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 11 years. I contribute to a range of newspapers and magazines, including Metro, Mail on Sunday, City AM, Family Traveller, High Life, Sainsbury's Magazine, and many more. I am also a travel contributor for Forbes.com
From helping the planet with sustainable coral planting to sleeping under the stars in a bubble tent, the Maldives offers so much more than just sun, sea and s
HOUSE BEAUTIFUL US
"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life," English author Samuel Johnson once said. Nearly 250 years later, the sentiment still rings true. Rich in history and diversity, the British capital has it all-from storied landmarks and cultural institutions to vibrant culinary and art scenes.
For sun, sea and seclusion, head to some of Greece's lesser-known islands. These gems promise all the enchantment of better-known destinations, but without the crowds. Antiparos viewed from the sea The island is blessed with many gorgeous beaches, but the horseshoe-shapedSifneikos Gialos, on the north of the island, is one of the best and a popular spot for its stunning sunsets.
WORLD OF CRUISING
BA THE CLUB
INSPIRATION * June 2020 If you've ditched your holiday spirit, we're here to help you get it back. From a Provencal wine escape to an Indian Ocean getaway, our destination experts show you how to recreate an authentic holiday experience at home.
THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
No.1 by GuestHouse is a 10-minute walk from the Shambles, the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Potter films The property has been carved out of a regal Georgian house, with interiors by designer Martin Hulbert Angelina Villa-Clarke checks in, discovering that he's showcased period details alongside his 'quirky style' Guest bedrooms have record players and coffee machines hidden in dolls' houses The basement has been transformed into a spa, with massages and facials using Pinks Boutique...
Travel company Black Tomato has curated an extraordinary trip inspired by Agatha Christie's 'Grand Tour' Visitors can do part of the journey or the full 40-night expedition, which is broken up into three 'chapters' The itinerary starts at Brown's Hotel in London where Agatha stayed before she embarked on her odyssey In Brown's Hotel in Mayfair, there's a frisson in the air.
Angelina Villa-Clarke says this part of the Turkish coast has water that 'dazzles with the shades of a peacock' She stays at Hillside Beach Club in Kalemya, a resort on its own crescent-shaped beach Another highlight is Lycian Way, a hiking trail that stretches some 300 miles from Fethiye to Antalya We've dropped anchor on a sea that dazzles with all the shades of a peacock - royal blue, iridescent azure and shimmering emerald.
For Italians, the star attraction in Tuscany is Versilia Riviera, which is just a short drive from Pisa and Lucca Check into the glamorous Hotel Il Pellicano, perched above the Tyrrhenian Sea in Porto Ercole Explore the cobbled streets of Castiglione della Pescaia before hitting the family-friendly beaches nearby It's late afternoon on Bagno Carducci beach and, all around, bronzed Italian families are beginning to pack up their raffia bags.
Angelina Villa-Clarke sees dolphins leaping out of the water as she takes a boat ride to St Martin's She recommends heading to Bryher, the smallest island, for its secluded beaches and handmade fudge Stay at the Star Castle Hotel on St Mary's and nab a uniquely Scillonian souvenir at Phoenix Craft Workshops Scudding across sapphire seas, salty wind in hair, the boat ride from Bryher to St Martin's, the most northerly island in the Isles of Scilly, is spectacular - yet it's about to get better.
From the Daffodil Hotel in the Lake District guests can hike to Helm Crag and take in views from its summit The Black Swan at Oldstead features a Michelin-starred restaurant-with-rooms and just one tasting menu In the Peak District The Blind Bull is one of Britain's oldest public houses, dating from the 12th Century Walking has almost become a national pastime, and there's nowhere better to increase your daily step count than on a visit to one of our National Parks.
This year there's a serious boost in where to stay in Italy as a wave of amazing new hotels open up. Angelina Villa Clarke - who has been staying at Italian hotels since childhood - picks some of the best...
New film The Truffle Hunters follows a handful of men who hunt for white truffle in the villages of Piedmont Gourmet travellers will be most familiar with the region's food-focused towns such as Alba, Asti and Barolo Here truffles are sold for thousands of pounds and sparkling wines, comparable to champagne, are produced Carlo, Carlo!'
At San Fruttuoso the beach is dominated by a 10th Century abbey - and you can roam around inside In Tuscany visit the wild Monte Argentario peninsula in the Maremma region for its sandy beaches From the north-west-coast beach on Ponza Island you can hire a small boat and visit
Procida is a picture-postcard-perfect Italian island that's been chosen as Italy's next Capital of Culture There are no big resorts - instead you'll find a handful of inviting boltholes, such as La Cantina dello Sgatto Visit Bar Roma to try lingua di bue, a puff-pastry parcel filled with lemon cream that's an island speciality Faded fishing boats bob in the water at Marina Grande, while behind them ice-cream-coloured houses in shades of pistachio, peach, raspberry and lemon are precariously...
The Globe, in Warwick, is a modern boutique restaurant-with-rooms It serves Mediterranean food from wood-fired pizzas to grilled Rosso prawns Angelina Villa Clarke checked into Room 9, which has a sleek four-poster bed The Globe's creaking stairs are the first giveaway.
'A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted,' Sir Winston Churchill said of his country home in Westerham Faversham, Kent's oldest market town, is home to Belmont House, where gardens stretch across 14 acres Wander Kentwell Hall's grounds and you'll have one of England's finest moated Tudor houses as a backdrop Wake up and smell the roses.
Bruton in Somerset has a burgeoning reputation as a gastro hub and is home to a Hauser & Wirth art gallery Sherbourne, in Dorset, has an 800-year-old abbey resplendent with Gothic arches and stained glass windows The small town of Tenterden has a bustling high street and is located in the heart of Kent's wine country The South West, the Cotswolds and many staycation hotspots became fully booked this summer, with hardly a B&B room left unoccupied.
The beautiful county of Lincolnshire has long been overshadowed by its much cooler neighbour Norfolk But when Angelina Villa Clarke visited, she found that quiet Lincolnshire also has its fair share of charm She visited the Edwardian town of Woodhall Spa and stayed in a luxury lodge at Bainland Lodge Park An hour's drive north, past the painted storefronts of Norfolk's boutique towns, lie the undulating wheat fields of Lincolnshire.
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
Located in Cornwall on the fringes of Bodmin Moor, the historic 18th century prison has been transformed into a luxurious hotel for 21st century guests Words: Angelina Villa-Clarke The grey cell door slams shut behind me, and, through the bars at the windows, beams of sunlight are finding a way to light up the room.
Found on one of Cornwall's best-loved beaches, this new collection of beach houses is elevating the self-catered homestay to chic new heights Words: Angelina Villa-Clarke Early morning on Gwithian Beach, north Cornwall, and the light is hazy and golden with the promise of a sun-drenched day ahead.
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
The newly-opened Retreat at Elcot Park is full of surprises. During a year-long renovation to turn it from a bog-standard Mercure hotel into one that oozes charisma, the builders found gilded mirrors behind plasterboard, boarded-up ornate fireplaces and beautiful teak wood floors hidden under tired carpet.
York has long had an affinity for quirkiness. Its most famous street, the medieval Shambles, looks like something from a film set; its characterful crooked houses and timber-clad overhanging buildings are thought to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley in the screen version of Harry Potter, drawing hordes of fans.
It may be next door to Greece, Croatia and Montenegro but Albania has long been overlooked by tourists, who instead head in their droves to the country's better-known neighbours. Just 22 miles by boat from Corfu - which by contrast sees around half a million British tourists visit each year - the south-eastern Balkan country has struggled with an image problem that it's found hard to shake off.
It's not often that you learn all about the hotel guest that stayed in your room before you. But check into the new Bodmin Jail Hotel, and you'll discover more than you bargained for. After a five year renovation project costing £50 million, this once notorious prison, dating back to 1779, has been reimagined as a luxury hotel.
For practical, family stays in pretty locations across the UK, the De Vere group is always a dependable name, but there are few surprises in its line-up of contemporary hotels. Instead, it's in its small collection of country estate hotels where you'll find the brand's true soul.
Far below, the sea is swirling with shades of blue. It's as if someone has rinsed a paintbrush in it - kingfisher, periwinkle, cerulean and duck egg. At first you think all is silent, until you stop and listen.
The fields stretch out as far as the eye can see. Some are resplendent with the brilliant sunshine yellow of rapeseed, trimmed with vividly green hedgerows. Others have undulating heads of wheat, which seem to wave at you from afar.
From the terrace, the shifting Aegean Sea twinkling in the distance is mesmerising. The air is scented with sage, citrus and olive, and is heavy with the heat of a beating sun. The only sounds are the swallows and warblers swooping overhead and the whispering breeze in the laurel trees.
After spending much of this year 'grounded', you'd forgive people for simply wanting to get away once it's possible again. But the big trends for 2021 travel are showing that we're also being more thoughtful about our future trips, with sustainability and wellness high on the list - here's how globetrotting is set to change.
Escaping to a deserted island might seem all the more tempting at the moment - but once it's safe to travel again, you needn't leave the UK to enjoy an island experience on one of the picturesque isles off the coast.
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.
This Valentine's Day, why not treat the travel-lover in your life with a (heart)warming gift to show how much you care? Sourced from artisans and experts from around the world, these gifts will remind them of their favourite destinations.
It may be cold and dreary outside right now, but if you are yearning for faraway lands and sun-soaked days, then Assouline 's latest travel books may be just the thing to satisfy your wanderlust (from your armchair).
Above the Alpine town of Pinzolo, the snow is softly falling, covering the pines and meadows with a crystalline, fairytale-like coating. Seen from the glass-fronted lounge of Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti, the peaks of the Dolomites are in touching distance but, while plenty of guests do hit the slopes, skiing is not Lefay's main calling card.
The music is unexpected: hypnotic Balearic Beats, turned up loud, and on the right side of heart-thumping. It's just the thing to transport you to a sunset spot in a sultry, Mediterranean island. Yet, this is not Ibiza but, rather, Berkshire, and instead of chilling out on a beach, I'm in the spa at the iconic Cliveden House .
With a major exhibition taking place at the V&A from next month, Renaissance Art is being given, well, a bit of a renaissance ('scuse the pun) for a modern-day audience. Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance (11 February - 11 June 2023) will be the first major UK exhibition to explore the exceptional talents of the Renaissance master, Donatello.
This Valentine's Day, why not treat the traveller in your life with a (heart)warming gift to show how much you care? In Part 2 of my Gift Guide, I find the most covetable travel accessories for romantic stays in a city - from slick travel bags to practical pouches.
this month, Accor, the leading hospitality group, has released its Health to Wealth White Paper entitled 'The Road Map Towards a Transformational Well-Being Culture". Here, to explain more about the White Paper and its findings, I talk to Emlyn Brown exclusively for Forbes.
The trend of hotels offering private residences has been ticking away for a number of years. Big luxury brands - such as Four Seasons, Raffles and Mandarin Oriental - have long offered private apartments attached to their resorts and properties.
This Valentine's Day, why not treat the traveller in your life with a (heart)warming gift to show how much you care? From cossetting travel blankets to must-have knits, these ideas will not only keep them warm on their next journey, but will last the test of time.
There's a gold bath in the restaurant and a DJ is playing ambient house. It might raise a few eyebrows in any other restaurant, in the deepest of winter months, but in Covent Garden's latest - and coolest - hotspot, it sets the scene for The AMANO Group 's first opening in London.
The pandemic irrefutably changed the travel industry in many ways, but one outcome was the rise in travellers discovering the natural beauty on our own doorstep. With this rise in UK staycations, the past three years have also seen a boom in the home rental market, with holidaymakers wanting the flexibility and privacy of a home-from-home, rather than a hotel stay.
Leading travel companies reveal the top five destinations to travel to in 2023. 1. DOMINICA Global travel authority Lonely Planet has announced its ' Best in Travel' list for 2023 and Dominica has ranked as one of its top destinations in its 'Unwind' category.
It may be found just off Piccadilly - quite possibly one of the busiest streets in the capital - but, inside Hotel Cafe Royal, there's a hushed ambiance that brings a sense of serenity even though it is slap bang in the centre of town.
In this fourth in a series of articles, I talk to travel experts about how we will travel next year and beyond. Today, I find out why 'purposeful' travel is increasingly important and why the idea of a 'golden age' of travel is making a come-back.
With its rich history, Beaverbrook , in the Surrey Hills, has no trouble tapping into a sense of festive nostalgia. The hotel, which was once the home of Lord Beaverbrook, a politician and owner of the Daily Express and Sunday Express newspapers and a great friend of Winston Churchill, comes into its own during the winter season with its traditional Christmas celebrations.
In this third in a series of articles, I talk to travel experts about how we will travel next year and beyond. Today, I look at the latest wellness trends and the notion of 'dopamine' travel to bring exceptional, feel-good vibes.
Rooted in the untouched west coast of Ireland, new wellness brand Hibernicis (pronounced HI-BER-NI-KIS) is all about celebrating the destination in which it was born. Not only does it use the natural resources, such as seaweed, from the Connemara and the Atlantic coastline, but it was founded by Catherine Logue to champion Ireland's cultural and linguistic heritage.
There's something magical about London at Christmas. The city has some of the grandest and most famous hotels in the world and at Christmas they come into their own with larger-than-life festive displays and decadent offerings for locals and tourists alike.
In this second in a series of articles, I talk to travel experts about how we will travel next year and beyond. Today, I look at the rising movement towards nostalgic travel, as well as the return to the leaning on expert-led advice.
Why not make a long trip more enjoyable for your loved ones with one of these pampering and practical gift ideas? From travel bags to wearable PJs, they are all designed to make you look super-stylish, and feel comfortable, no matter how long you've been travelling.
n this first in a series of articles, I talk to travel experts about how we will travel next year and beyond. Today, I look at the rising trend of looking for a feeling of familiarity when travelling, and the quest to follow a path less travelled.
There are no large resorts on Bequia. Sure, there's a smattering of faded guest houses and shuttered villas to rent, but Bequia Beach Hotel is the main place to stay on the island. Charmingly low-key, you are greeted with a fiery rum punch in the lobby lounge...
Whether they adore the Amalfi Coast or are transfixed by Tuscany, the Italophile in your life will be kept happy with one of these Italian-inspired gifts. From the scents of Sicily to the aromas of Piedmont, these unique presents will capture the essence of the La Dolce Vita and transport them to Bella Italia, without the need for getting on a plane.
When The Twenty Two opened in Grosvenor Square earlier this year, it positively shimmered with glamour. It was all down to renowned architectural designer Natalia Miyar, in what was her first hotel project. Here, exclusively for Forbes, she talks about what it means to design a landmark building.
Found on a far-flung exotic island, amid megalithic tombs and windswept beaches, Cap Karoso is set to be one of the most captivating hotel openings when it opens at the end of this year. Located on Sumba, in remote Indonesia, the new launch is a pioneering island getaway with meaningful community engagement and sustainability at its heart.
Some of us may be dreaming of a 'White Christmas'; while others are already making holiday plans for the year ahead. When it comes to travel aspirations for 2023, there's nothing quite like a road trip to tick all the boxes.
Avington Park is like a novel opening up to reveal its various chapters of chequered history. Following a £8 million restoration project, new owner Nicolas Roach has unbolted the doors, making the lavish property available for sole hire, weddings and events.
Before you even step into the cottage-like courtyard garden, the property already oozes romanticism from its name etched onto the gate. "The Lock Keeper's Snipe" is a u-shaped, scrubbed-up barn, with boutique-hotel interiors, in a wonderfully remote part of the UK.
This is NoMad London - a hotel which has been making waves on the hospitality scene since it opened its doors in Covent Garden in May 2021. NoMad has set the pace when it comes to those coveted collaborations - partnering with some of the most exceptional names in the business.
A button is pressed and the curtains magically swish back to reveal the city below. In the morning's sharp sunshine, the vision beyond is cinematic. The city of Amman, seen from 14 floors up, in the west of the city, positively shimmers. It is an all-white cityscape, made up of endless, low-rise buildings created out of creamy limestone.
Adding a sense of culture and charm to a stretch of coastline that is more usually associated with all-inclusive resorts is Maroma, A Belmond Hotel . Set between verdant jungle and the twinkling Caribbean sea, the legendary property has just reopened after a starry make-over by Tara Bernerd .
This is the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni - a one-of-a-kind, true 'grand-dame' hotel, which has welcomed guests since 1873. Overseen by the Bucher family for four generations, it has retained many of its original features - and stately ambiance - since it first opened.
Enter The Lanesborough Club & Spa and it feels like a world apart. Taking the treatment offering one step further is a new collaboration with The Luxury Aesthetics Group, which includes a tailored 90-minute version of the deep-cleansing, patented HydraFacial therapy.
Not content with opening a new camp in Zambia - to add to its 16 camps and lodges across Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia - the founder of African Bush Camps, Beks Ndlovu, is also driving an important new initiative called Africa Change Makers.
Choosing a new lipstick will never be the same again. The new Shuiyangtang store which opened in Changsa, in China's Hunan province, earlier this month, will change the way we shop for beauty and will also attract millions of visitors due to its immersive way of selling it.
You'll drive via winding lanes, trimmed with tangles of brambles and wild flowers, and past chocolate-box cottages with doors painted in Farrow & Ball's 'Elephant's Breath' or 'De Nimes'. Oddington, it seems, is found in one of England's most pleasant quarters.
Last month, on 23 September 2022, Bhutan, the tiny mountain kingdom sandwiched between India and China, reopened its borders after more than two years. The country is best known, perhaps, as the only one in the world that uses the happiness of its people as a guiding principle to underpin its philosophy.
Embracing this tradition, this month the city comes alive with art for everyone, in the form of Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2022 and it is the turn of Four Seasons London at Park Lane to pay homage to the art world.
From Château Capitoul's windows, the vineyards stretch out tidily as far as the eye can see. It's autumn and the grape harvest is in full flow; the low-buzz of the tractors is pleasing to the ear. Above, in the cobalt sky, swifts and storks, have already begun to make their way south to Africa.
All of London is stretched out before you, and you can just about spot the tops of Hyde Park's trees turning from green to amber. If it wasn't for the faint noise of traffic below, the sun umbrellas, potted olive trees and tubs of scented rosemary and thyme would transport you straight to the Mediterranean.
Suffolk's big skies are above and undulating wheat fields unfold beside you, as the drive takes you along twisting, rural lanes. Finally a discreet sign signals you left, and, at last, Retreat East comes into view. Carved out of a former dairy farm, the project was created by architect Dominic Richard, a graduate of The Prince of Wales' Institute of Architecture.
After the lull of the past two years, London is back on the map when it comes to tourism... and London's West End theatre district - one of the main pulls for a visit to the capital - is buzzing again.
The name may be simple enough - The Twenty Two - after its position just off London's grand Grosvenor Square, but, inside London's newest hotel, it's anything but. The lobby is a monochrome ode to chic styling - with mirrored doors, polished marble floor and black lacquer furnishings giving a seductive, 'after hours' feel.
Step inside the lobby and you'll be immersed in Nobu Shoreditch 's true aesthetic: a place where East London meets Tokyo. Raw concrete pillars, polished terrazzo floors; low-slung teak chairs and towering plants fill the space. As the hanging globe lamps cast moody shadows on the black furnishings, check in is swift and no-nonsense - it's the best of curated, urban hospitality.
Tradition is sewn into the seams of the red-brick facade of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park - one of the capital's most beloved 'grand dame' hotels. Housed in a building which dates back to 1889, the hotel - originally called 'The Hyde Park' before Mandarin Oriental took over in 1990 - has welcomed the great and the good - from Royals to Winston Churchill; Hollywood A-listers to larger-than-life rock stars.
Surely, a holiday is nothing without a riveting book in hand? As well as giving us space to read with abandon, travel is also driving our passion for the written world with a whole new tier of 'travel x literary' experiences. Here, are three of the best experiences to seek out.
Surely, a holiday is nothing without a riveting book in hand? As well as giving us space to read with abandon, travel is also driving our passion for the written world with a whole new tier of 'travel x literary' experiences. Here, are three of the best.
Today, I continue to look at howa growing range of cult beauty labels are capturing the zeitgeist with their authentic harnessing of heritage beauty intelligence. Their range of authentic products bring a sense of 'meaning' to our bathroom cabinets, by not only tapping into the traditions of far-flung destinations but by being inspired by the very surroundings in which they were born.
Here, exclusively for Forbes, I talk to a range of different beauty brands, with roots in different corners of the world, about how they have been inspired by their home-town cultures, ancient art of beauty and the very destinations in which they derive from.
"We see ourselves as gatekeepers for the future," says Rebecca Davies, the estate manager at Lakes by Yoo , a rambling, rural estate boasting a series of luxury home-from-homes in the Cotswolds. We are looking out across an eco-pond, which is bursting with life, with incredible-looking, tall bull rushes and cotton grasses, surrounding the water.
From 27 August - 2 September, A Deep Sea Odyssey sees Oliver Steeds OBE take up a week-long residency at the resort - which was recently voted Indian Ocean's Leading Resort in the World Travel Awards - to challenge guests to take a deeper dive into ocean conservation.
Since the Serpentine Galleries opened in London's Hyde Park in 1970, it has become renowned for its pioneering exhibitions which champion new ideas in contemporary art. That ethos is still going strong today and, for our modern times, the Serpentine has turned its mind to the climate crisis.
in fact, everywhere you look, there's innovative creativity. Having opened this month (2 July - 16 April 2023), the Africa Fashion exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum is a milestone moment celebrating 45 designers from over 20 African countries.
Based on the outskirts of Florence, in the hills of Fiesole, Villa San Michele, a Belmond Hotel, has prime position overlooking the city. It, too, has its roots in the 15th century - the golden era for Florence, the jewel in the crown of Italy.
A riot of colours, irreverent nods towards the royal family and rainbow-hued hotel-room doors (inspired by Notting Hill's houses) - nhow London harnesses all the joy and quirks of British culture. A short walk from Angel or Old Street tube stations, the hotel is found on the fringes of Shoreditch.
Back in 2019, when The Newt in Somerset first opened its doors, it didn't take long for the travel world to rain awards upon it and bestow endless superlative praise.
Born in Nigeria, time spent in Barbados and calling London his home, chef-patron Henry Omereye is 'riding high' with his signature African-Caribbean fusion cuisine. Ten years after the opening of Fitzrovia's Riding House Café , a venture with restaurateur Adam White, comes Riding House Bloomsbury - the latest showcase for Omereye's sun-fuelled cuisine, influenced by the chef's global travels.
Chef Christoph has a 'Little Black Book' bursting with starry chef names. It reads like a 'Who's Who' of the gastro world. The Berlin-born director of culinary services at Soneva Jani in the Maldives, chef Christoph Pentzlin is the driving force behind the luxury resort's Soneva Stars programme, which welcomes a roster of internationally-renowned chefs to head-up residencies on the exotic island.
Tucked away on the Turkish Riviera,Hillside Beach Club is built, terrace-like, into the hills and overlooks the most unbelievable turquoise waters. Verdant pine trees and tumbling fuchsia-pink bougainvillea disguise that the fact that the hotel is even there. If you happen to be sailing past on a yacht, you could blink and you'd miss it.
One of London's most popular events, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has taken place in the grounds of Royal Hospital Chelsea since 1913 - apart from the odd gaps due to the two World Wars, and in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Luxury Scottish brand ishga offers the widest choice of treatments at The Spa. The brand is also leading the way with innovation when it comes to Sound Therapy Treatments, with a brand new offering just launched, that has been created especially and exclusively for Coworth Park.
Tucked away near the Wessex Downs, The Retreat at Elcot Park has a sense of poetry about it. It's no surprise, really, seeing that one of its prior owners was the mother of wordsmith Percy Bysshe Shelley, who bought the house in 1844, after his tragic drowning at the tender age of 25.
Stretched all around you, the myriad tones of blue are simply dazzling - turquoise, cyan and peacock all swirling into one endless expanse of ocean. But 'blue' is the last thing you feel here - for, before you've even been greeted by your spa host, you are in an upbeat mood.
Galgorm Resort, a luxury spa hotel, is found just 30 miles outside of Belfast and it is made even more atmospheric due to the lush and verdant vision of 163 acres of parkland, Irish woodlands and rolling hills that surround the spa.
First we had a rise in 'slow, immersive holidays', then there was talk of 'give back vacations', followed swiftly by 'hyper-local trips' - if nothing else, the pandemic has shown that there has been a change in the way we want to travel.
You'll pass by impossibly pretty honey-hued cottages, pink roses nodding at the door. You'll meander past idyllic rolling hills, the likes of which are normally painted in children's books. This is the Cotswolds, with its world-famous chocolate-box appeal making it one of the most visited - and traditional - corners of England.
Latino-funk is the thumping soundtrack while the red, gold and green interiors will transport you to Rio's Ipanema beach. But this is not Brazil, instead new restaurant Mano Mayfair is found in London's foodie enclave of Heddon Street.
There are no new hotels in Venice. The nature of this ancient city, stretched over 118 islands, means that there's no room - geographically and aesthetically - for swish new buildings. And, even if there was, there is a ban on any new tourist developments in the city, put in place in 2017.
For European skiers, it doesn't get any better than Austria's Arlberg region. After all, it's not known as the cradle of Alpine skiing for nothing. Stretching from the regions of Tyrol to Vorarlberg, and encompassing the glamorous resort of St Anton, adrenalin junkies can access over 200 miles of slopes, as well as reaching Valluga, the area's highest peak at 2,811 metres.
Welcome to No 1 by Guesthouse, York - the new opening by Guesthouse, one of the UK's latest and most charming hotel brands. It is found in a grand Georgian house, with many of its 200-year-old period details, such as ornate fireplaces, giant sash windows and elegant plasterwork, intact.
In the dark, the sound of the singing bowl emanates around the treatment room. It's part soothing, part otherworldly and definitely all encompassing. It's an evocative noise, fitting perhaps given that this is happening in England's most talked-about spa. Cliveden House in Berkshire is laden with 'noise'.
This month, The Berkeley has cemented it holistic status further with a three-month collaboration with cult brand Moss of the Isles. The result is a line-up of body treatments that harness the power of the beauty brand's nourishing and sustainable products.
For a writer, Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa , found just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, is the perfect place to find your muse. First, there's the evocative 125-year-old topiary garden, where you can waft around and be inspired by the giant yew trees clipped into chess pieces, (they were fashioned after Lewis Carroll's chess set in Alice in Wonderland).
Below, all of London is laid out, resplendent with its neon lights twinkling in the dark. From Level 52 of The Shard - the home of Shangri-La The Shard 's bar, Gong (the highest bar in the city) - it's an awesome sight.
From extraordinary places to lay your head to design heritage that dates back hundreds of years - if you are looking for the best of Italy, then seek out one of these exquisite new launches for inspiration for your travels this year.
Celebrating the fact that it is home to 6.5% of the world's biodiversity, Costa Rica is currently the star attraction at Kew Gardens' annual orchid festival - which has returned for the first time in two years (on until Sunday 6 March with timed entries).
The new Mondrian Shoreditch brings a mix of Spanish flair and Miami vibes. From the tapas-style dining by world-famous chef Dani García to the sunshine-fuelled rooftop pool and bar - the new opening will surely redefine how we see our city.
It may be inextricably linked as the birthplace of Swinging London in the 1960s, but some 60 years on, Carnaby Street has maintained its boutique appeal. These days, the famous road has been reincarnated as 'Carnaby Quarter ' and expands across 14 streets, encompassing the Newburgh Quarter , Kingly Court and the famous street itself.
Found on the cusp of the wilds of the Peak District, Callow Hall is no ordinary traditional country-house hotel. This, the first property of the Wildhive brand, may be housed in a Grade II-listed building, complete with feature staircase, imposing fireplaces and stone-framed windows, but yet it manages to feel thoroughly modern.
From green travel to child-focused itineraries, I talk to the travel experts and insiders to find out how we will travel in the year ahead. 1. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ALTERNATIVE ABTA's Travel in 2022 report showed a growing appetite among travellers to visit new destinations in the wake of post-pandemic travel, rather than sticking to their creature comfort destinations.
When it launched in 2016, the innovative hotel group Habitas put a marker in the sand with its genuine values rooted in sustainability and local community empowerment, while redefining the luxury hospitality experience. CEO Oliver Ripley discusses the ethos and development of Habitas.
It may be found on the curve of a classic London street, but Lexham Gardens by Cheval Maison is also ahead of the curve when it comes to tapping into the emerging trend of private luxury residences for travellers.
The soundtrack is a funky kind of samba-soul and the vibe is just as up-tempo as the beat. A stalwart of London's restaurant scene, Novikov in Mayfair may still be dusting off the bunting following its 10 year-anniversary celebrations (it opened in 2011), but yet there's still a frisson in the air, just like when the restaurant first opened its doors.
In my final instalment in the series looking at the top hotels to open across Europe and the UK in 2022, I reveal what's on the cards for the last quarter of the year. GRAN HOTEL MONTESOL, IBIZA - OPENING SUMMER 2022 Experimental Group is expanding its Balaerics portfolio further by taking over Ibiza's first ever hotel, Gran Hotel Montesol , which first opened in 1933.
In my continuing series - looking at the top hotels to open across Europe and the UK in 2022 - today I reveal what's hot for the summer months. CALI MYKONOS, GREECE - June 2022 Set to be one of the summer's 'big-hitters' is Cali Mykonos , an ultra-luxe 40-villa property found on the east of the Greek island.
Today, I continue my series revealing the best new hotels to put on your radar for 2022. THE ALBION, ABERTEIFI, WALES - March 2022 Much-loved for its re-invention of camping, the innovative fforest group is set to open The Albion , in west Wales, carved out of two historic warehouse buildings.
Budapest's newest opening - Hard Rock Hotel Budapest - will feature 136 rooms and suites in the heart of the city. Found on Budapest's 'Broadway', it will offer a signature restaurant, Sessions, which will give a twist on traditional Hungarian cuisine; Roxy, a rooftop bar and space, and Constant Grind coffee shop.
Using the Austrian Alps as inspiration, Shangri-La The Shard - one of London's most iconic hotels - has been transformed for the festive period.
The latest boutique hotel to open in Mallorca is the sister property to El Llorenç , the design hotel found in the capital city of Palma. The new opening, El Vicenç De La Mar , by contrast, is found on the north side of the island, in Calla Sant Vicenç, an area which grew in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s due to its untouched beaches and secret coves.
Bvlgari brings its slick Italian luxury to Paris this month when it opens its new hotel on the exclusive Avenue George V. A collaboration between the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel - who have designed all the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts - and Parisian architects Valode & Pistre - guests can expect beautifully curated interiors, which marry an Italian sense of style with a French nonchalance.
With a heightened interest in wellbeing, leading resorts and spas around the world are continuing to offer increasingly targeted, bespoke offerings to their guests. With experts on hand, personalised treatments and advanced healing on offer, it's a travel development which is tapping into a burgeoning wellness trend on the rise across the globe.
It's not clear what is the most spectacular - the salmon-pink streaked sky of the Greek sunset or the amber awakening of its sun-rise. Luckily, from your suite at the new Kalesma hotel, on the island of Mykonos, you are blessed with both views, so you can take your time to decide.
How has travel changed in the past 18 months? And how will our post-pandemic psyche affect how we travel in 2022? Following on from part one and two of this series (published with Forbes last week), I talk to industry experts to find out more.
How has travel changed in the past 18 months? And how will our post-pandemic psyche affect how we travel in 2022? Following on from part one of this series (published with Forbes yesterday), I talk to industry experts to reveal further trends on the horizon for the year ahead.
How has travel changed in the past 18 months? And how will our post-pandemic psyche affect how we travel in 2022. I talk to some of the leading industry experts to find out.
Tapping into a new-found, post-pandemic hunger for travel, the new Page8 London hotel seems perfect for our times. Offering laid-back, affordable luxury in central London - think: stylish rooms and a sustainable ethos - the hotel is the second property from Page Hotels andsister to Page148 in Hong Kong.
The fourth-floor infinity pool shimmers in the rose-gold, early evening light and, out of the floor-to-ceiling windows, the 18 th century St Botolph's church on Bishopsgate looks on impassively. Welcome to the City of London's latest hotel opening - Pan Pacific London - an example of how old and new worlds collide in this part of the Capital.
For those wanting to tap into all this, as well as the city's rich cultural programme and events as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations, Coombe Abbey Hotel is an apt place to stay and is just a short 20-minute drive east out of the city.
Since the Edo period (from the 17 th and 19 th century), the 'art' of communal bathing in mineral-rich hot springs - known as onsen - has been at the heart of Japanese culture. These days, there are thousands across the country, with some, such as Aman's sublime version at Amanemo , found in luxury resorts.
Sail west, 28 miles, off the coast of Cornwall, across choppy, inky waters, and you'll come to a cluster of islands known as The Scillies. To get there it takes just two and a half hours on a ferry, or a super-charged 15 minutes by helicopter, and when you arrive, it's like stepping out into a far-flung tropical country.
Like no other brand, Nobu is so intrinsically connected to one singular dish in its restaurant, that if someone mentions these two little words - "Black Cod" - you instantly know where they are talking about.
Pyjama label Desmond & Dempsey - which has had a cult following since it launched in the UK in 2014 - has the essence of travel sewn within the fabric of its much-loved PJs. Launched by Molly Goddard and her husband Joel Jeffery - both avid travellers - they have based their iconic prints on the many destinations they have visited.
Star Castle Hotel is perched on the highest part of the island. You reach it by walking up a steep cobbled lane. The further you go - under an original gateway with bell, past a detention cell - the more you are taken back in time, until you reach the narrow walkway which takes you into the castle.
The Beaumont's new revamp will charm lovers of an Art Deco aesthetic, for it oozes the essence of the 1920s from every corner. (You half expect to see Louise Brooks - bobbed and beautiful - race out the revolving doors.)
Streets are suddenly abuzz with people again, bars have a fizz of energy, and, on the hotel scene, a whole tranche of openings are happening apace. One of the most exciting of these is the new Beaverbrook Town House, found on Sloane Street, which threw open its doors two weeks ago.
In this post-pandemic world, what we are looking for from our travel experiences has changed. Privacy, pampering and personalisation are the key buzzwords going forward. Perfectly in tune with these new trends is the Cheval Collection of luxury serviced apartments. They've been simmering away, under-the-radar, over the past few years - essential addresses for those 'in the know'.
Eventually, with rolling fields on all sides of you, the sea twinkling beyond, you'll catch sight of Hell Bay Hotel ahead. Found in a secluded cove, and made up of a collection of higgledy-piggledy buildings it is infused with the scent of salt air and is quite possibly the perfect coastal retreat.
The previous guests at Cornwall's newest hotel opening, didn't check-in out of choice but, rather, under duress. How times have changed. Bodmin Jail Hotel - as the name suggests - is carved out of the region's most notorious prison, and dates back to 1779, with modern-day visitors now willingly being shown to their 'quarters'.
Now, making things easier for many, is the new Penzance Helicopters service, with up to 17 flights per day, for six days a week. State-of-the-art helicopters whizz visitors across the 28 miles in just 15 minutes, making the UK's answer to the Caribbean much more accessible.
It's a bumpy drive towards the latest - and hippest - opening in Cornwall. As you slowly approach along the narrow, twisting lane, you'll inhale salt air, sea grasses and sea-pinks swaying alongside you in the breeze - and then you'll spot streaks of turquoise beyond the dunes.
Middle Eight - named after the middle part of the song that gives a touch of variety to a tune - has a fittingly intriguing name well-suited to its alluring design aesthetic. It may look elegant and discreet, but this is a hotel with soul.
This year, the iconic brand that is Nikki Beach celebrates its 21st anniversary and - aside from the good times it's given millions of sun-seekers over the years - it is perhaps best known as being the first of its kind: having invented the luxury beach club concept.
The iconic London destination that is Burlington Arcade dates back to 1819 and is the oldest shopping arcades of its kind. But it has always had an avant-garde ethos and the reason maybe why - in normal times, at least - four million visitors arrive here each year.
I'm in a subterranean world lit by flickering candles, the shadows are casting strange patterns on the bare brick walls and there's water lapping all around me. Welcome to London's latest holistic wellness spa - AIRE Ancient Baths London - a calm oasistucked behind the Strand.
It's a quirky little place, on a charming little street - smack bang in the heart of Covent Garden. Blink and you'll miss it perhaps, but that is partly what makes The Henrietta Hotel one of London's finest under-the-radar gems. Part of the Experimental Group 's portfolio of achingly-hip hotels, restaurants and bars, the 18-bedroom townhouse was the first London hotel from the group when it opened in 2017.
"Hotels should be somewhere you come to for a treat," says Olga Polizzi. "They should be little havens where you are made to feel special and where you can be utterly spoilt." When the 75-year-old doyenne of the industry talks 'hotels', you take note.
Henry's Townhouse may have one foot in the past, as an historic, Grade II-listed Georgian property, but it also has one eye on the future when it comes to how people want to live when away from their homes. Not quite a hotel and much more than a home rental, this is an 'exclusive-stay' house.
Bainland Country Park has, for the past few years, been championing the charm of Lincolnshire Offering luxury lodges, shepherd's huts and Mediterranean-style villas, all in the midst of glorious nature, owner Simon Craddock reveals the inspiration behind its new sustainable direction.
Travel expert and writer Holly Tuppen's new book - Sustainable Travel: The Essential Guide to Positive-Impact Adventures provides travellers with everything they need to know to make more sustainable, responsible and ethical choices to ensure their travel experiences do more good than harm.
To coincide with Juneteenth this month - which takes place on Friday 19 June and which aims to celebrate all those who have been freed from enslavement in the USA - I shine a light on some of the engaging black heritage tours which seek to honour black culture and history.
Flemings Mayfair's latest launch - the Pietro Simone Skincare Clinic - offers a state-of-the-art clinic offering - more commonly seen in the best hotels in NYC - with renowned skincare practitioner and facialist - Pietro Simone - offering a range of advanced treatments.
Luxury book publisher,Assouline , is renowned for its covetable, coffee-table books which are celebrate the wonder of travel. From Ibiza to Capri, Marrakech to Mykonos, the publisher is known for a whole collection of travel titles, instantly recognisable by their bold, typographical covers and expertise within its pages.
It is at the The Mitre Hampton Court, which opened in August 2020, where Nicola Harding comes into her own. Her quirky-cool interiors in this historic building, reimagined as a boutique hotel, are instantly welcoming. Found on the River Thames, The Mitre has a rich heritage in hospitality.
Is there anything that the Grammy-award winning Pharrell Williams can't do? Most famous perhaps for his joyful anthem - Happy (possibly the most optimistic tune ever written) - the Virginia-born singer-songwriter is also a multitasker supreme. Record producer, fashion designer and restaurateur are just a few of the accolades under his belt.
The first thing you notice is the stained-glass. As you step inside the characterful building, the jewel colours - sapphire, ruby and amber - hit the sunlight and create a dazzling dance on the tiled floor. Pots of towering plants and oversized blooms give the notion that you've entered a chic and colourful greenhouse.
Today, Great Lakes Safaris - one of the most successful safari tour operators in Uganda - marks its 20th anniversary. I talk to Ugandan founder, Amos Wekesa, about his remarkable rise to success from humble beginnings and the launch of his new give-back venture, Great Lakes Safaris Foundation.
Lewis Carroll's iconic masterpiece, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , has a deep-rooted place in our national psyche. From the book's surrealist scenes, set in a quintessential English countryside setting, to the psychedelic escapades of Alice - Carroll's book is an ultimate springboard for artistic inspiration.
Based in Hertfordshire, 18 miles outside of London, The Grove has long been billed as the 'country house hotel for Londoners'. At its heart is an 18 th century manor house, but there's also a large, more modern West Wing, a walled garden, and signature restaurant found in an orangery, The Glasshouse.
Some of the British Isles' best artisan wellness brands are raiding the larder of natural ingredients found across the glorious lands of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England. It's a hyper-localised approach to clean beauty, which has its origins dating back hundreds of years.
Who hasn't been inspired by an imaginative story? Who hasn't travelled to new places through the pages of a book? Of course, the whole point of many novels - particularly for children - is to spark the imagination, allowing us to travel into new worlds, explore unseen spheres and giving us endless possibilities.
A new batch of hotel openings is capturing that elusive optimism of sun-drenched holidays we are all lusting after right now. Here are five hotels to put on your wish list for when we can travel again... W ALGARVE, PORTUGAL What's the vibe? This spring, is bringing its signature 'urban glam' aesthetic to Albufeira, Portugal.
There's no better way for a destination to be defined than by looking at what goes into its 'belly'. A country's cuisine sums up the culture of a place - literally giving a taste of it - like nothing else. It is why food and travel are so intrinsically entwined.
Noted designer Patricia Urquiola and hotelier Luis Contreras - named the 'super-duo' by Wallpaper* - first teamed up four years ago to unveil the contemporary Il Sereno hotel - the first new structure to be built on the shores of Italy's Lake Como in 70 years.
Teaming up with social enterprise Women in Travel (CIC), Intrepid Travel has launched three new Intrepid Urban Adventures Tours led by women. Travellers are given a unique insight into the lives of immigrant communities in the capital and a taste of different cultures.
It's International Women's Day today and we go behind the scenes at JOALI - a unique, female-orientated resort in the Maldives to see how female empowerment is giving its sustainable hospitality an innovative edge. Owned by one of Turkey's leading businesswomen - Esin Gural Argat - JOALI, which opened in 2018, is the Maldives' first and only immersive art resort.
With a collection of five hotels, resorts, lodges and private residences in Europe, Africa and Asia, Zannier Hotels - founded 10 years ago - has pioneered what it calls 'a new era of progressive luxury hospitality'. At the heart of its ethos is authenticity, with hotel design, authentic cuisine and guest experiences all rooted in local culture.
This year, it looks as though holidaymakers across the UK are gearing up for another summer of the staycation, with many hotels, cottages and country houses already fully booked. Simon Craddock, owner of Bainland Country Park - a unique collection of design-led villas and lakeside lodges in Lincolnshire - confirms this is set to be the case.
Here's how to keep dreaming of travel, with the second part of my series looking at some of the hottest new European hotels for 2021. IKOS ANDALUSIA, SPAIN What's the buzz? It's the latest opening from luxury, all-inclusive brand Ikos - known for its stylish, top-end take on holidaying - and the first hotel from the company found outside of Greece.
Like never before, we're dreaming of the 'big escape'. And it seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel. This new-found, positive approach to travelling again is being led by a flurry of new openings across Europe. Here, across two articles, are some of the best.
One of the few upsides of the pandemic, has been how-because of our enforced stillness-we've had time to consider our impact on the planet. For those passionate about travel, we've heard much talk about the necessity of seeing the world in a sustainable manner in the future.
While we are confined to our armchairs right now, we can still indulge our wanderlust with some escapism of a different kind. With bold colours, strong design, interesting subject matters and the unearthing of unique destinations, Maison Assouline has a strong history when it comes to travel books.
The streets of London may be deserted right now, but hopefully for not much longer. With the vaccine rolling out, there's hope on the horizon for travel to recommence and normal life to slowly return.
It's still early days for global travel to resume to the ways we once knew and loved, but with the vaccine now rolling out, we can only remain hopeful that the industry will slowly start to start to return later this year. One positive of 2020 has been the rediscovery of the staycation.
Out today (7 January 2021) Phaidon 's latest coffee-table book - Radical Architecture of the Future - reveals some of the world's most inspiring, innovative and forward-thinking architecture. A must for design lovers and travel aficionados, it's the perfect 'at-home' read to inspire us all while we are 'grounded'.
Today in the final article in my Travel Trend 2021 series, I look ahead to brighter times and talk about 'Regenerative Travel' - the increase in companies having an eco-aware ethos and 'give-back' mentality. I also consider 'Optimistic Travel' - because there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In Part 3 of my travel trend series, I reveal why the boom in UK travel will continue - it offers safety and beauty on our doorstep, and a flurry of new openings next year. I also reveal the hidden side of Europe, and why hotels are opening in some under-the-radar destinations not too far away.
In this, the second part of my travel forecasts for 2021, I reveal two trends predicted to be on the rise for next year: why you should put Africa on your wish-list and how cruising is taking a more intimate new direction.
Now, we are slowly emerging out into the world again. So, what will 2021 bring for travel? In the first of my features looking at forecasts for 2021, today, I reveal two trends predicted to be on the rise for next year: wellness travel and a new demand for seclusion and privacy.
Carved out of one of Ostuni's most notable buildings - the former 17th century Palazzo Rosso - is the new Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa. Owners Pascale Lauber and Ulrike Bauschke have reimagined the historical property, working with conservationists to restore it to its former glory.
Delving deep into the significance of colour in design and travel is a new title - The V&A Book of Colour in Design (Thames & Hudson). Here, curator Tim Travis, reveals more about the new book release and the significance of how colour shades our views of the world.
Those working in the hospitality sector have had to think fast on their feet to keep surviving, and we can only applaud the efforts of many brands who have pivoted to offer something new, in order to keep their names fresh in the minds of would-be guests and travellers.
Many of us now have an aversion to crowds and a rise in anxiety about travelling. Top of our list for next year will be a quest for those hidden places that offer us privacy, seclusion and space. The Thinking Traveller speaks to Forbes on the brand's new launch and the latest travel trends ahead.
Years ago, most hotel amenities consisted of rows of tiny plastic bottles filled with dubious concoctions, which were often not fit for purpose. Then came a mini revolution when five-star hotel brands started collaborating with like-minded beauty companies.
Celebrating its 20th year in 2020, Ananda in the Himalayas would have ordinarily been celebrating with exciting new programmes and a celebratory smoothie or two. Instead, it has gathered together its experts to offer a curated Ananda Wellness Bliss programme, which you can tap into from home.
When Martin Brudnizki - the most 'starry' interior designer on the scene - got his hands on the oldest hotel in Cambridge - back in 2018 - you knew the outcome would be something special.
Despite this being a year when many businesses in the hospitality sector had no choice but to close their doors and pull down the shutters for the last time - there's still been a few success stories.
Meanwhile, in St Mawes, The Idle Rocks boutique hotel is also making its own waves on the Cornish coastal scene. Its award-winning restaurant is headed up by executive head chef Dorian Janmaat. Here, he discusses the continuing Cornish foodie phenomenon.
A year ago, an £85 million renovation project at a leading London hotel would have seen guests queuing up to check-in. With travellers short on the ground, things are a little bit different right now. But, that has not deterred the Royal Lancaster London for creating a buzz.
One of the UK travel industry 'heavyweights', Peter de Savary is probably best known for his 'thoughtful' and personal approach to hospitality across a portfolio of stylish properties. The hotelier, 76, works alongside his wife, Lana de Savary, who is responsible for the hotels' chic interior-design ethos, with both presiding over a collection of boutique outposts across the UK and beyond.
"What is green travel?" muses Juliet Kinsman, journalist and author of the new The Green Edit: Travel guide (£9,99, Ebury Press). "For sure, there are a lot of myths surrounding what this actually means, but being green has never been so gratifying.
While, Dorset may be most famous for its stunning Jurassic Coastline, with Durdle Door - a 200ft limestone arch perched over azure seas - as its most visited masterpiece, a stay in the quaint town of Sherborne - a 50 minute drive inland - offers the best of both country and coast.
We may not be able to travel freely just yet, but it seems as though we are all embarking on a different kind of journey - one of escapism - within our gardens. Harnessing this green-fingered passion on paper is Phaidon who is publishing three coffee-table titles based around the subject.
In the heart of the region is the De Vere Cotswold Waterpark Hotel, an ideal base to explore the area's charms. Situated on Lake 6 - in its own nature reserve - it fuses the characterful allure of this timeless area with a modern approach to hospitality.
One of Wales' most prominent hotels - Celtic Manor Resort - was one of the first to reopen when restrictions began to ease. Matthew Lewis, vice-president of operations at the hotel, talks to Forbes about the process of reopening in these uncertain times.
You may not have heard of Bainland Lodge Park, and you may not have visited Lincolnshire, where it is found. But this unique collection of homestays is creating a buzz, with its forward-thinking approach to staycations, and is set to put this area of the UK in the spotlight.
One of Wales' foremost names in hospitality - The Celtic Collection - was one of the first in Wales to open its doors, and is setting out its stall in how to make a stay there, in this time of flux, as easy as possible.
From a hotel celebrating the accomplishments of women to female-run wineries, women are making their mark in the once-male-dominated worlds of hospitality. Set to open this summer, in Washington DC, Hotel Zena is proclaiming to be the world's first hotel dedicated to female empowerment.
Destinations are opening up to tourism again and our appetite for travel is slowly returning. With it, there are new trends emerging for how we will travel, with safety, privacy and seclusion all top of the 'want list'. Here, I reveal the latest ways we will continue embracing the world around us.
With travel having been 'on pause' for the past few months, tastemakers and expert leaders have had some time to reflect and think about the future of the travel industry. But, with many companies simply fighting to survive, will the progress made in sustainable travel before the pandemic hit be lost?
Sustainable and responsible tourism are at the heart of African Bush Camps, which is spearheaded by CEO Beks Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean who is renowned as one of Zimbabwe's top professional guides, as well as being one of a handful of black CEOs leading the way in the safari industry.
In this continuing series for Forbes, I talk to a range of experts and insiders working in the travel industry about their plans for reopening across the sector. I find out more about the new practicalities which are now necessary, and the leaders' thoughts for the road ahead.
I talk to Jamie-Lee Abtar, executive director of BAME Women in Travel, and Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel CIC, about how to cultivate understanding around what racism means, how to improve representation of people of colour in the travel sector, and how to attain positive progress.
Cornish-based seascape artist Nina Brooke creates abstract beach scenes, from around the world, using aerial photography. Her paintings reflect the very essence of freedom through travel - that which many of us are yearning for in lockdown. There's never been a better time for escapism.
With its cocoa sourced from the remote Pacific Islands, such as the Soloman Islands, and Madagascar, Firetree Chocolate - a UK artisan chocolate brand - may have been launched in London, but it's roots are found firmly in far-flung destinations.
Travelling abroad this summer is still looking uncertain, so, instead, we turn our eyes to holidaying on our own shores. One clear option is to find your own home-from-home, where you can enjoy a change of scenery, escape the confines of your own four walls and discover a new part of the UK.
Jamaica will reopen its borders for international travellers on 15 June 2020, The country's Minister of Tourism, Edmund C. Bartlett, discusses the future of tourism in Jamaica as well as touching on how the 'psyche' of future travellers will be affected.
In a continuing series about what the future holds for the travel industry, I talk to a range of expert insiders about what lies ahead. Ed Newell, founder and CEO of NewTree Ranch , a 'farmstead' concept found in the Pacific Redwood Forest of northern California, says that he thinks people will look for new and better ways to travel.
Today is World Oceans Day, which aims to help minimise our impact on our 'blue planet'. As travellers, we can also play our part by choosing our destinations wisely, and helping with marine conservation when we get there. Here's where to holiday and help the health of our planet.
After the shock of imposed stillness, the travel industry is slowly coming back to life, reactivating and reassessing a new way of doing things. To give a deeper insight about what lies ahead, I have reached out to a range of travel insiders to hear their views. Here's what they have to say.
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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On The Maldives, local cuisine is finally being properly celebrated. Angelina Villa-Clarke jets in to eat local delicacies including mud crabs I'm sat high in the treetops, hidden amongst the oversized leaves of banana trees. Flickering candles light the tables but, mostly, the scene is illuminated by the night sky, ablaze with an eternity of stars.
THE WEEKEND: You'll find Retreat East along a quiet lane in the middle of Suffolk's glorious rolling countryside (watch out for the discreet sign, as you'll probably miss it). Made up of a series of converted barns, this newly-evolved project takes all the best elements of the archetypal countryside stay and merges it into one.
THE WEEKEND: In the heart of the Cotswolds, close to the picturesque town of Stow-on-theWold, Daylesford Organic Farm is perhaps the country's poshest farm shop. Owner Carole Bamford, founder of the Bamford wellness brand and Daylesford, has now launched The Fox at Oddington, a 'pub with rooms' in a renovated 16th-century pub.
THE WEEKEND: The cooler months are the finest time to arrive in the Languedoc region of southern France. Across a cloudless sky, white storks make their long way south to soak up the sun in Kenya's savannah lands.
THE WEEKEND: On the fringes of the market town of Hungerford in rural Berkshire, The Retreat at Elcot Park is set on elevating the country-house hotel stay. The second hotel from The Signet Collection (the first property is the awardwinning The Mitre in Hampton Court), guests can expect more of the brand's alluring combination of seriously stylish interiors, innovative dining and a laidback twist on luxury.
THE WEEKEND: Found on the southeastern edge of The Peak District, Callow Hall is the first hotel from the Wildhive hospitality brand. Placing nature at its core, the owners behind the launch are aiming to champion the UK's lesser-known spots, by offering laid-back stays in restored historic houses.
From the sunken fire pit, guests can watch the sun setting over the neighbouring island of Delos. Gold, amber and peach streaks are scrawled across the sky, like an angry toddler has raided the crayon box. The smoke rises up, making smudges, like dirty fingerprints across the sky.
Take a trip to The Langley in Buckinghamshire to discovers a Grade II historic property given a 21st-century makeover. Don't be put off by your drive through Slough - the route to The Langley in Buckinghamshire is a touch misleading.
Sweden is currently in the UK's travel corridor "green list", meaning you can travel without having to self-isolate for two weeks when you return. So why not venture into the wilderness of Swedish lapland to forget about the woes back home, staying in Arctic Bath, one of the world's most unique hotels.
International travel may seem like a distant memory, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a slice of luxury on your own doorstep. Why not try get a new angle on London with a stay in the sky at hip new hotel opening Treehouse London.
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.
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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