of Courchevel's exclusive is arguably one of the world's most luxurious hotels and was originally built at a staggering cost of €100m.
Standing in a half-built concrete building, with the Bahamian sun blazing down, is a revelation. This is Albany - one of the world's most exclusive resort communities located on New Providence Island in the Bahamas - and, it's likely that you may not have heard of it.
Incorporating a Viceroy Resort and residences, luxury villas, an 18-hole golf course and 150 hectares of natural landscape, the much-anticipated Ombria Resort in Portugal's Algarve region is set to bring in a new level of luxury to the area.
Philippe Kjellgren, founder of PK's List - a travel club for discerning travellers - has journeyed around the world for 800 days to personally vet some of the globe's finest hotels to include in his new app. Here, he reveals his top ten hotels. Take notes...
Quinta do Lago may be 45 years old, but that does not stop it continually developing and keeping ahead of the curve. New for this month is the state-of-the-art sports hub called The Campus, while due to open next year are a new batch of luxury, lakeside apartments.
Trisara translates as 'Third Garden in Heaven' in Sanskrit - and you can see why. Found on Phuket's less-trodden north-west coast, it is like entering your own little slice of paradise.
With its industrial-styled restaurant, minimalist interiors and 'outside-in' signature design, Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa offers a sleek, sophisticated and urban vibe that is a world away from Thailand's sensory maximalism.
It's the blue that you notice first. First there's the aqua, turquoise and azure tones of the Andaman Sea (no adjectives can do justice to its startling hues), then there's the cloudless, cobalt sky above. Meanwhile, inside, this is further enhanced by the shots of ultramarine accents which are dominant throughout.
When it comes to first impressions, you'd be hard-pressed to beat London's Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square . Its Neo-Classical exterior - complete with limestone colonnade, a show-stopping staircase and imposing statues - gives way to a lavish marble lobby.
The latest new opening from the innovative Akaryn group of hotels, Akyra TAS Sukhumvit , will 'have you' at 'hello'. Not only does its downtown Bangkok vibe ooze coolness (Sukhumvit is Bangkok's most upcoming area, which the hotel reflects in its chic-retro interiors), but the boutique hotel is also making a stir with its forward-thinking, eco-conscious ethos.
First impressions count and a hotel lobby is the best way to showcase the type of hospitality which is to unfold after check-in. At St James' Court, a Taj Hotel , in the heart of SW1, your first 'hello' is a window onto the hotel brand's exotic roots which lie in the subcontinent.
In what is quite possibly one of the most hectic cities in the world, there's a little corner of Thai paradise - and peace - to be found at the design-orientated Akyra Thonglor , an urban dream of a hotel in the most happening district of Bangkok.
Whether you want your next trip to inspire you or to relax you, the chances are you won't be alone (in more ways than one). New research by award-winning cruise line Viking has revealed that the rise in multi-generational travel - with a difference - is here to stay.
The first thing you notice are the big skies and the wide, seemingly endless beach stretched out before you. Like a magnet, you are drawn to the huge windows that frame the seascape as if it was a Turner painting and, impressive as the Scandi-styled interiors are that wait behind you, it is this view that puts everything else in its shadow.
Last year, when Habitas opened its lifestyle hotel in the hippie beach town of Tulum , Mexico, it offered everything, and more, for a savvy Millennial traveller. Not only was it built in collaboration with local carpenters and artisans (thus ticking the 'give-back' box), it also made sure that sustainability was key with its environmentally-aware ethos, that has become all-important to the way many of us want to travel.
There's a frisson of excitement on the UK hotel scene with a flurry of openings which could see British travellers cancelling their long-haul flights and opting for a glamorous staycation instead. First up is The Langley , a Luxury Collection Hotel due to open its doors in Buckinghamshire this summer.
Those in the know - whether it is business, property or travel - will already have Luštica Bay in Montenegro on their radar. The development project, said to be costing around 1.1 billion euros, is, in effect, the building of a major new town with a state-of-the-art infrastructure.
The Chablé Resort on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula was one of the most glamorous openings of 2017, now the group is set to open another property on Mexico's Riviera Maya. At Chablé Maroma you can expect standout dining, a destination spa and sleek interiors.
Better known for its lavish jewelry - think gleaming emeralds, dazzling diamonds and the deepest azure sapphires - it's no surprise that stepping into Bulgari Hotel London is like finding yourself encased in a jewelry box. Polished, black granite floors and acres of glossy sapele mahogany mean that the lobby is, more specifically, the equivalent of the inside of a black-lacquered case.
Waldorf Astoria's The Caledonian in Edinburgh is renowned as the city's most iconic hotel. Exuding an air of romance with its roots being an old railway hotel, it also is renowned for its modern-day glamour with a Guerlain spa, stand-out Galvin restaurants, and newly revamped, elegant bedrooms.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. In the distance, a great egret glides gracefully across the pond, while, closer to where we stand on the veranda, a purple martin lands on the lawn.
For those yearning to eat in some of the world's best restaurants, Taste of London is a god-send. Next week, some of the best chefs in the world descend upon Regent's Park to celebrate the best of their innovative food.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. It's no surprise that the Akaryn Hotel Group (AHG) is making waves in Thailand.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. There's no bigger city travel trend at the moment than the rise of luxury residences.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Hidden in the woodlands of western Massachusetts, Blantyre stands as a reminder of a gilded age that time has nearly forgotten.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. It's one of the big stories in travel and an even bigger one for the city of New York.
Aside from the grand entrance, the first thing you notice at are the many nods to the outdoors. In the lobby, the abundance of pink and lilac flowers - scented sweet pea and sprigs of cherry blossom, arranged by Boston's premier florist Winston Flowers - feel like an ode to spring.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. When you eventually arrive at Ocean House in Watch Hill, it's a sunny welcome.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
The all-white, ethereal spa at Royal Mansour will give you more than an 'ahh' moment. With a vast array of treatments with local products, stunning interiors and a secret garden - just entering it will have you relaxed on 'hello'.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. They say that first impressions count, and at Powerscourt Hotel , one of Ireland's most lavish resorts, it's certainly true.
Valletta in Malta is one of this year's Capitals of Culture, with a wide range of events planned for this year. But it was already making its mark on the hip destination map due to its cool hotel scene, avant-garde architectural projects and it's all-round sunny disposition.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Think of a trip to Devon and you might dream of thatched cottages on winding lanes, picturesque coves and little villages with tea shops that time forgot.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Outside, the colours of the buildings are of the sun: terracotta, ochre and amber.
Since it opened its doors in the late 19th century, The Savoy has made its name through collaborating with the great and the good. Next month sees three more collaborations, which will keep it at the forefront of luxury hospitality.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. When we arrive, there's a swirling mist shrouding Belfast Lough and the air is damp and opaque.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Share to email Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Share to google Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Half Moon, a luxury beachfront hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has long been an iconic property that is at the top of many well-heeled travellers' wish lists.
Launched in 2015 in Arizona's Painted Desert, Restival was the first of its kind. Combining the 'group' ethos and freedom vibes of music festivals with the wellness factors of a holistic retreat, founder Caroline Jones came up with the concept of a five-day digital-detox which also borrows a lot from experiential travel.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The Bloomsbury Hotel - quite possibly the most Instagrammable place to rest your head in London right now - is leading the way with the reinvigoration of what has been, of late, a half-overlooked corner of London.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Tweet This You get a feel for what's to come as soon as you touch down in Marrakech's stunning new Menara Airport (voted one of the most beautiful in the world).
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Tweet This After hopping around the world for nearly 20 years as a travel journalist, I'd like to think that I've picked up some insider information about the 'business' of travel that's worth sharing.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Much has been made of home-from-home living in the travel world of late - first there were the home rentals, hotel-aparts, then the home-stays - but getting it just right for the luxury market are the serviced apartments by Cheval Residences.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Tweet This In recent years, the notion of going on a cruise has fallen out of popularity.
Discover a new side to Marrakech - one that is full of magic, charm and promise. Insiders Experience takes you beyond the realm of a usual tour, and, instead, on the back of a bike with sidecar, shows you the hidden side of the city.
Getting lost in Marrakech is part of the joy of experience the city. Le Trou au Mur is the third opening in the city from James Wix - a perfect spot to head to when you want to find yourself again.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. From bespoke itineraries to seeing a place like a local, the latest travel companies are adding a big dollop of imagination to the process of booking a holiday.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. With a batch of exciting new openings on the cards for the summer ahead, it looks like Greece is back in the spotlight (or should that say, sunlight?)
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The UK's country house scene is having a moment.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. While us Brits like to pride ourselves on our love of the varying seasons, the Japanese have elevated the changing months into an art form.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. From outdoor art trails to thrilling adventures on glacial rivers, this winter forget about hunkering down indoors, sub zero is where the real adventure starts.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The stars of the catwalks have long been in bed ('scuse the pun) with luxury hotels. From Armani to Versace , some of the globe's best-loved hotels - found in the glitziest locations, of course, - have a fashion designer's name over their doors.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Perfect for obsessed skiers who don't want to leave the slopes, and, also, giving a new meaning to 'pop-up' restaurant, is the innovative Fondue in the Sky experiential dining events.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Think of Italy, and you'll think of the art, the architecture, the design... and, of course, the food.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Outside, as darkness descends, the largest city in the world dresses up. From this view up on high, its lights glimmer as far as the eye can see and the twinkling cityscape seems to buzz with an unseen beat.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Cliveden , of course, needs no introduction.
The landscape of the UK has long been immortalised in film - from sweeping landscape shots of the great British countryside (think: County Durham as the dramatic backdrop in the 1996 film Jude) to our cities being immortalised in iconic films such as Notting Hill, Sherlock Holmes, and Truly Madly Deeply.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Forget taking off to exotic climes for inspiration or finding your thrills in far-flung lands - next year, the UK will be buzzing with a packed calendar of exciting cultural events and new openings, guaranteed to inspire and delight even the most jaded travellers.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Like cruising, the all-inclusive hotel has long had a bit of an image problem. Across the globe, too often the concept has been about 'piling them high, and selling them cheap' with non-branded drinks, group activities (shudder!)
While the recent effects of recent hurricanes and tropical storms have devastated a whole swathe of the Caribbean, such as the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Dominica, for many other islands it is business as usual.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. It doesn't get more glamorous than Courchevel 1850 - pristine snowscapes, a finely-crafted olde-worlde charm and some of the planet's finest dining combine to make this ski area one of Europe's most exclusive.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Despite having hotels dotted throughout some of the most glamorous destinations in the world - from Miami to Western Australia - it seems as though Singapore-based COMO Hotels has a particular fondness for Bali.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Forty years ago, the UK hotel industry was unrecognisable to the one we know today.
Known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara, in the state of California, has always been a popular destination for those in the know. But now, with a slew of new openings, it looks like its under-the-radar charm will be exposed for all to see.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Renowned for its cutting-edge, moody architecture, penchant for infinity pools and slick translation of what luxury means - Alila is the sort of hospitality brand that attracts design afionados and travel connoisseurs alike.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. You'll drink cocktails in the Parrot Bar, perched on deep-teal, velvet bar-stools, against a curvy, bronze bar. Walls are the palest peach - oil paintings giving a splash of colour, while tasselled lamps cast a flattering glow across the room.
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. We're all in search of a touch of ' la dolce vita' and there's nowhere more life-enhancing than a sojourn to bella Italia.
When it opened back in 2014, The Brando in French Polynesia was quite possibly the most gloriously glamourous resort to open its doors in the world. Three years on and it has maintained its position as one of the planet's leading trailblazers, when it comes to it's holistic and aesthetic appeal (it is one of the most gorgeous places to rest your head and has a strict 'green' policy).
Chasing the dream: I write about travel and the world around me Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. There's ackee and salt-fish for breakfast, fried dumplings and plantain, too. There are soursop and sorrel juices sitting proudly between the usual orange and grapefruit.
As collaborations go, the new Henrietta Hotel couldn't get any cooler. Based on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden, the new boutique venture sees the Paris-based Experimental Group and Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous joining forces for some serious impact.
Back in 2012, when Australian chef Ross Shonhan opened his hip Bone Daddies ramen restaurant in London's Soho, it seemed like a stroke of genius. Way ahead of the curve, his offering of Japanese 'soul food', set to a rock n' roll soundtrack, was the first of its kind in London and captured the mood of the dining scene in the capital.
You can't move for new openings in the Maldives at the minute, but Dhigali , the newest island outpost from Universal Resorts, is quite possibly one of the most glamourous. Having just opened its doors in June 2017, in the Raa Atall, its design ethos is minimalist, with teak wood, curvy bath-tubs and aquatic pops of colour.
It may be called the Garden of England due to its idyllic, quintessential English countryside, but when it comes to seaside charm, Kent is somewhat overlooked for well-known places like Dorset and Cornwall. But look again. With pretty beaches, such as Botany Bay and Pegwell Bay, the county has much to offer - and was even the inspiration for many of JMW Turner's works.
When Caravan first opened its doors in London's Exmouth Market back in 2010 - the concept of an all-day coffee roastery and restaurant was something of a relatively new idea in the city. But more innovative still, the founders - a trio of hip New Zealanders - were introducing their 'well-travelled' ethos to a foodie scene that was hungry for the 'new'.
It's just an hour's flight from the UK, but Dinard 's windswept beaches, wide skies and gourmet markets combine to make it feel like this is an eternity away from English shores.
It's the Caribbean, but not as you know it. There's no loud reggae, jerk chicken or chintz in sight - instead it's all French pop, just-baked croissants and white jeans. Welcome to St Barts (technically St Barthélemy) - so achingly chic, it is like someone has transported the South of France to the tropics.
If you arrive on a clear night, your passage is lit by starlight. You set sail from Tortola, the speed-boat scurrying through the North Sound, and a warm salty breeze whipping up your hair. Look above you and you will see an unpolluted black sky punctuated with millions of crystal-lemon bursts of light.
Back in 2009, legendary designer Jacques Grange put his spin on The Mark , one of New York's most iconic hotels since 1927. His haute-pop fusion style means the property has the brightest, stand-out lobby you'll ever come across.
From the super-hotel that is The Ned to the capital's cool little gems, like Ham Yard Hotel , London is awash with inspiring and design-savvy places to lay your head. You would be forgiven for thinking, therefore, that a new property from Novotel - part of the French Accor group - wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting as some of the big-name openings flinging open their doors in town.
Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, is one of Rome's finest gems - a recent revamp has seen its luxury offering ramped up with a highlight being Heinz Beck's La Pergola Restaurant, also soon to be redesigned. Set outside the city, it's an uplifting place to view the Rome at its best.
Think of Indian hotels and you may call to mind either grand palatial affairs or, on the other end of the scale, homely B&Bs. For many years, when it came to the hotel scene in the Asian country, there was not much to cater for a savvy, younger traveller.
If your morning routine starts with the downward dog or a salutation to the sun, and travel is your inspiration, then Bhutan may well be on your bucket list of must-experience destinations.
Let's face it: walking tours haven't got the most exciting reputation, but founder and former CEO of Groupon, Andrew Mason is determined to change all that. His latest venture- Detour -is based around immersive, experiential and location-based audio tours. Launched with a splash in the USA back in 2015, they have just been unveiled in the UK and across Europe.
When you walk into the grounds of the 600 year old San Michele Estate (complete with a moat and watchtower), it's almost like stepping into an Italian art-house movie scene. Sicily's Donna Coraly Resort is one of those places that only a handful of travel connoisseurs know about (read: not very many).
It is one of the London's most loved Grande Dame hotels, having been on the city's landscape for 90 years this year. Welcome to the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane which has recently opened its doors following a multimillion-dollar renovation.
While gold facials and hot stone therapies are all well and good, the most forward-thinking spas are going back to basics by looking at fundamental health issues that underpin our wellness. Sleep is the current buzzword - with more of us getting less of it than we need and most of us wanting more.
Think of cruising - even those which take travellers along the world's finest rivers - and you rarely call to mind being able to 'take in' a major capital city at the same time. But, offering a new - and innovative way - to see Paris (and beyond) is Uniworld Boutique 's just-launched river ship theS.S.
If you are yearning after an archetypal seaside holiday - think ice-creams on a wide, unspoilt beach, boat rides around a pretty harbour and fish and chips eaten with salty wind in your hair - then there's no better place than Cornwall. This year, the big news is the long-anticipated opening of the revamped Tate St Ives.
With its straight-out-of-ocean seafood, artisan cheeses and home-grown organic meats (not to mention the sumptuous cream teas) - Cornwall's foodie scene has always been a highlight of holidaying by the seaside. With starry chefs, such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth, creating a simmering restaurant scene - the southern destination has become one of the UK's best-loved foodie hotspots.
"We never talk about this concept of hygge", Mai Kappenberger says, with a gleam in her eye. "We don't need to. It just sort of happens here. After all, it is in our DNA." Welcome to Denmark. More specifically to North Zealand - a beautiful coastal spot on the borders of Dyrehaven.
The thought of a safari trip brings images of long, hazy days, discovering parts of the world that are a world away from our usual existences. They are intrinsically romantic - exploring the wilds of Africa, sundowners over a majestic plain and sleeping under the stars, not to mention offering the highs of coming face-to-face with nature's finest creatures.
The UK is renowned for its grand country hotels. Years ago, these were paeans to the aristocratic way of life: properties found in sprawling estates complete with trad-decor, more than a touch of chintz and overly formal restaurants.
The Maldives is renowned for its hundreds of islands housing a plethora of top-end, luxury resorts. But the latest new opening is giving an innovative twist to the 'sun, sea and sand' holidays that the destination is known for.
Stark white buildings, the bluest cornflower roofs against an endless sky and a haze of sunshine: think of a summer holiday and this picture surely sums it up. This image, albeit repackaged for modern-day travellers, is what you'll find at sleek new opening Erosantorini - a new concept in luxury hotels.
Back in 2005, an unknown, amateur chef won the TV show Masterchef . Thomasina Miers was her name and she was the winner of what was the first series of a revamped TV programme, originally shown in the 90s.
Think of a Caribbean island, and you'll no doubt call to mind listless days soaking up the sun on palm-fringed beaches, sampling a little touch of rum and enjoying some jerk chicken might also play a part in this picture.
Food which is oozing with flavour, heart-stopping scenery, cutting-edge design, beautiful people and an intrinsic love of life - it's not hard to count the reasons why we all love Italy so much.
We're in the age of Instagram, when the pursuit of perfected beauty is widespread, and the choice of products (which will help make us the air-brushed versions of ourselves) is ever mounting. It's no surprise, then, that many designer brands are focusing their energies - with millions spent on increasingly complex research and development - on what they would call their 'entry-point'.
If last year was the year that London reached its culinary zenith - with a big-name restaurant seemingly throwing open its doors every minute, 2017 looks set to be the year that London reaches its hotel peak.
Back in the 1970s, Inkaterra was one of the first travel companies to pioneer eco tourism. Its award-winning collection of properties throughout Peru have become known as the leading standard in how to work collaboratively with local communities, how to incorporate environmentally friendly design and how to use natural materials.
So, you're familiar with The Dorchester, checked out The Lanesborough and The Ritz is on your lust list. Hey, you've probably had afternoon tea at Claridge's (said to be one of the best in London but, as an aside, my money is on The Langham's afternoon treats for overall winner).
The Maldives: historically seen as one of the most idyllic places on earth to visit, and, of course, considered the destination of choice to kick off married life (it's one of the most popular honeymoon locations in the world), has also been making headlines of late for somewhat darker reasons.
Were you first in line when Peruvian restaurant Lima opened in Fitzrovia, London? Do you have NYC's East Village's The Bao on speed dial when it's time for soup dumplings? And did you know what a poke bowl is before Hawaiian chefs even thought about exporting it?
Set aside the Duoro River, Porto - Portugal's second city - is one of the most eclectic destinations in Europe. With its Medieval architecture, it's defining Dom Luis I Bridge (designed by Gustave Eiffel) and Art Nouveau cafes, there's something for everyone.
Journalist Juliet Kinsman is probably most famous for being one of the founders ofMr & Mrs Smith , the impossibly stylish boutique hotel website that has won numerous awards over the years for its 'on-the-money' witty reviews, not to mention sourcing beds for the night for savvy travellers desiring more than a chocolate on their pillow.
Yes, lying on a sun lounger can give you headspace, enjoying a massage can make you zone out from the worries of the world and having, well, nothing to do (apart from plan your next meal) can give you that much-need break from life.
While food for the soul is more than catered for, the body is not overlooked either. Aja's artisanal menu is harvested on-site from the property's biodynamic vegetable and medicinal herb gardens, which are also the basis for Aja's herbal infused olive oils, vinegars, green powders and herbal salt blends.
Tropical beaches, radiant sunsets and bare-foot walks along the beach - for some, the real essence of getting away from it all means basking in the heat somewhere remote and exotic. But, the hardier travellers among us know that cold climates have their own, unique charm.
When was the last time you went to a spa? Did you enjoy it? Did you feel comfortable, at ease? Or, in fact, was it not as relaxing as you'd hoped it would be? For many, a spa experience can be a let down - at best baffling, at worse intimidating.
As another year ends, we'll soon be taking stock of the year that's been and what's to come ahead of us. Travel of course is as important as ever. Here, I speak to some leading travel experts on how we will be travelling in the months to come...
When you think of the Balearic Islands, you instantly conjure up the hazy, lazy days of summer. Ibiza, in particular, is everyone's favourite party place - full of endless possibilities with its long, sunny days and even longer nights (many of which are often spent in its world-class nightlife and [...]
The beginning of a new year is often the only chance we get to stop, pause and reset our mind-set. With January just around the corner, why not cement your New Year Resolutions with some serious 'me' time. Check into one of the latest wellness retreats for 2017.
Travel means so many things to so many different people but in an increasingly hectic and globalised world, the search for 'silence' has become an increasing demand and rising trend with those touching down somewhere new. As a response to this, major brands are responding with services that give travellers the chance to 'turn down the volume'.
So, the festive season is upon as and, after the parties and get-togethers come to an end, we'll soon enter our 'cocooning' stage when our thoughts typically turn to planning our vacations, touching down in sunnier climes and discovering new, far-flung destinations. It's vital to stave off the winter blues.
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Found on the impossibly scenic bay of Kefalos, on the southwestern tip of Kos, the latest hotel opening from Ikos Resorts is the group's prettiest yet. An ideal place to soak up the sun, get fit - there's a huge amount of activities in store - or as a base to discover the charms of the island, Ikos Aria will soon have you cosseted in its easy-breezy, 'pre-paid luxury' approach to all-inclusive hospitality.
When you arrive at South Lodge, on the edge of the South Downs, it is exactly what you'd expect from a country house hotel: pretty grounds, a honey-coloured stone exterior and a crunchy gravel drive give you a warm welcome.
Often viewed by travellers as a mere stopover point on the way to discover Thailand's tropical islands or Chiang Mai's Golden Triangle, Bangkok should not be missed out as a destination in its own right.
With its fancy turrets, myriad windows and pastel-lemon façade, Ocean House is an imposing place. Found on the bluffs of Watch Hill, a well-to-do town in Rhode Island, on first appearances it's a hotel that looks like a stuffy, Victorian grand-dame, fitted in an overblown crinoline dress, and exuding old-fashioned principles.
As if hearty Italian cuisine, elegant rooms and innovative cocktails were not enough, this historic villa in overlooked Lucca, Tuscany, has a spa that's so out of this world it'll take you to Heaven and back. Set in a series of underground caves, it will add a whole new dimension to your downward dog.
Tokyoites love a seasonal celebration. If they're not picnicking under a blossom-laden tree, in honour of the spring sakura, then they are trekking to the nearest park to see the splendour of the autumn leaves. It's no surprise, then, that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - despite being two years away - has already got the city in a celebratory mood.
Marrakech might be just a three-and-a-half-hour flight from London, with no time difference to mess about with, but it's also a city that retains a glorious sense of exoticism and mystery. The ancient medina, for example, is overwhelming and chaotic, and you will get lost in it.
At Scotchies in Montego Bay, the sweet-spicy smell of jerk chicken sizzling on the open-fire-grill is filling the air. Serving fried breadfruit, crisp festival (a savoury doughnut) and plenty of ice-cold Red Stripe, this is the place to come for the best 'jerk' in Jamaica.
Halkidiki is the quieter alternative to the more popular beaches and nightlife of Mykonos, and every bit as attractive as the rugged volcanic terrain of Santorini. Situated on the country's northern coast, this region of Greece is just three and a half hours away from London.
With its ancient ruins, buzzy aperitivo scene (check out Il Mercato Roma as a tasty starting point) and balmy climate - what's not to like about a sojourn to one of Europe's most inspiring capitals? After all, this is the place from where Caesar controlled his empire, where Michelangelo was inspired and where Fellini came up with the concept of La Dolce Vita.
There are myriad ways of seeing NYC - but if you want to do it in style, there is only one. The Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side is so beautifully put together that stepping into its lobby is like stepping into a piece of pop art.
A 20-minute drive out of Copenhagen and you'll arrive in North Zealand. Tucked away on the borders of Dyrehaven, one of the most picturesque UNESCO Heritage nature reserves in Denmark, is Kurhotel Skodsborg.
Widely regarded as one of Europe's prettiest capitals - and one of the only European cities that remained largely undamaged during the Second World War - Prague is like an ornate display cabinet of architectural styles throughout the ages.
With the gentle Cotswolds hills and honey-coloured villages on your doorstep, you can spend entire days out exploring this beautiful part of the UK. Then bed down in The Wild Rabbit, a modern day inn perfect for cityfolks looking for a manicured version of the country break.
PUBLISHED ON LUXURY LONDON
Renowned for her dramatic paper installations, London-based artist and fashion designer Zoe Bradley's latest collaboration with Harrods is designed to leave you all of a flutter When you look up, the swarm of iridescent blue butterflies are dancing above your head. Their delicate cobalt wings move and drift with the air.
From the best massage to the most advanced medical treatments, and nutritional and fitness programmes, our experts share their top spa and wellness retreats in Europe in 2017 Whether looking to detox, lose weight, stretch out or simply relax, discover four of the finest wellness retreats in Europe, each with a focus on sybaritic and sustainable living.
Luxury London gets some insider tips from four of the most influential online names in interior design blogging
South Tyrol, a little-known area of northern Italy, is just the place to clear your mind and feed your soul. Luxury London discovers a region where nature gets a design makeover If you're yearning for a soul-searching moment, head to South Tyrol, a little-known - but beautifully peaceful - enclave of northern Italy.
A visit to Marrakech, with its hectic souks, buzzy restaurants and traditional sights, will always get the heart racing. Promising a respite from the chaos is the new Mandarin Oriental Marrakech In front of me, a black cobra is swaying to the wail of the pungi, and the air is heavy with the aromas of spice and oud.
In honour of Her Majesty The Queen's 90th birthday, Luxury London explores the Royal residences' rich design history - and talks to the interior specialists inspired by them When Buckingham Palace first opened its doors to the public in 1993, it attracted crowds from across the world eager to see how Her Majesty The Queen lives.
With its raw, natural beauty, Montenegro is one of Europe's best-kept secrets. We succumb to the Balkan country's charms at luxury hotel Aman Sveti Stefan At first, it seems as though this bay setting - although captivating - is a peculiar choice for the Aman brand.
The latest beauty fads may be cutting edge, but that doesn't mean you have to go under the knife for stellar results. From snail slime to radio frequency, Luxury London discovers how science is reinventing the beauty treatment Forget frozen foreheads and puffed-up cheeks: these days the beauty industry is reflecting our desire to look youthful without appearing as though we've been seriously worked on.
Discover the true meaning of travel on the Wild Atlantic Way at Ballynahinch Castle, one of the best hotels in Ireland It may be only a few hours away, but it turns out the West Coast of Ireland is a world apart entirely.
As well as thrilling car chases and hair-raising stunts, James Bond movies are also famous for their glamorous locations. From Europe's finest cities to postcard-perfect tropical beaches, Ian Fleming's hero finds himself in some of the world's most dramatic destinations. Why not follow in his footsteps?
Get your shimmer on with our sparkling round-up of gold make-up, perfect for the party season Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow by Stila, £33.50 For the ultimate gilded finish, look no further than Stila's runway-inspired metallic eye shadow in Comex Gold.
From lip balm jewels to retro bath sets, the latest beauty treats look too gorgeous to hide away (or indeed to give away). Here are our favourite vanity showpieces that could double up as Christmas gifts (for you) Lovers of whimsical, retro-inspired products will love, love, love Paul & Joe's limited edition gift boxes.
PUBLISHED IN CANARY WHARF MAGAZINE
Tatler Travel Guide 2015
Santa Marina Resort & Villas
Rudding Park Spa, Harrogate The recently opened rooftop spa at this Yorkshire country house hotel was 12 years in the making. As well as the outdoor glass-fronted sauna, 'meadow' gardens designed by horticulturist Matthew Wilson, immersive sensory zones and a packed menu full of natural and organic remedies, its fitness workshops are also bang on...
MY heart feels like it's about to burst through my ribcage, sweat is pouring and it's hard to breathe. It's well over 100C and although I'm desperate to leave, I'm determined not to be the first to wimp out. I tune into the low, female voice in the room. 'Keep breathing.
Published on Half Pint Chic
Start planning your early summer break now - make it easy with a trip down to Cornwall. It's one of our travel blogger's Angelina Villa-Clarke's favourite destinations.With its glorious beaches, buzzy foodie scene and chilled-out vibe, Cornwall is one of my top family holiday destinations.
Autumnal Escapes - Holiday Ideas for Autumn 2014Thinking of getting away for some last-minute sun before winter sets in?
There's nothing like the onset of spring to make you revamp your beauty cupboard. Beauty writer Angelina Villa-Clarke chooses her top five just-launched products, perfect for all the family.Great for mums on the go: Su-Man Rehydrating Toning Essence, £37Renowned facialist Su-Man is the woman behind many of the A-Lister's ageless beauty.
Our beauty expert Angelina Villa-Clarke reveals her latest favourite beauty buys - perfect for at home or when away and inspired by far-flung places.While I love glamorous 'dressing-table' style products, there's something about the new generation of practical beauty buys that is eminently covetable. Powder cleansers, for instance, are currently having 'a moment'.
There's nothing so delightful as unwrapping a little box of something pampering, scented or just simply frivolous. This year, make sure you get your gift perfectly right with my top ten ultimate beauty treats for that special someone in your life. Happy shopping!
I have to admit that there's something about the thought of going skiing that leaves me cold (literally). Over strenuous exercise, below zero temperatures and bulky outfits appeal to the many but unfortunately don't do it for me. But that's not to say that I won't be tempted by a skiing holiday this year.
Maybe you are super-organised and already thinking ahead to where you'll be heading in your half-term break (or even, gasp, summer 2015). Or maybe you have left it all to the last minute, and are looking to get away this summer.
The latest beauty launches are perfect for seeing you through the endless days of summer. Whether you are travelling somewhere exotic or staying put, our resident beauty writer Angelina Villa-Clarke chooses her top ten summer sizzlersSoak it upThe Greek island of Santorini is the inspiration behind Korres new Santorini Vine range.
When my boys were smaller (they are six and 10 now) I used to dread packing for any trip away. It would take days of planning, sorting and organising with endless lists being written and subsequently crossed out.
So we are well into the Autumn term and the memories of an idyllic summer are fading - hands up those who already need another holiday?How about a short sojourn to recharge your batteries at a luxury country bolthole and you don't have to leave the little ones behind - just let the experts take over for the
For many families a 'drop and flop' holiday just doesn't appeal.
Packing for a family holiday can be a headache. All those things to remember and all the things you'll probably forget can cause sleepless nights and days spent making mental 'must not forget' lists.
There's something so satisfying about finding the ultimate villa - a place in the sun that you can call your own for a week or two. Once you find it, you'll want to return year after year. Just keep it to yourself, though, and make it your best-kept secret.
Published in Family Traveller
LARA BEACH, LARA BAY, AKAMAS PENINSULA Found on Cyprus's rugged north-west coast, this often deserted beach is more of a local haunt than a tourist one. Despite a slightly arduous journey to find it - a four-wheel drive is recommended - it's definitely worth the effort.
LIMANAKI, PISSOURI, CYPRUS With an interesting menu - chef Sam Kazzaz calls it Mediterranean Fusion - this small but stylish restaurant is ideal for families and offers a children's menu with some healthy choices on it.
Published on The Arbuturian
I'm learning to breathe on a mountain. Above us, the sun is hot, and below, the southern coastline of Mauritius, with its deepening tones of azure, looks like something an artist has splashed across a canvas. Who knew there was so much more to breathing?
In this weekend's travel special, Angelina Villa takes a journey through Swedish Lapland, and a place where avant-garde architecture meets the Arctic wilderness... With its cluster of tiny shops and scattering of wooden houses adorned with fairy lights, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the tiny town of Harads, found an hour away from the airport of Luleå, was just another rural outpost in northern Sweden.
Found on Langham Place in Marylebone, just north of Oxford Circus, the new Treehouse hotel places you in the heart of things, in more ways than one.
Bringing a new offering to the luxury hotel market, Hilton's top-end LXR brand is also bringing a refreshing twist to the once old-style feel of Grosvenor Square. Transforming what was originally the former Millennium Grosvenor Square, The Biltmore Mayfair is the second outpost of Hilton's new collection - the first being Habtoor Palace in Dubai.
There's a buzz in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hampshire - maybe it's the children running out of the lounge, or it could be the extended families arriving for the weekend - grandpa, aunts and babies in tow - or perhaps the whoops of joy you can just about make out coming from the grounds...
It's taken six years to finish the reimagination of The Langley, once the former country estate belonging to the third Duke of Marlborough, and the long-awaited outcome is justifiably impressive. Set in the bucolic Langley Park in Buckinghamshire - originally landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown - the Palladian mansion and grounds have a rich and varied history.
Autumn at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, in Oxfordshire, makes for a glorious time to visit. The herb gardens scent the air with aromas of parsley, sage and mint, the last of the summer flowers - blood-red Dahlias to be exact - are decadently dramatic, and the vegetable gardens have come into their own, bursting with tall verdant chard, crisp lettuce and bulbous squash, in shades of orange, milky-white and the palest peach.
Bristling with Greek and Roman ruins, a harbour town dominated by the 15th-century Neratzia castle, lavish mosaics at the 3rd-century Casa Romana villa - not to mention gorgeous beaches - Angelina Villa heads to Kos, and the latest in the Ikos portfolio, for a distinctly destination-led approach to luxury holidays...
With its lakeside setting, heathland surrounds and green infrastructure, those after a touch of biophilic living can do no better than taking off to Silverlake in Dorset - even if it is for a weekend away.
You don't have to be painfully cool to check into 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, but it could help. From its sustainable ethos to its rooftop bar and pool, the luxury hotel - within the shadows of Brooklyn Bridge itself and next to the Dumbo ferry terminal - is one of New York's most hip places to rest your head.
Tucked away in a Mayfair side-street, just a short stroll from Green Park, St James Hotel & Club has its roots firmly entrenched in the notion of travel. Founded in 1857 as a member's club, by theEnglish aristocrat Earl Granville and Marchese d'Azeglio, a Sardinian Minister, it was intended as a London base for travelling diplomats.
After you turn off the main road, the drive to Bowood Hotel affords the perfect vision of quintessential Englishness: you bump along a country lane, past endless bucolic vistas of verdant fields and age-old trees, until you come to the honey-coloured country house. Lavender and freshly-cut grass scenting the air.
After you've ducked under the fronds of the potted palm trees, traipsed over discarded leaves and brushed against a rainbow of blooms, you'll find the newly opened Moxy Chelsea. In the heart of New York's garden district, it offers so much more than its affordable price point suggests, with its many nods to the botanical feel of its location, played out in an industrial-meets-orangery feel.
De Vere Tortworth Court may have just completed a £6 million pound refurbishment - resulting in a fresh countryside-chic aesthetic - but at its heart the neo-Gothic, Grade II-listed property, found in south Gloucestershire, remains wonderfully characterful. The facade, for instance, is full-on Edgar Allen Poe mode.
For a Great Gatsby experience in the heart of London, look no further than The Beaumont - arguably the capital's most under-the-radar luxury hotel. Capturing the essence of the 'American Dream', as immortalised by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the hotel is found in Brown Hart Gardens, just minutes' walk from Selfridges, and has an aesthetic and ethos bound up in the glamour of the Roaring Twenties.
From its rooftop restaurant to its subterranean speakeasy bar, the new Vintry & Mercer hotel in the City, is winning over business supremos and hip travellers alike, by capturing the City's unique heritage through its eclectic design ethos.
You'd probably need to belong to minor royalty to describe Villa di Bagnolo as a home-from-home, but the historic seven-bedroom manor house, found just outside of Florence, can indeed be yours (well, for at least a week), if you wanted to 'up' your status for a while.
It is already well known for its culinary offering - with Tom Kemble at The Pass the main event - but now South Lodge, in the heart of Sussex, is focusing its eyes on wellness with the opening of its cutting-edge, standalone The Spa.
The azure sea is so dazzling that, swaying in my hammock, I have to close my eyes against the brightness. Within seconds, my book is discarded, and the sound of the gentle lapping of the ocean sends me off to sleep.
Above me, the black sky is ablaze with stars, and at my feet, the ocean is still warm despite it being close to midnight. Under the towering palm trees, there are platters of handmade chocolates - some filled with lemon cream, others oozing caramel - waiting to be devoured, and there's a line-up of crafted rums specially chosen to complement them.
Design-led residences are having a moment in London. Marrying the luxury surrounds of a boutique hotel with the privacy, space and flexibility of apartment living, The Living Rooms is championing the trend with its three-piece collection of apartments and residences in various corners of the city.
We love a good high-end home-stay at the Arb - indeed, we've dedicated a column to it - and, here, Angelina Villa-Clarke takes a bite out of these two delectable retreats in Sandwich, Kent... For true escapism, there's nothing like jetting off to a far-flung and exotic destination once winter sets in.
Seeking a spot of sunshine from the winter gloom, Angelina Villa-Clarke soaks up the latest opening on this charming Greek island... If you had reservations about all-inclusive hotels, then Ikos Dassia in Corfu will make you rethink all your prejudices.
There's no place like London for finding a mix-match of cultures, cuisine and identity and, fitting right in to this way of life, is St James' Court, a Taj
If you are thinking of planning a trip to Thailand, then make sure you factor in a stopover in Bangkok. It's easy to overlook the city, with travellers keen to move onwards to Chiang Mai or the country's idyllic island chain.
Arriving in Watch Hill in Rhode Island is like finding yourself in a Ralph Lauren advert - rosy-cheeked children cavort along the town's boardwalks, sun-kissed teens hang out in chino shorts and billowing shirts, while their effortlessly-chic parents browse the quaint gift shops.
Ireland's County Wicklow is ripe for escapism. With its rolling hills, bucolic vistas - complete with burbling streams and misty marshlands - you would think you had travelled to a remote land that time forgot.
In a two-part Bank Holiday special, we venture to that quintessential region in Italy, Tuscany, and discover there are versions of hell that are entirely heavenly. In this first part, Angelina Villa goes subterranean to take the waters (and the wine)... Hell, it turns out, is not all that bad.
Ever since it became Northern Ireland's first five-star hotel back in the late 90s, the Culloden Estate & Spa has attracted an international, well-heeled kind of traveller. But while its guests may hail from various parts of the globe, the hotel's charm lies in its roots and its dedication to the local region's culture and heritage.
The Royal Mansour has long been the palace among Marrakech's hotel's. And just when we thought it couldn't get better, Angelina Villa discovers Le Jardin... If you've already had the good fortune to stay at The Royal Mansour - one of the world's most lavish hotels, and owned by the Morocco's King Mohammed VI, no less - then you'd agree that you'd be hard-pressed to come up with any improvements.
Don't let the words 'concept hotel' put you off. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo's design ethos is less about the gimmick and more about the guest, and, like much of the city's tourism appeal - which lies with the Sakura or cherry blossom festivals and the, lesser-known, autumnal leaf display - the hotel is all about the tree.
There's probably no other hotel spa with quite such a notorious pool. Yes, other 'waters' have seen outlandish parties, and scandalous goings-on, but nowhere quite like Cliveden's little oasis.
Often overlooked in favour of Greece's island outposts, Halkidiki, in northern Greece, is having a bit of a moment - not only is it a treasure trove of ancient sites and untapped museums - but it is also the destination of choice for a duo of family-focused resorts by innovative brand Ikos.
Oozing charm out of its ornately-carved balconies and rose-painted exterior, Les Airelles, in Courchevel 1850, is what you'd imagine the inside of a cuckoo-clock to be like. Over-plump claret sofas and sage green armchairs in the softest velvet beckon you to sit beside roaring fires and pastel-coloured, hand-painted doors with whimsical motifs - leaping deer and naïve florals - add a story-book feel.
Beaverbrook is not your typical country house hotel. Yes, it is set in 400 acres of landscaped gardens (revamped by leading garden designer Richard Bisgrove no less). Yes, it has a lauded, members-only golf course. And, yes, it has a characterful library where guests can peruse the heaving shelves of vintage books.
In the Seagrape Restaurant, Miss Joy will take you to your favourite table, and you'll eat lunch underneath a palm tree and overlooking the ocean beyond. Nicholas at the bar will wave to you as you go, and you might just spot Kingsley beating a tourist at table-tennis with his wicked back-hand that nobody can beat.
It's a somewhat hair-raising introduction to St Barts. With a steep descent over a mountain and a sudden drop onto an alarmingly mini 650m runway (most average 5,500m), your arrival into Gustaf III leaves you just short of one of the island's blissful beaches and very much short of breath.
If you arrive by sea from Tortola, you'll sail by Richard Branson's Necker Island. Then, you'll drift on to Eustatia, the private idyll owned by Larry Page, the billionaire founder of Google. If you have deep enough pockets, you can stay at both at certain times of the year, but our advice is not to drop anchor until you reach the best-kept secret of the British Virgin Islands.
Welcome to The Mark - where luxury has been reinvented. Two years ago, the iconic New York hotel, on the chi chi Upper East Side, made waves by opening a lavish five-bedroom penthouse suite and now - adding to its status as most opulent hotel in the city - is back in the news with a slew of luxury offerings.
It was a bit like stepping into a church - people were dressed in their finest - men in sharp navy suits and women in towering heels and form-fitting dresses. All were talking in hushed tones and a reverence filled the air.
Two years ago, after Thomas Rode left his position as head chef at the Michelin-starred Kong Hans restaurant in Copenhagen, he found himself in Skodsborg in North Zealand. Just 20 minutes outside the city, the area - bordering one of Denmark's most beautiful nature reserves - is a world away from the sleek, urban life he was used to: with big skies, forest walks and ocean views.
A group of surfers are gearing up to hit the waves. By the rock pools, kiddies with neon fishing nets are gasping with joy at their finds, while Converse-clad parents are setting up the cricket. This is Watergate Bay, on the north Cornwall Coast, and home to one of the best beaches in the county.
One of London's oldest hotels - having first opened as the Grand Central Hotel in 1899 - the Landmark London is a master in decadent hospitality. As one of the last of London's original railway hotels (found next to Marylebone Station), it takes its rightful position as one of the city's grand dames, but whereas the other big-hitters shout luxury, this gem whispers it - and is all the better for doing so.
With its multi-layered architectural gems, a visit to Prague is like overdosing on history. It's all laid out before you to gorge on. From one of Europe's finest Romanesque buildings - St George's Basilica at Prague Castle - to the Baroque St Nicholas Cathedral, many of the city's stunning buildings date from different eras and remain intact due to the fact that Prague was not heavily bombed during World War II.
Leopard-print carpet, bordello-scarlet walls and oversized elephant heads are not what you'd necessarily associate with a Swiss spa hotel. But at La Reserve Geneva, on the pristine shores of Lake Geneva, designer Jacques Garcia has forsaken the usual minimalist, scrubbed-down look for one that can only be described as maximalist and flamboyant.
Having closed its doors for 18 months at the end of 2013 for a lavish revamp, the Lanesborough's unveiling last year was one of the most highly anticipated among London hotel aficionados.
When you finally reach Praslin - the second largest island in the Seychelles - it sinks in just how remote you are in the world. Aside from the 13 or so hours in the air, it's the deliciously dramatic landscape that hits you in the face with its other-worldliness.
We are in a tiny sea-plane, flying from Male in the Indian Ocean, and underneath us I can see the countless tiny islands that are the Maldives. There's a discernible buzz of excitement - honeymooners stop gazing at each other and instead gape out of their windows, children strain out of their seats and friends catch each other's eyes and nod smugly.
Welcome to The Mark - where luxury has been reinvented. Following the recent opening of its outlandish five-bedroom penthouse suite, its status as the starriest hotel in New York is now official.
Outside it's a dreamy landscape: pines, firs and larches give an abundance of green, in the distance the peaks of the dolomites are snow-capped and in the impossibly cerulean sky, clouds lie low like big tufts of cotton-candy. My view is of South Tyrol. Where? You may well ask.
Think of an archetypal New York design aesthetic and no doubt you'll conjure up images of bare brick walls, Mid-Century lighting and neon graffiti. This is a New York as we've seen immortalised in Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City and Mad Men.
The plaintive cry of the muezzin's call to prayer lies heavy in the air. Behind the ancient red-clay walls of the medina the everyday frenzy continues: traders, musicians, hawkers, snake-charmers and food sellers all crammed together in chaotic scenes.
Urbanites like to think that they like the countryside. But that's debatable. True rurality has mud (lots of it), animals (large ones), and a vast amount of space... It's enough to make any townie quite feel uncomfortable after a night or two away from the sodium bulbs. The Cotswolds, however, is the dream.
The London Marriott Hotel Park Lane is an unexpected gem. As well as its sterling position on Hyde Park Corner at Marble Arch, its recent revamp is a triumph and a world away from the corporate spec you might expect from a hotel giant such as Marriott.
Our season of features on Greece concludes as Angelina Villa embraces that British institution, the 'all inclusive' but, this being the Arb, we've found one that's five star. This is AI, pimped... The last time I went to an all-inclusive hotel, I was 17.
These days we want everything instantly. Information, food, service - if something is not ready to go, at our fingertips and switched on in seconds, it's enough to set our blood pressures racing. Some of the best travel experiences work because they are an escape from this - an antidote to the way we live now.
Known locally as 'rounded bays', tucked into the Persian Gulf, Angelina Villa discovers a city on the up. Culturally, stylistically, architecturally, Doha is reaching for the sky... Shimmering in the distance, lighting up the darkness of the desert, the city of Doha is a dazzling sight.
I'm not an Aman Junkie. But I'm close to being hooked. After staying at the Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, I'm now hankering after becoming one of the elite few who only travel to destinations where there are Aman outposts because... well, no other hotel brand will do.
Despite all of its glorious must-sees, it's very easy to overlook your own capital city in favour of different, undiscovered destinations. But, ironically, it took an exotic hotel brand - namely the Taj Group - to tempt me and my family to experience London anew - through the eyes of a tourist.
A word of warning: don't go to Les Sources de Caudalie if you're feeling disappointed with your life. Sure, the enchanting Bordeaux countryside you'll find yourself in will no doubt cheer you up - but once you hear about the many accomplishments of the family that own and run this place, you may feel like a tragic underachiever (but maybe that's just me?).
It needs no introduction. This year Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons celebrates 30 years as the benchmark of gourmet hospitality. Angelina Villa draws the long straw and pops along to see what they have in store... Raymond Blanc is doing the rounds over breakfast.
Visiting a ski resort without any intention of skiing is a bit like going to a wine tasting without any intention of tasting the wine. It's an odd place to be. Sure there are other distractions when en piste (wine, for instance), and so it was with some this justification I took off to the Austrian skiing town of St Anton.
I've always dreamt of having my own pied-à-terre - a little city abode I can flit back to after moonlit walks along the River Thames. My wish list goes something like this: the dream pad's location has to be in the center of London, on the river, of course.
When Christiana Papageorgiou inherited her father's hotel, The Santa Marina Resort in Mykonos, she knew she wanted to make some changes. So - after a three year revamp - out went the chintz and in came a cooler design sensibility.
When it comes to finding an idyllic country-house hotel, there's nowhere like the verdant hills of England to solve your problem. Up and down the length of the country - we're awash with them. What were once manor houses for the idle rich are now cosy corners for weekending out-of-towners - Coworth Park, Luton Hoo, Barnsley House, Calcot Manor, Stapleford Park...
Published in Virgin Atlantic
Published in The Cambridge Edition
This image: Sainsbury's Midnight Christmas range of accessories, from £1.50, adds a touch of glamour Decorating your house for the festive period is one of the joys of winter. Angelina Villa-Clarke considers your options The Christmas tree is, of course, the focal point of the season's festive decorating with many of us having our own family customs and rituals surrounding adorning the spruce.
This image: a hand-painted kitchen from Rencraft, kitchens start at £18,000 The kitchen is the hub of the home. Angelina Villa-Clarke talks to the experts to find out the latest trends and how to easily achieve the perfect space for cooking, entertaining and living If you are looking to revamp your kitchen, then taking note of the latest design developments and interiors trends will ensure you bring yours straight into the 21st century.
This image: Neptune's Chichester country kitchen and dining range, table from £720 There's nothing better than opening up our doors and celebrating summer with friends and family. Angelina Villa-Clarke considers how to host in style With the rising popularity of open-plan spaces the formal dining room is becoming a thing of the past.
This image: Sainsbury's Coastal range of accessories, from £6 Angelina Villa-Clarke talks to the experts to reveal the latest trends and how to achieve the perfect bedroom sanctuary The bedroom is one of our most private rooms and it is often the place where many of us express our personality.
This image: Langtry fitted furniture, prices vary Angelina Villa-Clarke talks to the experts to reveal the latest trends and how to achieve the perfect bedroom sanctuary Serenity is all-important in the place where we end and start the day, and lighting is key to this.
This Image: bench, from £100, Jo Alexander Angelina Villa-Clarke discovers that gardens are - when the weather permits - becoming another reception room The UK garden scene has boomed of late with homeowners borrowing style ideas from the Mediterranean, chic boutique hotels and coastal resorts.
This Image: Hartham Extending Table,from £499, and matching chairs, from £250 per pair, both Harveys Angelina Villa-Clarke discovers that - from contemporary garden furniture to modern florals - it's easy to freshen up your home and garden for laid-back summer living There's nothing like long days, balmy weather and bright sunshine to make you want to revamp.
Angelina Villa-Clarke considers the options for windows, and how they are dressed, in the summer months
Angelina Villa-Clarke looks at ways to wake up a tired garden
This Image: The Amelie large sofa, from £1,239, is from the new Maison Collection by Parker Knoll available at Reeds Furniture and Bed Centre From a new colour palette to inspire you to glamorous burnished metals, this season's new trends will give an elegant feel to your home.
This Image: Montefresco bath in burnished metallic finishes, £2,545, The Albion Bath Company From a new colour palette to inspire you to glamorous burnished metals, this season's new trends will give an elegant feel to your home.
This Image: The mustard leather Tempo sofa from Natuzzi, from £3,600, has a luxe, opulent feel Angelina Villa-Clarke talks about the art of cosiness for this month's series, Keep the Home Fires Burning Once you have chosen your style of burner or fireplace, then the next step is to create a cosy tableau around it for the perfect inviting space.
This Image: ASpace has a range of primary-coloured bright cushions, blanets and throws for the home, from £25. Angelina Villa-Clarke talks about the art of cosiness for this month's series, Keep the Home Fires Burning Like any interiors scheme, accessorising is key. Layer sofas and chairs with plenty of soft pillows and faux-fur throws for maximum comfort factor.
This Image: The AGA Ellesmere, from local wood burning stove specialists Fireplace Products. In addition to a showroom in Rayleigh in Essex, Fireplace Products are also one of the UK's largest online fireplace, cooker, flues and wood burning stove suppliers (01268200139; www.fireplaceproducts.co.uk) Angelina Villa-Clarke talks about the art of cosiness for this month's series, Keep the Home Fires Burning From rustic log baskets to ceramic lanterns, there's a myriad of ways of dressing your...
There's nothing better than coming home to a warm, inviting haven when the temperatures begin to drop. This autumn, there's a definite leaning towards indulgence mixed with cosiness, with rich velvets, soft faux furs and silk textiles adding a touch of luxury. It's a great idea to contrast different textures by using mix-matched cushions, throws and rugs.
This Image: The Cocoon Aeris Fireplace, from £2,370, at Go Modern, is a minimalist bioethanol fire, which will give your room the wow factor Angelina Villa-Clarke talks about the art of cosiness for this month's series, Keep the Home Fires Burning Ever since primeval times, fire and man have been intrinsically linked.
This Image: Source charming ornaments and crockery from HomeSense, from £3 ( www.homesense.com) Angelina Villa-Clarke talks decorating at Christmas in this month's feature, The Festive Home The concept of storytelling is integral to Christmas. The creation of magical worlds, as seen in fairy tales for instance, is mirrored in us decorating our homes for the season.
This Image: Add a touch of charm with these wooden reindeers, £3.95, Homestuff with History (01223 357810; www.homestuff-with-history.com) Angelina Villa-Clarke talks decorating at Christmas in this month's feature, The Festive Home Polar bears, owls and penguins - the icy worlds meet the nocturnal in countless tree ornaments, homewares and adornments that are decorated with charming depictions of the creatures.
This Image: Colourful, personalised gift sacks, £32, Great Little Trading Company (0344 848 6000; www.gltc.co.uk) Angelina Villa-Clarke talks decorating at Christmas in this month's feature, The Festive Home While an all-white colour scheme is the epitome of good taste, the latest trends - as predicted at Christmasworld in Frankfurt (the annual trade extravaganza that happens in February each year and which dictates the way we dress our homes at Christmas) - centre around clashing brights and...
Faced with a myriad of choices, it can be difficult to know where to start. That's where a talented interior designer can help. We talk to Alison Downs, aka The Interior Design Oracle, about what it's like to design other people's homes. Q What led you to set up The Interior Design Oracle?
Big or small, boy's or girl's - a children's room is more than just a place to sleep. Let your imagination go wild and inspire your children by giving them a stylish room that meets all their needs. Like no other room in the house, a child's room has a multitude of functions.
From powder pink bedrooms to tropical kitchens, the hottest trends in interior design have one thing in common: impact. Here's how to adapt the latest key looks in your home. URBAN GEOMETRICS One of the key trends of the season is the use of geometric patterns.
Looking to refresh your kitchen for spring? Then take inspiration from the latest architectural and interior trends. From new furniture to the best decorative accessories, we reveal what's hot right now. The return to furniture-style cabinets gives warmth and individual style to a kitchen.
The kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of our homes, but these days we want our rooms to be as practical as they are stylish. From intelligent appliances to the latest 'in' colourway, the emerging new trends for 2014 mean we can have our cake and eat it too.
From making your green space a holiday destination in its own right to recreating a festival feel at home, the latest gardens have the fun factor firmly at their heart. When the sun is out and the weather is balmy, there's nothing like eating al fresco for feeling that bonhomie that only summer can bring.
Able to give a home a new lease of life, it's no surprise that conservatories are again rising in popularity, and these glass additions have come a long way since their Victorian and Edwardian heyday. Read our guide to getting the best out of the modern-day conservatory.
The kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of our homes, but these days we want our rooms to be as practical as they are stylish. From intelligent appliances to the latest 'in' colourway, the emerging new trends for 2014 mean we can have our cake and eat it too.
The kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of our homes, but these days we want our rooms to be as practical as they are stylish. From intelligent appliances to the latest 'in' colourway, the emerging new trends for 2014 mean we can have our cake and eat it too.
Published in Spa Secrets
Published in Simply Homemade
Published in Stella magazine
Published in Kensington & Chelsea Magazine
Published in The Mayfair Magazine
PUBLISHED IN HIGH LIFE SHOP!
Published in Horizon Magazine
Published in The Telegraph
The spa This imposing hotel is the grandest place to stay in the coastal town of Fowey in south Cornwall. The 19th-century house is part of the Von Essen Luxury Family Hotels stable and was the inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows.
Quercetin, one of nature's most powerful antihistamines, is contained in low levels in many fruit and vegetables, from apples to broccoli. But it is most concentrated in the humble onion, especially in the outer skins.
The spa: The new country offering from the Dorchester Collection nestles in 240 acres of parkland, which includes an equestrian centre and polo fields on the borders of Windsor Great Park. The eco spa is but a golf cart ride away in a separate, ultra-modern building, half-hidden in the side of a hill.
Fast forward to present day and Wansink is now a noted food academic in the States. Having founded the Food and Brand Lab in 1997, he has conducted over 250 studies and made over 200 research presentations to governments, culinary institutes and universities across the world and was a member of the panel advising the US government on 2010 dietary guidelines.
Champion skater Jayne Torvill, whose Dancing on Ice Tour 2010 DVD was released last week, knows more than anyone about the benefits of the sport. "Skating engages and strengthens your core, which is brilliant for toning your stomach. Most of all, it will tone up your legs because if you are skating properly they should always be in a bent position."
The spa In the vine-covered hills of northern Italy sits a converted 17th-century monastery, now a 31-room hotel overlooking the pretty medieval village of Santo Stefano Belbo. Dug out of the original cellars, its contemporary medical spa, La Via del Sale, has been named after the ancient salt route on which the hotel is set.
The spa: Perched on the rugged landscape of the lesser-known south-western coast of Sicily is this new shoreline resort from Rocco Forte, the king of cosy minimalism. At 4,000 square metres, this spa is one of the biggest in Europe.
Published in Harper's Bazaar
Published in Free, 18-30 Mag
Thomas Cook Emporium
Thomas Cook Shop :: Nov 2014
Published in British Airways High Life Magazine
THE LOWDOWN: In the city that never sleeps, nothing stays still for long. Keeping ahead of the curve is the new Roxy Hotel, reincarnated from what was once the iconic Tribeca Grand Hotel. While the hotel's location is the same as its predecessor, in lower Manhattan, everything else has been ripped up and reinvented.
THE LOWDOWN: Back in 2009, legendary designer Jacques Grange put his spin on The Mark Hotel, one of New York's iconic hotels. His haute-pop fusion style includes a stand-out lobby - the perfect way to wow the fashion-forward crowd who check in here - with a bold, zebra-striped black-and-white floor, Paul Mathieu orange velvet sofas and a Ron Arad low-hanging sphere chandelier.
THE LOWDOWN: The Brits do countryside-chic like no other but for a truly heavenly version of rural living, the Cotswolds is the place to go. Here you'll find rolling hills, idyllic villages and honey-hued cottages, with front doors painted the perfect shade of putty and immaculate gardens bursting with lupins, scented stock and lavender.
THE LOWDOWN: With wild woodland, brooding hills and a meandering river, Ballynahinch Castle - and its surrounding 450 acre estate - is the perfect spot for conjuring your muse. If Margaret Atwood, Edna O'Brien and Seamus Heaney (all past guests) think so, I'm certainly in the right place.
I travel a lot - both for pleasure and work. I always take a selection of books with me as I love to read and it's the only chance I get to just sit and become immersed in the pages. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates is a true favourite.
THE LOWDOWN: Prior to my stay at Alliblaster House - which doubles up as one of the UK's leading detox retreats - a liquid lunch meant only one thing (and it didn't involve vegetables of any kind). So, on checking in for the five-day 'juice cleanse' programme, I find myself wondering why an earth I thought this a good idea.
THE LOWDOWN: Just like many of the best wines in the world, The Yeatman oozes understated sophistication. The hotel, tucked away among the historic port lodges on the south of the Douro River, is the perfect place to drink in the charms of Porto - Portugal's most underrated city - not to mention the many local vintages you'll discover here.
THE LOWDOWN: Potter along the cobbled high street of Rye, one of the UK's prettiest coastal towns, and you may at first fail to notice the discreet exterior that is The George. Once inside, it's a different matter.
The lowdown: The island of Mykonos has come a long way since it was cast as the supporting role in the late-1980s film Shirley Valentine. While it still boasts its fair share of unspoilt fishing villages, turquoise waters and authentic tavernas (which millions of us fell in love with in the film), the island has since upped its glitz factor with a tranche of chic new restaurants, bars and hotel openings.
The lowdown: Castell Son Claret has no truck with hoteliers' current penchant for sensory overload. You'll find no flashy lobby, state-of-the-art check in, overblown chandeliers or flashy designer concept here. Instead this new Mallorcan hotel is redefining the concept of luxury with a pared-back, but no less sumptuous, approach for a new breed of traveller.
The boys were in their element outside We're on our way to Swinton Park in Masham, North Yorkshire, for a family getaway. It describes itself as a castle and, much to my boys' delight, it has an impressive ivy-clad turret, but really it's a grand country house (just don't tell them that).
You feel like the guest of a (very) grand house owner The lowdown: Indonesian hotelier Adrian Zecha (CEO of Aman Resorts) has made his name excelling in the art of subtlety. Interesting, then, that for his latest venture (his first in a European city) he has chosen a flamboyant 16th century palazzo in the San Polo district of Venice in which to house his latest venture.
The vibrant décor is by Jacques Garcia, known for his bold and opulent style The lowdown: From the outside, the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, found in the heart of the city of Bordeaux, is a wonderfully restrained example of neo-classical architecture. Grand colonnades, elegant balconies and sculpted topiary set the tone.
The lowdown: When it comes to places to be pampered in, a hospital probably wouldn't be your first port of call. But book in at The Magdalen Chapter in Exeter, a former West England Eye Infirmary, and you may just change your mind.
Most spectacular of all is a new cave hotel carved out of rock in Wadi Rum Two hundred years ago this month, explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt rediscovered the sandstone city of Petra, and this year also marks the 50th anniversary of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, shot in Wadi Rum.
It is dark in the cave. Not the urban dark that you may know, which is amber-tinged from streetlights and high-rise buildings. Here, in this limestone hong (secret cave) in Phang Nga Bay, it is pure heart-stopping blackness.
The Ocean Restaurant truly has the wow-factor The lowdown: Think of Jersey and you would be forgiven for thinking of old-fashioned seaside hotels and dreary restaurants. While that may have been the case ten years ago, we're happy to say it's no longer true.
Ever wanted a Tuscan village all to yourself? Your wish is granted...
The themed 'ranger' sessions, in which the children explore the local wildlife, went down a storm with our brood The lowdown: When Bluestone opened just over three years ago it was hailed as one of the most important tourism projects in Wales for years.
Create space in your case for Moroccan goodies by donating your old things - then ditch your spare dirhams at our pick of Morocco's shopping treasures
The spa aims to evoke the early traditions of Roman bathing and offers a plethora of Roman thermae treatments If you wanted proof that Puglia, in southern , is Europe's next big thing, then look no further than the recently opened Borgo Egnazia resort.
From on-board hydration to pre-holiday toning treatments, our top ten beauty products will keep you looking your best whatever journey you are embarking on. By Angelina Villa-Clarke
Whether you're in the capital for work or play, with its unique location and glamorous 'golden age of flight' interior, the Hotel Verta is a must-visit, says Angelina Villa-Clarke
Angelina Villa Clarke meets Stuart Stockdale, Jaeger's design director, and discovers how he has turned this iconic British brand into one of the most covetable on the high street
Perched on the south-east coast of Barbados, The Crane Hotel stands apart from the many other hotels on this island. Nearly all the five-star offerings here are found on the glitzy west coast, where you can't move for super-deluxe resorts. But the Crane is different.
Discreet luxury in the heart of Marylebone, 10 Manchester Street is the perfect place to stay in town, says Angelina Villa-Clarke
For great meals en famille, or a bite to eat as you come off the beach, The Living Space, is a relaxed eaterie housed in the very cool The Hotel
Situated in the gorgeous Piedmont area of Italy, the Relais San Maurizio is the perfect hotel indulge in some serious relaxtion, says Angelina Villa-Clarke
It had been a while since I'd visited Barbados and even longer since I'd lived there for a year - almost 15 years ago. Returning en famille, with my two boys and a husband whose parents are Bajans themselves, I wondered how different the experience would be.
As I turn off the M1, my heart sinks as the SatNav reveals my destination is only five minutes away. Luton Hoo, I'm told, is a grand, historic hotel, but its surroundings are far from impressive. Bland roundabouts and forgettable views are all around.
British Airways High Life. Travel advice and inspiration, insider tips from the world's best writers and biggest celebrities, hotels, restaurants, spas, adventure, shopping, reviews, ethical travel.
From Finland to the Tropics and back to London's Shepherd's Bush again - Angelina Villa-Clarke revels in the worldly wonders of the new K West spa
Long known as the country retreat for the urban cool set, Cowley is keeping them coming by having revamped its C-Side Spa with new treatment rooms and a chic range of products, all made on site. The funky stately home is based in 55 acres of beautiful grounds in the pretty Cotswold countryside.
Rocco Forte's new hotel has raised the luxury bar in Sicily, says Angelina Villa-Clarke
Arrive at The Nare mid-afternoon and you'll be just in time for Cornish afternoon tea, served in the drawing room. A huge pile of scones is served every day, each one oozing with cream and dripping with locally-made strawberry jam, and all served with freshly brewed tea.
For family holidays, you can't beat the beaches of Cornwall
British Airways High Life. Travel advice and inspiration, insider tips from the world's best writers and biggest celebrities, hotels, restaurants, spas, adventure, shopping, reviews, ethical travel.
African safaris are booming. Angelina Villa-Clarke tracks down the latest wild and wonderful openings in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya
Find a child-friendly resort and there's no reason why the whole family shouldn't have fun together, says Angelina Villa-Clarke
View of Beirut from Corniche Guido Cozzi/Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis Montenegro Back in the 1970s, Montenegro, on the Adriatic coast, was basking in the glory of being the favourite destination of that era's elite few. They were seduced by the untouched beaches and stunning inland scenery of lofty mountains, dramatic lakes and medieval cities.
Check into an elegant town house hotel in South Kensington, just a stone's throw from three great museums
British Airways High Life. Travel advice and inspiration, insider tips from the world's best writers and biggest celebrities, hotels, restaurants, spas, adventure, shopping, reviews, ethical travel.
Published in First Life
Published in Stylist Magazine
Read your way around the world Literary Escape Routes Stylist 's favourite novels act as a travel muse as we explore the beautiful destinations that have informed many literary classics.
It's been on the travel radar for a while, but truth be told, Puglia, in the heel of Italy's 'boot', has been a bit of a slow-burner when it comes to hip destinations. Cast in the shadow of sunflower-filled Tuscany, Puglia has traditionally been considered Italy's poor relation and is probably one of the country's most untapped areas in terms of tourism.
In theory, the idea of the great outdoors is rather romantic, but the reality is often different (the mud, the wind). But an African safari is in a different league. So when we heard that one of the world's quintessential safari lodges in the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa was marking its 10-year anniversary with a glamorous revamp, Stylist willingly hopped on a plane.
Escape Routes: Playa Vik, Uruguay Designer luxury on the coast of Uruguay When it comes to 'it' destinations, Uruguay is definitely having a moment. It first appeared on the radar in 2009 with the opening of Estancia Vik, a beautiful, state-of-the art ranch in the glitzy hotspot of Punta del Este, on Uruguay's coast.
Published in The Independent
Back in 1998, when Sweaty Betty star-jumped on to the fitness scene, its founder Tamara Hill-Norton didn't quite realise what an impact she would have in the years to come. Fast forward 20 years, and the activewear label - designed by women for women - has garnered countless awards, and legions of fans, won over by its practical yet beautiful collections for every sport.
After a vacation comes to an end, and the reality of your usual routine picks up again, those blissful, meandering days can seem like a distant dream. But it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, especially when it comes to those beauty benefits that come with having time off in the sun.
One of the joys of touching down in a balmier climate is returning with that covetable, sun-kissed radiance. By doing some simple prep work before you depart, you can help ensure a long-lasting tan even after you've returned home. Body work
Stepping off a gleaming speedboat is a pretty glamorous way to arrive at a hotel. For this tiny private island resort, off the coast of Phuket, it's the only way to arrive. Shades on, windswept hair, twinkling seas beyond ... it's a fabulous prelude to The Naka Island resort.
Published in The Daily Mail
As cottages go, 700-year-old Hall House could not be more chocolate boxy. It's like stepping back to a bygone age, with chickens in the yard and the Suffolk countryside rolling into the distance. No one would think the owner was a glamorous 29-year-old.
Former rock chick Brix Smith-Start's sprawling Hoxton boutique, Start, is a jumble of Victoriana oddities crossed with a Disney World sensibility. "It's all about fun," she proclaims brightly in her LA twang. Lurid flock wallpaper is offset against flashing illuminated hearts from Blackpool; antique overhead surgeon's lamps highlight cool accessories from Miu Miu, Lara Bohinc and Commes des Garcons.
by ANGELA VILLA UPDATED: 06:46 EST, 11 December 2008 Enlarge Step inside the chic Chelsea town house belonging to Maria Hatzistefanis and you are immediately seduced by the understated glamour of every room. It's no surprise, really, as glamour has become a byword for the founder of cult beauty brand Rodial.
Given that jeweller Fiona Knapp specialises in making pieces from coloured gemstones, you might expect that her home would be full of the rich, jewel hues she favours. But once inside her elegant West London apartment, it's clear that this couldn't be further from the truth.
EXPERTS Angelina has been a travel and beauty writer for over 15 years, writing for consumer magazines, newspapers and her own blog: www.angelinascasa.wordpress.com. She'll be setting off to Montenegro, Mauritius and Peru this year, with her Doria Resort Clutch by JAUNT in hand. How do you choose where you go on holiday?
Angelina Villa-Clarke has been a travel writer for over 15 years. She earned her stripes at British Airways' High Life magazine but has been a freelance journalist for the past four years, writing for Metro, The Mayfair Magazine, Tatler's Travel Guide and Family Traveller, to name a few.
Experts Angelina has been a travel and beauty writer for over 15 years, writing for consumer magazines, newspapers and her own blog: www.angelinascasa.wordpress.com. She'll be setting off to Montenegro, Mauritius and Peru this year, with her Doria Resort Clutch by JAUNT in hand.
Do you have a signature scent? Discover some new ways to wear scent from sassy women around the world.
Cath Kidston Magazine