World Traveller January 2019

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Produced in Dubai Production City

Idyllic Indian Ocean

From over-ocean villas in the Maldives to

natural wonders in Mauritius, we dive into the

Indian Ocean’s treasured islands

Welcome note

For globetrotters like us, the start of a new year calls for a

new roster of destinations to visit and mind-blowing travel

experiences to relish, and this issue is packed with ideas that

are sure to earn a place on your wish list.

Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher

Editorial Director

John Thatcher

General Manager

David Wade

Managing Editor

Faye Bartle


Content Writer

Habiba Azab

Art Director

Kerri Bennett

Senior Designer

Hiral Kapadia

Senior Advertising Manager

Mia Cachero


Regular readers will notice that, in the spirit of

new beginnings, World Traveller has undergone

a revamp to make way for even more travel tips

and inspiration from those in-the-know. Our cover

story (p26) whisks you away to the Indian Ocean,

shining a light on everything from brand spanking

new Maldives resorts (get there before the rest), to

where to walk among giant tortoises in Seychelles,

and pampering spa havens in Sri Lanka.

Drawing on our insider intelligence, dnata

Travel’s resident globetrotter Emily Williams tells

us which destinations are trending right now (p8)

while our woman on the ground in Berlin helps

you get under the skin of this achingly cool capital

in her long weekend guide on p66.

We hope you like our new direction, and we

invite you to share your own travel stories with

us. Turn to p82 to see how you can carry on the

conversation on our digital channels.

Happy travels,

Faye Bartle


Find out how you can

win a three-night stay

at Gili Lankanfushi,


on p83





Atlantis Paradise

Island in the Bahamas

is home to the world's

largest open-air marine

habitat, p10


Thanks to the new


Bridge, you can

now reach Southern

Mozambique in an easy

90-minute drive (as

opposed to a bumpy

five-hour ride) from the

airport, p21


If you’re travelling longhaul

with kids, outsmart

jetlag by booking an

overnight or late-night

flight, p22


Berlin is nine times

the size of Paris,

but home to just 3.5

million people – that’s

five million less than

London, p66

Production Manager

Muthu Kumar


Photography credits:

Getty Images and Phocal Media

Reproduction in whole or in part

without written permission from

HOT Media Publishing is strictly

prohibited. All prices mentioned

are correct at time of press

but may change. HOT Media

Publishing does not accept

liability for omissions or errors in

World Traveller.

Tel: 00971 4 364 2876

Fax: 00971 4 369 7494


Jumeirah Vittaveli

Find us at…

ONLINE worldtravellermagazine.com

FACEBOOK @worldtravellermagazine

INSTAGRAM @dnataworldtraveller

TWITTER @WT_Magazine


In Hong Kong,

Peking duck

spring rolls now

come stuffed with

healthy kale, p44

worldtravellermagazine.com 3

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi


January 2019




8 15 22 26 84



From wild Tasmania

to the dramatic

landscapes of the Isle

of Skye – four places to

head to now


New Year travel goals

to aim for; fresh places

to stay; mood-boosting

nature trips; and mustsee

urban wonders


How to avoid jet lag

when travelling with a

toddler in tow – by the

nomad parents who've

mastered it


Say hello to your Indian

Ocean paradise... we've

rounded up the very best

ways to do Maldives,

Seychelles, Mauritius

and Sri Lanka


Bookworms need look

no further than the

Virginia Woolf Suite

at University Arms,


worldtravellermagazine.com 5



44 50



Neon-lit skyscrapers RECOVERY

pierce the clouds and An eye-opening drive

big-brand names light through America’s soulstirring


up the sky – this is

modern Hong Kong



Taking the reins

on a family dogsledding

adventure in

northeastern Norway




64 66




Check out the new What to see and do in

wave of openings at the this achingly cool and

historic heart of the city creative capital



Enjoy a well-deserved

weekend away at these

luxurious hotels



Take advantage of our

exclusive deals for

your next adventure

6 worldtravellermagazine.com

Inspiration. Expertly crafted.

Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is centrally located beside the

Dubai Water Canal and offers a spectrum of facilities and services for a seamless experience.

The hotel features: 1,608 Luxurious Guest Rooms and Suites, Over 15 Award-Winning Restaurants

and Lounges, Saray Spa featuring Traditional Hammams, A Dead Sea Floatation Pool and

17 Treatment Rooms, State-of-the-Art Health Club and Fitness facilities, 8,000 sqm of spectacular

Meeting Spaces.

JW Marriott® Marquis® Hotel Dubai


Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971.4.414.0000 | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com



The island of Tasmania is witnessing a surge in popularity. This wild

corner of Australia has beautiful (and quiet) beaches, abundant nature and

wildlife, the purest air, cleanest water and an emerging cultural scene. Stay

in the beautiful port capital of Hobart, an ideal base to explore, and home

to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

HIGHLIGHTS 1 See the diverse range of wacky art at world-renowned MONA 2 Bask in the beauty of the 50km-long Bay of Fires

3 Meet and greet a Tasmanian Devil at the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo

8 worldtravellermagazine.com



Two hours north of Lisbon, Porto emerges from the banks of the Rio Douro

like a pop-up book of colourful, historic buildings. With its fashionable

hotels, local chefs picking up a growing constellation of Michelin stars,

beautiful beaches and charismatic locals, January (with its mild weather

and affordable rates) is a great time to experience all Porto has to offer.

HIGHLIGHTS 1 Visit the arts block of Rua Miguel Bombarda for your fill of contemporary art and design

2 Admire the old houses of Miragaia 3 Taste classic Portuguese cuisine by Porto-born Chef Rui Paula at DOP

worldtravellermagazine.com 9



Home to the ‘original’ Atlantis hotel, Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas

features the world's largest open-air marine habitat, a 141-acre water park,

11 incredible pools, five miles of stunning beaches, and a Tom Weiskopfdesigned

18-hole, oceanfront golf course. There’s no bad time to visit the

Bahamas – go island hopping and marvel at its famous pink sand beaches.

HIGHLIGHTS 1 Grab a conch salad and listen to rake ’n’ scrape bands at the ‘Fish Fry’ in Arawak Cay, Nassau

2 Snorkelling at Andros Great Barrier Reef 3 Soak up the sun on pristine pink sand beaches

10 worldtravellermagazine.com

Words by Emily Williams, dnata Travel’s resident globetrotter


Isle of Skye

The Scottish Highlands are on the radar, boosted by rumours of the prequel

to Game of Thrones filming on the Isle of Skye. Already a popular location for

film and TV crews, be sure to visit the iconic stone structure known as the

Old Man of Storr and the beautiful ‘Fairy Pool’ waterfalls. It's cold in January,

but the weather lends the dramatic landscapes an even more magical vibe.

HIGHLIGHTS 1 Follow guides to mountains, sea-cliffs, and canyons for a thrilling outdoor adventure 2 See an acclaimed collection

of dinosaur fossils at the Staffin Dinosaur Museum 3 Take a boat tour to see basking sharks at sea, the world’s second largest fish

worldtravellermagazine.com 11











Unique, Unique, unexpected Unique, unexpected unexpected and totally and totally and memorable, totally memorable, our

our our

chic, chic, chic, retro-inspired getaway getaway guarantees getaway guarantees guarantees glamorous

glamorous glamorous

indulgence indulgence indulgence on an on unspoiled an on unspoiled an unspoiled island island nirvana. island nirvana. nirvana.

Baa Atoll, Baa P.O. Atoll, Box Baa P.O. 2123, Atoll, Box Republic P.O. 2123, Box Republic of 2123, Maldives Republic of Maldives of Maldives

T +960 T 660 +960 8800 T 660 +960 8800 660 E



We are proud We are to We proud present are to proud present the Maldives to present the Maldives Aficionado the Maldives Aficionado programme Aficionado programme to our programme valued to our guests.

valued to our guests. valued guests.

It is our It goal is our to craft It goal is our truly to craft goal memorable to truly craft memorable truly experiences memorable experiences for experiences those for who those stay for who with those stay us, who with and stay us, with and us, and

we developed we developed this we loyalty developed this programme loyalty this programme loyalty as a programme way as of a saying way as of ‘thank a saying way of you’ ‘thank saying for your you’ ‘thank for belief

you’ your for belief your belief

in TSMIC. in TSMIC. We hope in TSMIC. We to join hope We you to hope join creating you to join creating many you more creating many special more many memories special more special memories at our memories at our at our


resorts. resorts.

For more For information, more For information, more please information, visit please visit please http://www.tsmic.mv/aficionado

visit or scan the or scan QR code or the scan QR to download the code QR to code download the to Maldives download the Maldives Aficionado the Maldives Aficionado app. Aficionado app. app.




The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah.

The Pointe is a vibrant new waterfront destination located at the tip of

Palm Jumeirah with scenic views of Atlantis The Palm. Spend the day

with family and friends strolling along the promenade, satisfying your

taste buds with cuisine from across the world, watching the latest

big-screen blockbusters or simply relaxing, unwinding and pampering

yourself. Visit The Pointe and indulge in a unique experience.

@thepointepalm | www.thepointe.ae



Be informed, be inspired, be there


Open your eyes to the mediaeval

architecture and nature-filled walking

trails of picturesque Sintra, a UNESCO

World Heritage Site, which historically

was a popular holiday spot among

Portugal’s elite – hence the exquisite

palaces, mansions and decorative

gardens amid the rolling hills. Embrace

the grandeur by staying at Tivoli Palácio

de Seteais (pictured), an 18th-century

Portuguese palace-turned-hotel, which

can send you on a host of adventures,

including a horse-drawn carriage ride

along the charming cobblestone streets

to taste traditional pastries at centuryold

pâtisserie Casa Piriquita.

World Traveller 15




Make a meaningful start to your

year in travel by embarking on

a holiday that gives back

Emirates One&Only

in Wolgan Valley, Australia


Do a digital

detox in


Break free from

a digital rut at

Mandala Spa &

Resort Villas

in central


which is

surrounded by

tropical gardens

and just a short

walk from the

stunning beach.

Stay in the

Digital Detox

Villa, where

television and

Wi-Fi is strictly

banned, so you

can unplug and

spend your

days nourishing

yourself with

healthy food and

taking part in

yoga classes.

16 worldtravellermagazine.com

2Join a writer’s

retreat in

Sierra Nevada

If you plan on

penning your own

masterpiece soon,

then Casa Ana’s

creative writing

retreat provides

all the inspiration

you need to get

started. Located in

the Sierra Nevada

mountains of

southern Spain,

it holds four

writing retreats

each year (March,

June, August, and

November) so

you can focus on

your prose in quiet


glean advice from

the professional

mentors and take

part in group

reading and

critiquing sessions.

3Go wild in



Stay at Emirates

One&Only in

Wolgan Valley,

Australia, and

you can make

a hands-on

contribution to

protecting the

valley and its

wildlife. Join the


team as they

journey into the

Blue Mountains

to care for

Carne Creek and

Wolgan River

– important

habitats for

native wildlife.

Learn about key

issues impacting

the local wildlife

and take part

in tree planting,

wildlife surveys,

feral animal

monitoring and

wombat surveys,

among other

activities, as

you admire the



Cook up

a storm in


Tucked away in

the picturesque


the Belmond

Le Manoir aux


cookery school,

by chef Raymond

Blanc OBE,

will show you

the secrets

of creating


cuisine. There

are courses for

all skill levels

and, once you’ve

downed tools

in the kitchen,

you can retire

to one of the

manor house’s

32 individuallydesigned



Maya Ubud Resort & Spa

Belmond Le Manoir aux




your soul

in Bali

Get back in

touch with the

important stuff

with the eightday/seven-night

spiritual journey


at Maya Ubud

Resort & Spa.

Your itinerary

will include

trips to nearby

temples, a visit

to a Balinese

healer and a

stroll through

the verdant rice

paddies to gain

a deeper insight

into the Balinese

philosophy of

life, with lots of

spa pampering








Mandarin Oriental

Jumeira, Dubai

Inside scoop: This Jeffrey

Wilkes designed property offers the

best of both worlds, having bagged

itself a coveted spot along Jumeirah

Beach, placing you just steps away from

the seafront and just a short drive away

from icon-packed Downtown Dubai

(in fact, it’s now the closest beachfront

resort). Scheduled to open in Q1 2019,

the hotel’s California-style aesthetic has

us reaching for our overnight bag.

The rooms and suites: You can choose

from a city or beach view, and most

guestrooms have a private balcony.

We say book a room overlooking the

pool and out towards the sea for the

dreamiest views.

The food: There are six restaurants

and lounges to discover, with signature

venues including the Warayakiya-style

Japanese restaurant and Portuguese

poolside eatery Tasca.

The spa: Be pampered in the spa with a

locally-inspired treatment and unwind

in the dedicated hammam-style suite.

Also nearby: It’s just five minutes to

thriving beach community La Mer,

where you can go to shop, grab a bite

to eat and hurl yourself down the slides

at Laguna Waterpark.

2 3 4


The Houghton

Keen golfers will be

lured from the city

to the ’burbs by this

luxurious property,

due to its proximity

to the Jack Nicklaus

signature golf

course (it’s literally the front garden).

The resort has a club-like vibe – expect

the staff to call you by your first name

– with plenty of ways to stay fit and

healthy, including 7.9km of illuminated

jogging paths.


C Mauritius

We're lapping up

the tropical vibes

of C Mauritius in

Palmar – the first

opening for the

cool new sister

brand of Constance

Hotels & Resorts. Warm and stylish,

with incredible views of the lagoon and

beach, it’s ideal for those who prefer

an all-inclusive stay. (The hotel is in its

soft opening stage and will be fully

operational in March.)


Zabeel House by Jumeirah,

The Greens

Inspired by New

York loft living,

the rooms and

apartments of this

hip hotel are decked

out with SMEG mini

bar fridges, espresso machines and the

like. Taste Pan-Asian cuisine at Ah Lah,

dip a toe in the outdoor pool, and take

advantage of the free bike, skateboard

and rollerblade rental to explore the

parks and lakes nearby.

worldtravellermagazine.com 17



Doctors in Shetland can now prescribe nature to their patients to help treat stress and

other conditions. Make sure the time you spend in nature is well topped up with a few

days' respite at these wonderfully lush hotels around the globe…



Big Sur, California

Tucked amid the forests of

California’s rugged central

coast is Ventana Big Sur,

where you can watch the

sun set over the ocean,

explore the rolling hills and

navigate the hiking trails

with a local guide. Rest

your head at its Redwood

and Canyon Glampsites

(only accessible by foot),

which puts you in the thick

of it all in a safari-style

canvas tent, sharing stories

by the light of the fire.



The Amalfi Coast

Surrounded by luscious

bougainvillea and lovingly

cultivated olive groves

and fruit orchards, Hotel

Santa Caterina invites you

to experience the charm

of this classically beautiful

destination. This historic

villa, perched on the cliffs,

offers direct access to a

private stretch of sand (via

elevators carved into the

rock face) where you can

unwind, soak up the sun

and swim in the heated

seawater pool (open from

mid-April to October).



The Dubai desert

The allure of the golden

dunes never fades and

the private oasis of Al

Maha, a Luxury Collection

Desert Resort & Spa,

Dubai, nestled deep in the

Dubai Desert Conservation

Reserve, takes the breath

away whether you’re a

newbie or a regular. Post

desert safari, you can gaze

at the seemingly endless

stretch of sand towards the

Al Hajar Mountains from

your suite’s private pool.

Redwood and Canyon Glampsites, Ventana Big Sur

Credit: Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort

18 worldtravellermagazine.com


Experience the alluring, golden desert landscape, the captivating silence of nature, the free-roaming

wildlife in the reserve, all enjoyed from your private suite and pool. Indulge in a luxurious desert adventure

with camel treks, horseback riding, falconry, archery, dune drives and more.




feeling like a VIP

that’s Kilban’s

marhaba effect

The difference is the staff. So caring.

I’m just an ordinary traveller but

marhaba makes me feel like a VIP.

With people like this, there is only

one way you can go—up, up and up!


Breeze through all the airport formalities with our meet &

greet services in Dubai and Bahrain.

Whether you’re arriving, departing or transferring,

marhaba meet & greet makes your time at the airport

something to look forward to.

You can also relax in style, no matter what your airline or

class of travel, at our lounges in Dubai and Bahrain.

Find your marhaba effect at marhabaservices.com

meet & greet | family packages | marhaba lounge | citystop | transfer service


Louvre Abu Dhabi

There are now regular nonstop

flights zipping between

Abu Dhabi and Barcelona,

Spain, thanks to Etihad

Airways, which launched its

inaugural flight there at the

end of November 2018. The

new route (just shy of eight


Urban wonders

The Roman Colosseum and Great

Wall of China may already be on

your must-see list, but how many

of the new wave urban wonders

are on your radar? Hilton Hotels &

Resorts has recently unveiled the

Seven Urban Wonders of the World,

crowdsourced via influencers and

rated by criteria such as architecture,

activities available and, of course,

Instagrammability. Here’s what made

the cut…

Louvre Abu Dhabi for its impressive

installations. Sydney Opera House for

its cultural contribution to the city and

picture-perfect viewpoint, looking out

towards Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo, for its

foodie, flea market appeal.

Camden Market, London, due to

its rebellious and exciting persona.

The Bund, Shanghai with its milelong

stretch of waterfront and real

life ‘museum of buildings’. Temple

Street Night Markets, Hong Kong,

as a vibrant showcase for culture,

food, and craft. Albertina, Vienna,

for its history, art galleries and

museums. Indeed, Albertina is

one the city’s most photographed

buildings, commanding more than

70,000 Instagram posts.


The MCM Traveler Cabin

Trolley in Visetos, Dhs6,400,

is the perfect size for a

long weekend away and its

compartmentalised interior

makes packing easy too.

Just zip it up and go!



Design enthusiasts will want

to be among the first to stay

in the new-look NIKA Private

Residence at Velaa Private

Island, which has been

reimagined by interior

designer Patricia

Urquiola. The beach

retreat, which

sleeps up to 10, has

a natural tone with

raffia, wood and earthy

textiles creating warmth.

Thanks to the opening of the

Maputo-Catembe Bridge,

the largest suspension bridge

in Africa, the wilderness of

Southern Mozambique

just got a whole lot

more accessible.

Stay at White Pearl

Resort, where ocean

safaris, game drives

and swimming with

wild dolphins are among the

adventures to be had.

Gordon Ramsay is turning

up the heat with the newlyopened

Hell’s Kitchen

at Caesars Palace


Dubai. Serving

up an experiential

and immersive

culinary experience,

its coveted address

on Dubai’s newest island

destination adds to the allure.

Fans of Four Seasons will be

keen to read this new tome,

which takes you behind the

scenes by sharing the

stories of the authentic

service and savoir faire

of its people, illustrated

by Ignasi Monreal.

Four Seasons: The

Art of Hospitality.

Assouline Publishing,


World Traveller 21


The Knowledge


Help kids beat jet lag

With their two-year-old in tow, AJ Ratani and Natasha Sandhir travelled to 31 countries in

just short of nine months. Not surprisingly, they learned a lot about travelling with a toddler

Before you travel…

We always plan to align our son's

sleep schedule to the destination. For

example, in Spain, their culture is to

enjoy dinner much later than we do

in the US, so we’ll do the same when

we’re there. This gives our child the

opportunity to mix with the locals

and taste the local cuisine, rather than

having to eat at an empty restaurant or

just grab a snack and go to bed at the

same time they would back home.

When you’re travelling somewhere

and know the time difference will be

significant, it’s a good idea to start

preparing a day or so in advance. Even

though it can make for a crazy day

or two, depending on whether you’re

gaining or losing hours, wake your child

up a couple of hours’ earlier or later

than normal and have them go to bed

earlier or later as well. This will help with

the transition.

Booking the best flight time…

If you know the flight will be long, we

prefer to book overnight or late-night

flights. We have found that our son will

be tired and typically falls asleep on the

flight and (hopefully) sleeps until our

destination. It also allows us to get some

sleep as well, and we aren't stressed

out trying to entertain and manage him

during the flight. For shorter flights, we

typically try to book one which departs

after 11am. We try and avoid short

flights that start around our son’s usual

bedtime because that can be disruptive

to his sleep.

When you’re flying at night…

We typically try to replicate as much of

what we do at home. For example, we

will put our son into his pyjamas and

read him his books before he goes to

sleep. And then, when we say "good

night", we tell him it's time to go to sleep.

Is there a noticeable difference

in jet lag when flying East to

West and West to East?

We personally prefer flying East to West

over West to East. That's because when

you fly West you gain hours and hence

can get to your destination during the

day. This means the family just needs to

stay up until the evening to lessen the

effects of jet lag. You are so exhausted

having stayed up that you will go to

sleep easily and adapt to the time

change much easier.

If your plans fail, just go with

the flow…

If all of what you’ve planned for goes

out of the window, then you simply

must go with the flow regardless of

what happens. As the saying goes, kids

will be kids, so try not to get frustrated

if your child can't go to sleep at an ideal

time. Your best bet in that situation is to

stay up with them and let them adjust

over two or three days. To give you an

example, when we flew from Dubai to

Beijing we arrived around midnight,

but it was only 8pm in Dubai. Our son

wasn’t tired at all and it was useless

to try to force him to go to sleep – we

knew from experience that it will just

end up in frustration for us all. Instead,

we stayed up and went to bed when he

was tired. For us, that meant going to

sleep at 4am. However, we made sure to

wake up by 11am, to start our day. Yes,

we were tired, but it meant everyone

would go to sleep earlier that night.

Within a day or two, we had all adjusted,

our child included.

You can read more about AJ and

Natasha’s globetrotting adventures

at 2idiotstravel.com

22 worldtravellermagazine.com

Wellness Haven at Saray Spa.

Renew for the journey ahead.

A relaxing realm of quiet luxury, Saray Spa at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is an authentic wellness Spa, where ancient

healing techniques and locally sourced natural ingredients are combined to enhance the well-being of each guest.

The Spa features 17 treatment rooms, inclusive of two private Hammam rooms, one Dead Sea treatment room boasting

the UAE’s only Dead Sea Floatation Pool found within, and two Private Luxury Spa Suites.

Experience the wonders of the Middle East through Arabian Body Rituals or Hammam Rituals, or benefit from

the results-oriented facials. An exclusive retail boutique offers luxurious gifts and spa products for every occasion.

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE

T +971 4 414 6754 | mhrs.dxbjw.spa@marriott.com | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

The view from

Jumeirah Al



Beach breaks

It's time to hit the sand! Let our handy guide point

you towards your perfect beach holiday in Dubai

You could just find a resort by the sea, or you

could stay at a true icon of luxury…

Frequently voted one of the world's most luxurious hotels,

the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab commands attention along

Dubai's coast. And while it's a given that you'll want to visit

the architectural gem while on a trip – if only to admire it up

close – staying there is something every discerning traveller

should vow to do at least once in his or her life. Ask anyone who

has been lucky enough to check in and they'll admit that the

experience is impressive from the very start. Upon arrival, you

are discreetly escorted to your duplex suite which, due to the

property's smart design, has wow views of your unique location

and beyond through floor-to-ceiling windows. The beach

experience is as luxurious as you'd expect, and at the exclusive

Burj Al Arab Terrace you'll find Scape restaurant (specialising

in Californian-style cuisine), a dreamy infinity pool and cosy

cabanas. Of course, there's plenty more at the property to

entice, including the acclaimed Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara,

and a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce to ferry you around town.

You could just stay on the beach, or upgrade to a

place that has its own luxury beach club…

Unwind in your very own pocket of beach bliss at Jumeirah

Al Naseem, the latest property to open at Madinat Jumeirah.

All the rooms and suites have postcard-worthy views towards

Burj Al Arab or the Arabian Gulf, and expansive terraces that

edge the sandy beach. But the best bit, in our opinion, is the

lure of Summersalt beach club, which has launched a new

Japanese fusion pop-up concept, Umi Shio, created by Japanese/

Argentinian chef Cristian Goya. Blending the artful craft of

Japanese cooking, with the delicious flavours of South America,

dishes are designed for sharing and feature authentic Japanese

and South American ingredients such as miso, yuzu, truffle

and lime in abundance. Open for lunch and dinner, it also

serves a delicious selection of Japanese-inspired drinks to sip

while admiring the view. And if you thought you'd reached peak

relaxation throughout the day, bear in mind that Talise Spa is

just a hop, skip and a buggy ride away. We rate the Hot Sea Shell

massage, which helps banish tension and stress.

24 worldtravellermagazine.com


You could just stay at a hotel with spacious rooms, or

you could stay somewhere with Royal Residences…

While we're spoilt for choice when it comes to spacious suites in

Dubai, there comes a time in life when you want to squirrel yourself

away from the rest. If you're not keen on seeing another soul while

you're away (aside from your nearest and dearest), then a private

villa holiday fits the bill nicely. The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Royal

Residences set the bar high when it comes to exclusive beach

breaks. Set amid lush tropical gardens and a dreamy lagoon pool,

the Ottoman era inspired villas have their own private sun terrace,

private swimming pool and stretch of soft sand. You'll also have

access to your own private garden while a fully-equipped kitchen

means you don't have to decamp to a restaurant – simply call upon

the personalised butler service to take care of all your needs.

You could just stay at a family hotel, or you could stay

at a family hotel that's fresh from a stylish refurb…

Back on the scene following a six month refurbishment, and

celebrating its 20 th anniversary this year, Jumeirah Beach Hotel

is a firm favourite among families. Throw open the doors of your

family Garden Suite and step out onto the private terrace for some

salty sea air, splash around in the swimming pools, build sandcastles

with the kids, and swap stories over dinner at Pan Asian restaurant

Beachcombers. What's more, all guests get complimentary access to

Wild Wadi Waterpark.

To find out more, visit jumeirah.com

Burj Al Arab Terrace



For an Arabian bazaar

style shopping experience,

browse the barrows and

stalls of Souk Madinat

Jumeirah. Each is

brimming with treasured

mementoes that deserve a

space in your suitcase.



Soak up the beauty of

Madinat Jumeirah and

see the authentic Arabian

architecture from all

angles by setting off on a

20-min abra tour along the

meandering waterways.

Camera at the ready!


First-timers are sure

to be impressed by this

award-winning Thai

restaurant. A short abra

ride delivers you to this

ambient venue, where

a feast of aromatic

dishes await.

Madinat Jumeirah










Try something new on

the water thanks to the

dedicated Water Sports

Centre – the thrilling deepsea

fishing excursion is

sure to take you out of

your comfort zone for a

trip to remember.


With an impressive line-up

of live performances, from

foot-tapping musicals to

ballet, Madinat Theatre

is a draw card for fans of

the arts. Showing in Jan

is Blackouts & Charles

Nguela (31 Jan) – a hi-tech

acrobatics, dance and

illusions show.


Seasoned visitors

can make the most of

the winter weather at

Shimmers. Savour bites

by Greek Chef Yiannis

Katsikas, and sink your

toes into the sand while

admiring the never-getsold

view of Burj Al Arab.



The full moon is said to

have a powerful effect on

our mood and energy. Feel

the benefits by taking part

in this 90-minute yoga

session under the stars,

and stretch to a soundtrack

of waves lapping the shore.


You couldn't wish for a

better introduction to

warm Arabian hospitality

than at this luxurious hotel,

which is designed in the

style of a Sheikh’s summer

residence. The rooms are

newly refurbished – we rate

the Arabian Deluxe suites,

which fit up to two adults

and two children, with

scenic views of the gardens

and waterways.





Need more than a

massage? Visit the DNA

Health Clinic at Talise

Spa to explore your

DNA profile and genetic

blueprint for tips on

slowing down the ageing

process, along with bioaesthetic

treatments to

help you look your best.



These summerhouses can

go under the radar, but

their tranquil setting amid

the gardens, waterways,

and private beach make

them a gem if you're

seeking something a bit

different from the norm.

worldtravellermagazine.com 25


26 worldtravellermagazine.com


Hello paradise!

Each one idyllic but uniquely

charmed, the Indian Ocean’s

big hitting holiday islands

make for the ultimate escape,

if only for a long weekend

(although it's a fact you’ll wish

for more when it’s time to

pack your bags). But which of

these islands is ideal for you?

Awash with history and

with outdoor adventures

on tap, Mauritius has

much to complement its

spectacular scenery, while

in the Seychelles you can

hike lush trails and snorkel

over colourful sea life in

the space of an afternoon.

Culturally vibrant Sri Lanka,

offers abundant UNESCO

World Heritage sights and

an ever-expanding list of

luxury resort hotels. And

then there’s the Maldives,

home to the over-the-water

villa, sugar-white beaches

and sunsets so beautiful your

heart melts.

Across the next 10 pages

we’re going to take you to

paradise. What better way to

ease yourself into 2019?

worldtravellermagazine.com 27





Standing tall in the heart of

Dubai Marina, featuring

incomparable panoramic views

of the city, combine the best

of all worlds with luxurious

accommodation, three

contemporary dining

destinations and a blissful

caravanserai-inspired, Saray Spa.





Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites




I've heard that some resorts are more than an hour's seaplane

flight from Malé. Which ones are close to the airport?

Despite being a mere four-hour flight from the

UAE, some Maldives resorts are remote enough

to require a further scheduled domestic flight

or, more commonly, a seaplane taxi, which will

likely stop at one or two other resorts along the

way to your own island escape. This can mean

your actual travel time clocks in at over five

hours or more, so if you’re intent on squeezing

in every possible moment in paradise, you

should consider a resort that doesn’t require

you to take to the sky once more. One such

place is Jumeirah Vittaveli, which lies atop the

ocean only 20 minutes (via a transfer aboard

a motorised catamaran) from the airport. This

is a place that adds a splash of wow factor to

many of its offerings: the first ice rink in the

Maldives and the newly opened Private Ocean

Retreats with Slide (yes, a slide, which winds

down from the upstairs balcony into the ocean).

Also just 20 minutes in a speedboat from Velana

International Airport (commonly referred to as

Malé International Airport) is Gili Lankanfushi.

A self-styled eco resort, the dwellings here

were built from sustainably-sourced materials

while not compromising on luxury. Of them,

our firm favourites are the Crusoe Residences:

two-storey, over-the-water villas stood a

brief boat ride away from the main island.

Having recently removed the wraps from a

two-year renovation, Baros Maldives is ripe for

rediscovery – and only 20 minutes by speedboat

from the airport. Enhancements to this muchloved

Maldives stalwart (it welcomed its first

guests in 1973) include the all-new Baros Suites,

just two standalone villas which come with huge

private pools and stunning sea views as standard.

worldtravellermagazine.com 29


I want to stay somewhere brand spanking new.

Which places have just opened?

Kudadoo Maldives

Comprising only 15 villas – all of them on stilts

over the ocean – the feeling of exclusivity at

this all-inclusive resort extends to being able

to have Dream Island, a neighbouring slice of

sand owned by Kudadoo, all to yourself.

LUX* North Malé Atoll

Taking bookings now for a February 1

opening is LUX* North Malé Atoll. Out go the

thatched-roof villas common to resorts and

in come white-washed penthouses. Swish.

Kudadoo Maldives

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Water babies take note: Meaning 'Secret

Water Island', Sirru Fen Fushi boasts one of

the largest lagoons in the Maldives and a

huge, 200-metre-long swimming pool. Rest

assured it won't stay secret for long.

Joali Maldives

Why slum it in a villa that has only one

swimming pool when you can have two?

Here, two-pool villas are available on the

beach or over the water.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi




LUX* North Malé Atoll

Joali Maldives

1Snorkelling or diving

are the obvious ways

to familarise yourself

with Maldives' enchanting

underwater world, but there

are a few more unique ways

to do so. It's home to the

world's first underwater spa

(Huvafen Fushi Maldives);

underwater bungalow

(Conrad Maldives Rangali

Island); and underwater

nightclub (Niyama Private

Islands Maldives).

2Dining is a big deal in

Maldives, with some

resorts even flying in

Michelin-starred chefs to

rustle up one-night-only

dinners for guests. Yet a

dining experience you'll

cherish for reasons beyond

what's on your plate is a

sandbank dinner – you'll

dine by flaming torches on

a private slice of sand just

for two. Heart melting.

3Dolphins aren't

known for being shy,

but in Maldives they

go beyond offering the

odd tantalising glimpse

to staging a fully-fledged,

almost choreographed

show at sea. Myriad resorts

lay on a sunset dolphin

cruise and it's an absolute


30 worldtravellermagazine.com


Our favourite... jaw-dropping dwellings

Be the host with the most by inviting your

entire crew to stay in the eight-bedroom The

Great Beach Residence – the largest of the

eight Amilla Beach Villa Residences at Amilla

Fushi. This two-story Miami-style abode has

a huge living room overlooking the beach and

ocean, two pools and sun terraces, a kitchen

stocked with all your favourite food, and your

very own beach buggy and fleet of bikes

parked outside for exploring the island.

If Velaa Private Island exudes exclusivity,

its Romantic Pool Residence defines it.

Suspended above a lagoon, this one-bedroom

villa, replete with a spa and slice of cottonsoft

beach, is spied upon by the sunset only,

The impeccably designed villas at Park Hyatt

Maldives Hadahaa (pictured) draw your eye in

an instant, but its over-the-ocean villas (14 in

all) take your breath away too. You'll love being

sprawled in their semi-submerged sun bed before

taking the short step into the fish-filled lagoon.

Away from the ocean, the sunrisefacing

Jungle Reserve at Soneva Fushi

plots you amid dense greenery. But don't

worry should they forget you're there – it

houses a full kitchen, cellar, library, spa

suite, gym, sauna and steam facilities.

Of a similar size is the lavish Royal Residence

at JA Manafaru. Accessed via a pond-lined

courtyard, the residence's two-storey interior

houses three bedrooms, a spa room, and a

first-floor living room; an elevated position

to make the most of stunning sea views by

day and the star-filled sky at night, for which

the in-room telescope comes in handy.

Outside, two pools fringed by greenery and

sun-kissed decking lead out to a private

stretch of beach, for your feet only.

worldtravellermagazine.com 31




resorts for


The iconic One&Only

Reethi Rah (pictured

left) resort caters as

well as anywhere in the

Maldives to both kids and

adults alike, with dedicated clubs

for all ages (four-nine; nine-11, and

12 and up) manned by certified (and

fun) counsellors. Not only does the

kids' club at Kanuhura offer ageappropriate

activities to two groups,

but if your kids are aged below 12 and

share your room, they stay and eat for

free. Looking for a social spot? The

retro-fun vibes at Finolhu make it a

great choice for young families (onebedroom

villas fit two adults and two

children under 12), with the Oceaneers’

Club for tots to teens ensuring little

islanders have a blast.

I’m worried we’ll get bored staying on the same

island. How can I see more of the Maldives?

For a start, unless you're averse to

just about every type of watersport

imaginable, or tire quickly of seeing

stunning sunsets, star-filled skies and

frolicking dolphins, it's unlikely you'll

get bored. However, there are options

available that allow you to see far

beyond one resort and to explore barely

touched Maldivian atolls. Soneva in

Aqua (pictured) is one such luxury, a

two-bedroom 23-metre yacht that's

yours to share with a dedicated (to you

only) team comprised of a captain, sous

chef, Mr. Friday (that'll be your personal

butler) and, on request, a dive master,

massage therapist and astronomer.

Another indulgence of note is the

glass-bottomed spa tub in the master

bedroom that offers a glimpse of the

vibrant marine life below.

If you love to dive (and who

wouldn't in the Maldives' crystalline

and temperate waters?) then the

Four Seasons Explorer should make

it to the top of your wish list. It's a

three-deck catamaran that offers up

to 22 guests an all-inclusive, three-,

four- or seven-night cruise through a

UNESCO biosphere reserve. Daily diving

schedules are planned for you by a

vastly experienced onboard dive team,

and include visits to wrecks and an

after-dark voyage into moonlit waters.

I want a romantic break

without the kids (sorry,

kids). Where do you


The boutique Milaidhoo Island offers

not only heart-tugging scenery but

does so with nary a toddler in sight – the

booking policy here allows for children

aged nine or over only.

Then there's Hurawalhi Island Resort,

which is for adults only and houses

Insta-worthy features like the world's

largest all-glass undersea restaurant

(pictured). if you don't fall in love all

over again in these stunning surrounds,

it's probably time to get the lawyers in...

32 worldtravellermagazine.com


BEST FOR... feeling you have paradise all to yourself

The aptly named JA Enchanted Island Resort has a mere 10

Creole-style colonial villas spread across a beautiful private

island just off the coast of Mahé. However, if that sounds like

nine too many, you can book the entire island for yourself

(and invite up to 24 fortunate friends). Thinking your budget

probably won't stretch that far? One-of-kind villas hidden

amongst the greenery are the Enchanted Signature Villa (two

bedrooms and direct access to the beach) and the bigger still

Owner's Signature Villa (two bedrooms and direct access to

not one but three beaches). Mesmerizing views of the brilliant

blue sea accompany each dip in your private infinity pool.

34 worldtravellermagazine.com


Opposite: JA Enchanted

Island Resort

This page, clockwise from

top: Anse Georgette; North

Island; sign leading the way

to Aldabra giant tortoises

BEST FOR... walking among

giant tortoises

A helicopter transfer from

Mahé, Fregate Island

Private is home to just 16

discreet villas but some

2,000 or more Aldabra

giant tortoises, which roam

free across the forestthick

island. A resident

conservationist will teach

your kids how to make

them move by scratching

their backs. The island's

myriad other natural

charms extend to organic

ingredients grown in the

resort's own plantation

and used extensively in

inventive menus.

BEST FOR... a royally

good honeymoon

British royals William and

Kate lost their hearts to

the Seychelles on more

than one occasion, heading

there first for a holiday

at the remote Desroches

Island (now the Four

Seasons Resort Seychelles

at Desroches Island) and

again for their honeymoon,

swapping islands for the

stunning, 11-villa North

Island. Hollywood royalty

followed suit – George

Clooney and his wife Amal

celebrated their nuptials at

the same resort.

BEST FOR... beautiful

beaches that rival any

in the world

Those iconic images of

outsized granite boulders

set on golden sands?

That'll be Praslin, the

second largest island in the

Seychelles, but number one

when it comes to the best

beaches. You can debate

long and hard about which

of Anse Georgette or Anse

Lazio beaches is the single

best (both are routinely

voted into the world's top

10), but we say Anse Lazio

for snorkelling and Anse

Georgette for sunsets.

worldtravellermagazine.com 35


The west and south west

Why stay here?

The verdant valleys and pristine swathes

of beach make this region the island's

most diverse and, in our opinion, its

most scenic. In line with the topography,

the tourist attractions range from the

Chamarel Coloured Earths (a natural

phenomenon comprised of seven

distinctly coloured sands) to swimming

with wild dolphins.

In the history books

The storied mountain of Le Morne

(fleeing slaves scaled it to build small

settlements, before tragically choosing

to jump when faced with recapture)

is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

and a defining symbol of the island.

Off limits to hikers for decades,

you can now ascend it as part of a

guided hike operated by Yanature

(trekkingmauritius.com). The soulstirring

views from the top are your

instant reward.

Get active

The steady winds that blow in this

direction make for excellent kitesurfing

conditions. Ion Club (ion-club.net)

rents out the necessary equipment and

offers a complete kitesurfing tuition

programme to beginners.

Where to stay

In the shadow of Le Morne is the

wonderful LUX* Le Morne, whose allinclusive

packages help take the stress

out of having to decide between luxury

temptations aplenty.

36 worldtravellermagazine.com

Main image: Monkeys

at Black River Gorges

National Park

Inset: Food at Shanti


The north and

north west

Why stay here?

Home to Grand Baie, the island's

tourism has a bounty of hotels, beautiful

(although often crowded) beaches and

entertainment, if you like your beach

breaks served with a little bit of buzz,

this is the part of the island for you.

In the history books

When in Mauritius, you'll see abundant

references to the legend of Paul and

Virginie, the island's own Romeo

and Juliet, whose love fell victim to a

shipwreck, which crashed against rocks

on the north end of Mauritius, drowning

Virginie and leaving Paul to die of grief.

Get active

The north has a monopoly on the

island's best dive spots, which range in

depth from 13 metres onwards. If you've

packed your underwater camera, the

Grand Baie Aquarium site is chockful

of colourful sea life.

Where to stay

The first boutique hotel on the island,

20 Degrees Sud benefits from a

sheltered private beach and a tranquil

setting within a coconut grove.


The east and north east

Why stay here?

This is arguably where you'll find the

island's most celebrated stretches

of beach, hugging the shoreline or

encircling entire, tiny off-shore islands

– yours to visit for the day by boat. It's

also home to a clutch of superb hotels.

In the history books

A 2017 study revealed that sand grains

taken from a beach on the east of

Mauritius were far older than than the

island itself and evidence of a drowned

'microcontinent', which scientists have

since termed a prehistoric Atlantis.

Get active

For a bird's eye view of the beauty

Mother Nature has mapped out below,

head into the clear blue skies strapped

to a parasail. Viator (viator.com) will get

you up, up and away...

Where to stay

This is where the island's Grand Dame,

the recently refurbished One&Only

Le Saint Géran, stands proud on a

private peninusla. As it was before its

temporary closure, the service here is

practically faultless.

The south and

south east

Why stay here?

The south's landscape is defined by its

many sugar cane fields and colonialstyle

plantation houses. It's less

developed and the beaches can be a

touch more dramatic than elsewhere:

think raging waves crashing into rocks.

In the history books

The fishing village of Mahébourg here

bore witness to the only Napoleonic

naval victory over the English in 1810,

a victory now inscribed on Paris' Arc

de Triomphe.

Get active

A great way to explore the south is from

the saddle of a quad bike. Quad Biking

Mauritius (quadbikingmauritius.com)

offers multiple tours across the rugged

terrain, one of which includes stopping

off to swim in a waterfall.

Where to stay

Set aside the rolling waves. Shanti

Maurice Resort & Spa has the

supersized (and super private) Luxury

Double Suite Pool Villa, which sleeps

four adults and four children.

worldtravellermagazine.com 37


Tri didn't need to look beyond the natural to

create its luxury design hotel. Crafted entirely

from recycled jak wood and local granite, the

villas here also feature 'living' roofs, planted

with native creepers, water grass, and dwarf

bamboo. The pick of them is the secluded

Lake Villa, so named for affording guests

uninterrupted views over Lake Koggala.

Sri Lanka

38 worldtravellermagazine.com




Sri Lanka has more than its

fair share of these (eight

in all) but unless you can

enjoy a leisurely two weeks

driving slow roads to see

each one, you're best to

concentrate your efforts

on the Ancient City of

Sigiriya, home to a dramatic

rock fortress atop which

are the remains, colourful

frescoes among them, of a

palace constructed by King

Kasyapa in the 5th century.

From here, the Ancient City

of Polonnaruwa and The

Dambulla Cave Temple are

within easy reach.


Sri Lanka has the world's

largest concentration of

elephants, the epicentre of

which is Minneriya National

Park, northeast of Colombo,

where they gather on the

banks of the Minneriya &

Kaudulla Reservoir. Jeep

safari tours of the park are

available daily.

Clockwise from

top: Sigiriya; mother

elephant tending

to her offspring;

Anantara Peace

Haven Tangalle

Resort; tea pickers

gather leaves



Head, then, to Anantara

Kalutara, where in a doublestorey

tropical spa you

can try a unique Ceylontea

inspired treatment.

Double down on the bliss

by transferring to sister

property Anantara Peace

Haven Tangalle Resort, on

Sri Lanka's south coast. Its

award-winning serene spa

offers bespoke treatments.



Ceylon Tea Trails is a

luxurious 'tea' bungalow

resort (each bungalow has

its own chef and butler)

plotted amid tea-blanketed

hills and gardens, which a

resident 'tea planter' will

lead you through.

worldtravellermagazine.com 39


Find your balance

Make a fresh start on a wellness retreat at

this private pool villa resort in Salalah and enjoy

a transformative travel experience

40 worldtravellermagazine.com

Stretch out

with yoga on

the beach

If you’ve pledged to improve your health this year, enrolling

in a wellness retreat may give you the nudge you need to

get started, and we know a great option on your doorstep.

Nestled between a private beach and a freshwater lagoon,

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is offering health buffs

an à la carte style retreat experience in serene surroundings.

What’s more, the Balance Wellness by Anantara programme

can be tailored to suit your individual needs, so whether you

want to clean up your diet or build more activity into your

day, you can feel confident that you are getting the most

from the experience. Upon arrival, you’ll sit down with a

consultant to discuss your goals. Depending on how long

you’re staying (there are three-, five- and seven-day packages

available), you’ll be asked to pick from a mood-boosting

combination of nourishing meals, energy-pumping activities

and rejuvenating spa therapies, and your wellbeing expert

will draw you up a bespoke itinerary.


Staying full-board is part of the package, taking the

stress out of planning what to eat and where. Sit down to

a nourishing menu of healthy food created by renowned

Italian vegan chef Valeria Agnelutto. Designed to detoxify

and energise the system while delivering maximum

flavour, dishes include Italian pasta e fagioli and chickpea

burgers with rosemary and parsley and veggie mayo. The

three-course meals also include delicious starters such

as avocado tartare with cucumber and dates and raw

tiramisu for dessert. Plus, each dish comes with a detailed

nutritional breakdown and is accompanied by vitaminpacked

raw juice.

The chickpea

burger is a

healthy choice

Kick-start the

detox process in

the hammam

head, to harmonise the entire body. If you're staying for the

long haul, you’ll also be able to take advantage of additional

discounts on all spa and wellness treatments.


Aside from your prescribed pampering treatments, a

highlight of the wellness programme is experiencing the

resort’s luxury hammam. Drawing on centuries of Arabian

wellness, the ancient ritual starts with a muscle-relaxing

steam bath in preparation for a black soap cleansing and

kessa mitt exfoliation to sweep away impurities. Once you’re

steamed and scrubbed, a Moroccan rhassoul treatment richly

nourishes and rehydrates, leaving the skin silky soft. Other

healing therapies to try include the kundalini massage and

shirodhara: a unique ayurvedic therapy focusing on the


Get your body moving with activity sessions that beat

boring gym workouts into submission. Take part in yoga

and go hiking in the beautiful mountainous coast of Salalah

to get your circulation pumping and discover a renewed

passion for being in the great outdoors. Your consultant

can advise on easy ways to build more activity into your

everyday life once you're back at home so you’ll continue to

feel the effects for months to come.

To find out more, call +968 2322 8222 or visit anantara.com

worldtravellermagazine.com 41






Stories from journeys

far and wide

worldtravellermagazine.com 43


The night market on

Temple Street

44 worldtravellermagazine.com

World Traveller


Credit: The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Licensing

Neon-lit skyscrapers pierce

the clouds and big-brand

names light up the sky

— modern Hong Kong is

a powerhouse. But just

as potent is its passion

for tradition: local young

designers ply past skills and

hip new chefs use ancient

ingredients. It’s a ravishing

recipe of old and new.

Nick Redman tucks in

In Hong Kong, ducking off a steep

side street in SoHo around midnight,

through an unmarked door, I fell

headlong for the Old Man.

Looking like Grandma’s living room,

the Old Man is one of the coolest spots

in Hong Kong right now — according

to the trendy couple beside me. It

certainly felt pretty special, from

the drinks, to the design, to a giant

mosaic of Ernest Hemingway’s hirsute

chops on high. Chatter swirled about

tropical-print stools as I scanned the

novel menu, its strange concoctions

each a salute to his stories.

Taxiing to my hotel in the muggy

early morning, I could see why Honkers

has fallen for Hemingway. What a

fitting figurehead for the city, both

man and metropolis so transient and

restless, creative and repressed.

A marriage made in heaven (after

all, he loved the city the one time he

came). Hong Kong’s certainly had its

relationship issues: a British colony

relinquished in 1997, now under China’s

wing. Western no more, yet not mainland

Eastern either. Has anything homegrown

sprouted in between? In pictures it

looks possibly more thrusting than ever,

worldly and confident; a stunning pinup.

Having fancied a close-up for a long

time, I boarded a plane and booked into

Hong Kong’s great grande-dame hotel,

the Peninsula. (It turned out Hemingway

had been here, too — in ’41, with his

war-journo bride, Martha Gellhorn,

on a ‘honeymoon’, which he spent

cavorting, while she was off reporting.)

The hotel was 90 years old last year, an

icon of the Kowloon district, standing

tall and timeless, while all around the

city works, frantically, on its identity.

Glamorous new hotels fizz into the sky

like fireworks in this town, most recently

(at a respectful remove east from the

Peninsula’s patch) the Kerry, resplendent

with Turkish onyx interiors in liquid

sweeps, mimicking the harbour before it;

and the Murray, an update of a ’60s office

block in Central, still with the iconic

recessed windows, plus a roof lounge,

Popinjays, overlooking jungly slopes,

named for the parrots that fly around it.

The Peninsula itself was reassuringly

sumptuous, a comfort blanket in a

territory figuring out the future, made

to cocoon first-timers like me. Under

worldtravellermagazine.com 45


chandeliers, potted ferns stood about like

plumed Tiller Girls. Guests contemplated


the towering scones of its afternoon tea

in the lobby. In its ’50s French restaurant,

Gaddi’s, I raised a glass to Gable, Gardner

and stars who’d been here before me. And

after dark I got the bigger picture, in the

top-floor lounge, Felix, a ’90s-retro zone

of gauzy Starck drapes and Barbie-ish

furniture. Across the waters of Victoria

Harbour, lit by the fireflies of red junks

on tourist duty, was Hong Kong Island,

a nightscape of skyscrapers pushing

kaleidoscopic product placements on the

horizon. Panasonic, Prudential, Bank of

America, Merrill Lynch. I felt like a transit

passenger in the Lost Land of Brands.

In search of a more local impression, the

next day I took the Star Ferry from Kowloon

to the island for the funicular railway to the

Peak. It felt touristy (I became an expert on

Melbourne, eavesdropping on the sevenminute

ascent), but the city explained itself

more clearly as I saw last night’s view back

over the waters. Kowloon lay north, the

Peninsula the size of a Monopoly piece;

the New Territories stretched beyond,

fading, somewhere, to China. Below lay the

view known from postcards: the towers

of commerce splayed by perspective, like

monster shocks of quartz. It was sensational

but remote. And robotic on closer

inspection — Hong Kong seemed to move

without much actual human motion: on

escalators under the plinths of skyscrapers;

along travelators through endless malls;

or in its trademark red-and-white taxis,

pouring across flyovers, like torrents of tiny

kiddies’ sweets off a factory conveyor belt.

I needed to find my feet — which is

where Wanderlust Walks stepped in. Alex,

the German expat behind it, recommended

a ‘street art’ stroll as the way to taste

home-grown Hong Kong — and what she

didn’t know about the city’s emerging

talent you could daub on a dumpling.

Around Tai Ping Shan, a tram ride

from Central, the street walls were a blast

of psychedelic cartoons, the fruit of the

city’s big spray-can art festival, HK Walls.

We wandered alleys, past a Bruce Lee

mural here (signed Xeva, South Korea),

a scarlet strumpet there (Neil Wang,

Hong Kong). A challenge to authority?







A boredom with bland brands? Whatever,

it was potent. I inhaled a Hong Kong

that could only have seeped up through

the cracks between East and West.

Down the road, English chef Jason

Atherton had scented local promise,

planting his restaurant, Aberdeen Street

Social, in a striking piece of retro Hong

Kong architecture called PMQ. I admired

its modernism, pale in the gentle late sun,

as Chinese banyans climbed the perimeter

wall and diners lounged on the terrace.

A rare survivor in this pull-it-down

town, it was built in 1951 as quarters for

young married police officers, and spared

demolition when that closed in 2000.

It’s a head-turner, the living spaces now

brimming with cafes and pop-ups.

One stood out, stacked with nostalgicwitty

ceramics and camp-as-candy ‘Suzie

Wong Night Club’-logo bags — the calling

card of Goods of Desire, an indigenous

star in the international city firmament

of Prada and Versace. Douglas Young, the

Hong Konger behind the brand, works

in an atelier across town, in Kowloon’s

Sham Shui Po — Garment District. The

premises are easy to find, in the Jockey

Club Creative Arts Centre — an artists’

colony in a converted nine-storey factory

(you can sign up for a nose around). He

was a chatty dynamo, his mission — to

make the Hong Kong he loves tangible,

what with Asian traditions ‘on the verge

of extinction in a western-centric world’.

‘There’s still relatively little study

on Hong Kong culture — books,

movies, music,’ he said. ‘I want to make

things that address that imbalance,

that young people want to buy.’

I adored his Angry Cat toys sticking up

46 worldtravellermagazine.com

This page, clockwise

from top left: Neon

signs light the night

sky; rainbow village

basketball court;

an office buiding's

illuminated facade;

Popinjay's at The

Murray Hotel

worldtravellermagazine.com World Traveller 47


The Peninsula Hong Kong

48 worldtravellermagazine.com


a middle finger — spoofing the classic

golden waving lucky cats that spell good

fortune in Asia. I had a wander around

Sham Shui Po and the streets he strolls

for inspiration. It was intoxicating, all

gaudy tropical prints on cheap fabric

rolls, shabby shopfronts shedding

wizened lettering, and grimy Art Deco

curves of wilting apartment balconies.

Sham Shui Po was a whiff of a Hong

Kong loved by generations, where street

food adhered to methods decades old:

at Kung Wo Beancurd Factory a noisy

antediluvian drum of gloop whirled

alarmingly, but the tofu pud was a silky

treat, made to a recipe passed down

through the business. I copied the

regulars and stuck my face silently into

my bowl, spooning up sweetness as

ethereal as a cloud. By evening, south

of Sham Shui Po, I was with the crowds

of Mong Kok area; among love’s youngdreams

feeding each other tubs of fish

balls slathered in chilli sauce bought

from kiosks lining the pavements.

With prices requiring mere shrapnelchange,

there was no need to know

what you were ordering. Just point

and devour (or discreetly discard).

I knew where to take my brunch

cravings next morning: to Kennedy

Town, 25 minutes by tram from Central,

on the western tip of Hong Kong Island

where giddy-tall tenements meet

tropic-blue sea. Here, tradition seemed

content to co-exist with gentrification,

evidenced by rents trailing many

zeroes in estate-agent windows, the

honeypot Lebanese-owned cafe, Catch,

doing avocado every which way.

I gave that one a miss for Cheung

Heung, a cha chaan teng, or classic

Hong Kong tea house. ‘It has been

here at least 50 years,’ said Kevin,

grandson of the owners, as I

snapped the Formica fittings.

The coconut tarts were hanging

around for seconds, stuffed into paper

bags for a patient fan base, queueing.

‘Hong Kong original!’ said the man at the

next table, pointing at my custard tart.

‘If you find in China, it is imitation!’







In Hong Kong, imitation can be an

amusing game. I loved the way the

chef at trendy Mott 32, in Central,

seemed to be having such fun with

staples. His Peking duck spring

rolls came stuffed with that healthy

western obsession, kale, unexpectedly

stunning. His bao buns seemed a

thumbs-up to Spain (Hemingway

would definitely have had those).

Things were contrastingly hightemple-serious

that last night, at Fish

School: a Helsinki-goes-to-Hong Kong

haunt in the San-Francisco-steep quarter

of Sai Ying Pun. Counterbalancing the

spare aesthetic of stone and timber,

dishes were rich, the flavours engagingly

alien. Only when Chris, the chef, whipped

out his phone to show a photo of a

bramble he’d picked that morning in the

New Territories to adorn my pudding,

did I realise: he’d been foraging.

‘I like to work with the kind of

stuff my mum used to get from the

market,’ he said, with a sage’s poise, as I

hoovered up a starter of glistening fish.

It looked like dill-laced salmon but was,

he told me, cobia, rolled in seaweed. ‘It’s

local — caught in the South China Sea.’

With Fish School, the aim was

to offer ‘a slice of what the city can

provide’. That didn’t include one

curious striped specimen in the fish

tank. ‘It’s a knifejaw,’ he told me. ‘We

put it on the menu, but nobody knew

what it was, so we kept it as our pet.’

Some things it seems are still

too local, even for the locals.

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com

worldtravellermagazine.com 49

50 worldtravellermagazine.com


After a

tough year,

Alex Allen feels

the need for

fresh horizons

— and on a

drive through



canyonlands, he

discovers the

widest in the



Opposite: Highway 163,

crossing Monument Valley

This page: Vermilion Cliffs

National Monument

worldtravellermagazine.com 51






I was on my knees in the red dirt at

the roadside, camera poised, trying to

keep my hands from shaking. Behind

me, Patsy Grandson, my Navajo guide,

sat in the heated cab of our minivan.

‘Here they come,’ she said, killing the

engine and headlights. Ahead, emerging

like ghosts from a glowing, ember-red

landscape, were two, three, four, white

horses. ‘Mustangs — on their way to

water,’ said Patsy, as I sat paralysed,

not by the cold, but by the sight.

Here I was, in the most emblematic

landscape of the American West,

among those towering tombstonelike

columns of rock immortalised

by the movies, watching a string of

its most iconic animals troop by.

In fact, I was roughly at the halfway

point of America’s ‘Grand Circle’

drive, a week-long loop that tours the

shimmering deserts, unfathomable

canyons and mountain-framed prairies

of Nevada, Arizona and Utah, while

ticking off six of the country’s most

dramatic national parks along the way.

I was also two months on from the end

of my treatment for cancer, a period of

time consumed by medical scrutiny,

and scary, swallowed-down thoughts.

I’d wanted to take a trip to shake off

the mental tethers that had kept me

grounded for more than a year of my

late twenties, and to make the most

of my freedom from routine hospital

visits. I couldn’t think of anywhere

more fitting to do so than out on my

own, on America’s most epic road trip.

I’d started in Las Vegas, giving

myself just enough time to meet an old

university friend. In November, the city

was mad and sticky-hot — a psychedelic,

24/7 circus, where even time seemed to

have lost its grip on reality. It was fun

to wander on a ‘weirdo-watch’, and get

kitsched-out in Bonanza, ‘the world’s

largest gift shop’ (they’re not joking), but

when the day came to jump in my rented

Jeep and head out of town, I was ready.

I was on the road just after sunrise,

the moon still visible as a perfect halfpill

in a sky the blue of a motel pool.

The mood was elation. As I streamed

along towards my first checkpoint,

across the Nevada-Arizona border in the

city of Kingman, I could feel a weight

lifting. With a local country-music

radio station twanging from the stereo,

and nothing ahead but desert, running

to the suede-brown folds of distant

mountains, I felt a rush of wonder

and exhilaration close to a high. I was

already hooked on the open road.

Kingman flickered by like a ’50s film

reel. It’s where an original section

of Route 66 briefly splits from the

thundering I-40 highway that overlaps

it all the way from Oklahoma City

to Barstow, California. This historic

stretch, running from Kingman to Ash

Fork, was a procession of chromedout

diners, retro petrol stations and

motels decorated in bubble-gum

52 worldtravellermagazine.com


Opposite: Arches

National Park

This page: Route 66

motel sign

shades of pink and blue. In Seligman,

I pulled over for tacos at Delgadillo’s

Snow Cap Drive-In — an eccentric,

homespun place, with rusty old

Chevrolets displayed outside. But the

road wouldn’t wait. I had another 280km

to go to my first overnight stop, and

it was a biggie: the Grand Canyon.

It is practically impossible to grasp,

let alone convey in words, the scale of

the Grand Canyon. It even defied the

empirical capabilities of my camera.

Every picture I took on the slow cruise

east along the South Rim the next day,

came out flat and inadequate. ‘Yeah,

that’s what it looked like’ I could see

myself telling blank-faced friends back

home, ‘but, like, way bigger!’ In the end

I realised the only thing to do was just

commit as much to memory as I could:

the low scud of rain clouds across the

horizon; the flash of the Colorado River,

just visible from certain angles; and the

roaring silence of that big red hole.

It was also an opportunity to slow

down and take stock, to appreciate just

how far from home I did feel — in a good

way. For the last year and a half I’d been

almost umbilically-linked to a hospital.

But now the major ties had been cut,

there was a catharsis in the gobbling-up

of distance. And there was also a feeling

— despite the unending scale of the

region — of a comforting familiarity.

The handful of people I’d had encounters

with, gift-shop owners, petrol-station

clerks, diner waitresses, had been

chatty and open. Every little cottage

or cottonwood-shaded farm I passed

felt like somewhere I could stop for

directions, and maybe a glass of iced tea

on the porch. But then things changed.

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native

American territory in the US, covering

a vast swathe of the ‘four corners’ area

(encompassing Colorado, Utah, Arizona

and New Mexico). And I had absolutely

no idea I had crossed into it until I

began to spot the signs: placards on

municipal buildings carrying the Navajo









Nation seal, vehicles bearing an insignia

that at first I thought must belong to

an environmental agency, but later

discovered was the Navajo Nation police.

And then, on reaching the Monument

Valley area, I realised I was the only

non-Navajo speaker in a chattering

grocery store queue. It was a moment of

wonderful, unexpected, bewilderment.

Before I arrived, I’d imagined

Monument Valley — as recognisably

American as the Coca-Cola logo, or

worldtravellermagazine.com 53

This page: A Navajo

woman with a loom in

Monument Valley

54 worldtravellermagazine.com







Credit: The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Licensing

the red tab on a pair of Levi’s — as an

over-commercialised film set. I was

sure there’d be corny stagecoach rides,

a fancy-dress cowboy to take selfies

with, and hordes of tourists. Instead,

the following morning, I found myself

alone on Patsy’s minibus, as we rumbled

to the valley entrance under a dawn sky

still frosted with stars. I knew November

was low season, but I didn’t think I’d get

it all to myself. Yes, there was a visitors'

centre and gift shop, and a modest

fee for taking your car along the 27km

scenic loop, but beyond that, the site

was untouched by tarmac, mascots or

hot-dog stands. ‘That’s just one of the

advantages of not being a US national

park,’ Patsy said with a wry chuckle, as

we stopped to take in a panorama of

buttes and cliffs washed in the amber

light of sunrise. Monument Valley

belongs to the Navajo, and is sensitively

managed for the benefit of those who

still live and farm on the valley floor.

As part of the tour, which is the only

way to get off and beyond the markedout

loop road, we stopped at a small

homestead that consisted of two prefab

houses, a chicken coop, a basketball

hoop and a mud-splattered truck. There

was also a traditional earthen ‘hogan’

house, which Patsy ushered me into,

where a Navajo woman sat spinning

yarn on a creaking loom. As the two

women chatted, I self-consciously

browsed the jewellery displayed along a

shelf. ‘That’s a nice one,’ Patsy reassured

me, of the buffalo-pendant necklace

I eventually chose. ‘The buffalo is

symbolic of humbleness, a reminder to

take only what you need.’ In truth, I’d

bought it to be polite. But it would end

up becoming a treasured souvenir.

My next stop, the town of Moab,

a day’s drive north into Utah, was

a humble kind of place itself —

particularly given its location, as the

gateway to both Canyonlands and

Arches National Parks. I bedded down

for two nights, just long enough to

cover the main sights. In Canyonlands

I took my 4x4 off-road, rattling along

sandy, snow-dappled tracks that

led to plummeting overlooks.

If I’d felt alone previously, it was

nothing compared to what I experienced

here. Whereas the Grand Canyon,

and even Monument Valley, had had

a sense of well-trodden familiarity,

Canyonlands felt truly, eerily wild.

Fearful thoughts began to nag. Who

would find me if I broke down? The

wolves? The wildcats? Spooked, I

sped back to the safety of town.

In Arches, I was pleasantly surprised

to find crowds. I tagged along with

them around the wind-formed

bridges and towers of rock, like a giant

sculpture garden, and followed their

cues on where to stop and gawp. It

was nice to be part of a flock again.

But it couldn’t last. I had a few more

checkpoints to cross off on this greatesthits

road trip: Capitol Reef, Bryce

Canyon and Zion National Parks.

Frankly, and frustratingly, there

simply aren’t enough adjectives (or

column inches) to describe all three

in a way that comes close to doing

them justice. Each is as memorable

as the next, from Capitol Reef’s ghost

town of Fruita, to Bryce Canyon’s

forest of stalagmite-like ‘hoodoo’

rock formations. In the end, it was a

final standout moment that swayed

it for Zion — the one that left the

deepest lasting impression.

I was still on the fringes of the park

when it happened. Up ahead, and to

the left of the endlessly straight road,

where the land rolled away in a series

of undulating hills, I saw something

moving. As I stopped and got out to

take a closer look, the dry-cold wind

bit at my face. Leaning on the fence

post, I watched a herd of buffalo

rumble towards me over the crest of

a hill. There was something touching

about the way they moved, heads

bowed under their own weight, both

formidable and vulnerable — living

remnants of an older time, when they

would have covered this landscape

in their millions. This time, I didn’t

bother to lift my camera. Just standing

there and watching in silence as they

thundered past, trailing a cloud of dust,

was enough. After they’d disappeared, I

turned back to the car. Like the buffalo,

I too was pushing on, moving forward,

trying to take only what I needed.

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com

worldtravellermagazine.com 55


56 worldtravellermagazine.com


Bridget Harrison takes

the reins on a family

dog-sledding adventure

in northeastern Norway

worldtravellermagazine.com 57


y sister is

kneeling in the

snow with tears

cascading down

her cheeks.

Nuzzling in

the crook of

her arm is

the tawny black head of Neos. He’s

looking up at her with quizzical honeycoloured

eyes, wagging his tail.

“You’re my new friend, aren’t you boy,”

she whispers. He gives her face a fat lick.

“I think Neos knows you are

sad,” says Alexi, my son.

“I’m not sad,” sobs my sister.

“I couldn’t be happier.”

It’s our first morning at Trasti & Trine,

a two-acre homestead in Finnmark,

northeastern Norway, and we have been

in the dog yard since we got here an hour

ago. It’s minus 5C, the snow is thick on

the ground and the pale February sun

is only just peeping above the horizon,

but we’ve barely noticed the cold.

We have 60 Alaskan huskies to get

to know. Each is tethered to a wooden

kennel bearing its name. Some lie in

the snow, some are curled up inside

their huts, just their snouts poking

out. Others stand majestically on their

kennel roofs. We work our way through

them with head scratches, pats and

paw shakes. Crocs, Bacon, Peso, Isma,









Neos. We all find a favourite. I hope my

sister is finding something more.

Six months previously her beloved

dog, Willow, died of cancer. The day the

vet came to put Willow down I made a

promise that, although my heartbroken

sister was going to take a while to be

ready for a new pet, we would go on a

holiday that would be all about dogs.

I’d been husky sledding before, but

only for a couple of hours, and (as it often

is) the trip was just one event in a list of

snow-based activities. I had found it a

rather impersonal experience with the

dogs. When we got to the sled they were

already harnessed up and ready to run.

But Trasti & Trine, just outside the

small coastal town of Alta, in a remote

area of flat-topped mountains and

snowy forests, offers something unique:

a chance to stay on a homestead where

you really get to know an entire pack

of huskies — pet them, feed them,

harness them. It’s run by Trine Lyrek, a

warm-spirited and passionate musher

who has competed in the Iditarod, the

legendary 1,000-mile Alaskan husky race.

As well as offering a range of

sledding adventures, her yard is an

active racing kennel. All the huskies

here are elite athletes, but Trine has

purposely bred them to be comfortable

with strangers, starting when her

puppies are born in the summer and

visitors book to go hiking with them.

The dogs are such a welcoming

bunch, it’s hard to tear ourselves away

from them — until someone mentions

hot reindeer stew. It is waiting for us

in the warmth of a rustic farmhouse.

This is the domain of Trine’s husband,

Johnny Trasti. He was a chef for the

Norwegian prime minister (he has also

cooked for President Putin) and now

runs a Michelin-star-worthy restaurant,

smokery and bakery on the homestead.

All his cooking is based on local,

organic ingredients: wild salmon, Arctic

char and pike from the nearby Alta River;

reindeer and elk from the mountains;

lingonberries and cloudberries foraged

from secret marshlands; king crab,

scallops and cod from the nearby Barents

Sea. People travel from all over Norway

to enjoy his tasting menus based on the

58 worldtravellermagazine.com


This page, clockwise from top left:

The tree-lined pathway leading to the

Trasti & Trine homestead; owners Trasti

& Trine share a joke; guests enjoy the

winter sun; Johnny Trasti's inventive fish

dish; inside the three-bedroom log cabin

worldtravellermagazine.com 59


seasons and take his cooking classes.

We soon warm up, dunking homemade

bread flavoured with birch sap into

a rich, smoky broth. This is followed

by a delectable cloudberry mouse.

By now the Arctic darkness has

descended and it’s time for our first

sledding trip. Back in the yard and

bundled up in heavy-duty snow gear, we

are given the names of the huskies that

we are to harness. They yelp and dance

about in excitement, desperate to be

chosen. My boys, aged seven and ten, are

just as excited when they learn that they

are getting their own sled, pulled by Crocs

and Slipper, their very own dog team.

My sister lovingly leads four dogs

to her sled while my husband and I

grapple four excited mutts to ours.

Trine’s sled will lead with her team.

Then it’s head torches on and we whoosh

off in a line out of the homestead.

Down snowy forest trails we speed,

towards the white expanse of the

frozen river. Our torches flash in the

silvery darkness and the stars above us

are as bright as LEDs. Out here in the

wilderness the night is silent. As the

dogs charge along, all we can hear is the

scraping of our sled runners and the

whoops of the boys ahead when they

career round a corner or fly over a bump.

It’s now minus 10c so Trine keeps our

adventure to less than two hours, and

just as our toes are going painfully numb

we’re back at the homestead, sipping hot

blackcurrant juice by a blazing outdoor

fire. We finish the day tucking into a meal

of cod tongue and scallops, followed by

reindeer steaks and lingonberry tart.

Guests sleep in rooms above the

restaurant, or, as we did, you can stay

in the cosy three-bedroom cabin, which

has its own little sitting room with a

log-burner. It’s a simple place, with pineclad

walls and large windows. Best of

all, exclaims my sister, is that her room

under the eaves overlooks the dog yard.

She drifts off to sleep happily listening

to the huskies starting up a communal

good-night howl before they are crossly

shushed by Trine. Next morning I find

her and Alexi in their pyjamas at her

window, watching the dogs being given

hunks of frozen fish for breakfast.

Our breakfast is a perfectly curated

buffet of local fare: slices of homesmoked

wild salmon, salted lamb,

reindeer tongue, foraged berries,

wild mushrooms and scrambled

eggs, along with homemade breads,

jams, butter and kefir water.

We have a day-long sledding trip

booked and Trine suggests that we do

a wide circuit down the frozen river

— along forest and mountain trails —

that will keep us near the homestead,

in case the boys get cold or bored.

She need not have worried: they are

so thrilled at driving their own sled,

they would be game for the Iditarod.

At lunchtime we set up camp in a

clearing, high on a wooded mountain

path, where the last rays of the sun bathe

us in golden light. We lay down reindeer

skins on the snow and the boys help

Trine to make a fire. She gives them each

a sheath knife to whittle skewers for

grilling hot dogs. We drink reindeer soup

and make toast from Trasti’s bread in the

flames. My sister disappears for a while.

We find her up on the path, hanging

out with the dogs. Neos’s head is in her

lap again. Bacon is nuzzling her ear.

On our way back we have a minor

mishap. My sister slips off her sled just

as we are heading down a bank on to

the frozen river. She’s not hurt, just

mortified, because before Trine can

stop them the huskies pelt off down

the trail, pulling the unmanned sled.

Trine reassures us that the dogs know

their way home and takes my sister in

her sled. Then, a short while later up

ahead on the trail we spot our errant

huskies rolling about in the snow,

waiting for us. They pant happily as

we approach, as though they’ve just

played a hilarious practical joke.

That night, as we finish our last

delicious supper, still laughing about the

cheeky huskies, I doubt anything could

have made this trip better. Then, just

as we are tramping through the snow

back to our cabin, the sky turns ablaze

with green. Out of nowhere, the curling,

iridescent fingers of the Northern Lights

stretch out above the homestead. We stop

and stare at the heavens in wonder. In

the dog yard the pack begins a communal

howl. My sister and I are both crying now.

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com

The Northern Lights

over the Trasti & Trine


60 worldtravellermagazine.com








worldtravellermagazine.com 61


Your passport to the Middle East's first fully

bookable travel inspiration website

Extend your journey with World Traveller magazine

by heading online to read more inspirational and

exclusive travel content and take advantage of upto-the-minute

hotel and holiday features

Dream Read Click Book



Staycations and short-haul escapes



Abu Dhabi’s original urban

block, Al Hosn, has re-opened

to the public following

conservation works. The

oldest, most significant

heritage site in the city, it

comprises four interrelated

components, including Qasr

Al Hosn, which tells the story

of the emirate's evolution

from 18th-century fishing

and pearling settlement to

modern metropolis. View the

exhibition at the Inner Fort

before touring the Outer

Palace, which shares the

stories of the people who

lived there, offering a glimpse

into their everyday lives.

© Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Photo by Roland Halbe

worldtravellermagazine.com 63


Reasons to go back to


Rediscover the historic heart of the city thanks to the

new wave of attractions and activities at Dubai Creek

1Boutique stays

Tucked away amid the

rooftops and courtyards

of a souk, Al Seef Hotel

by Jumeirah is just like a

traditional Arabian bayt

(home). Spread across

several clusters of buildings,

the hotel transports you to

old-world Arabia with its

views along the ambient

alleyways of the bazaar and

of the waterway, all wrapped

up in authentic design details,

such as woven fabrics and

wooden beams.

2Shatter your


For a novel,

Insta-friendly museum

experience, check out the

mind-bending Museum

of Illusions in Al Seef. It's

home to 80 quizzical

exhibits, including the

Alice in Wonderlandesque

Ames Room, where

you shrink or grow as you

move through the space.

Al Seef Hotel by Jumeirah

Jameel Arts Centre


View a contemporary

art gem

The recently-opened

Jameel Arts Centre, located

at the tip of Al Jaddaf

Waterfront, is home to

curated commissions,

projects and exhibitions

drawn from regional and

international artists. Even the

gardens that punctuate the

building are achingly artistic,

designed by landscape

architect Anouk Vogel and

featuring rare plants.

4Floating tours

Docked on the Bur

Dubai side of the

creek, JA Bateaux Dubai

offers a fresh perspective

on the area's vibrant souks

and aged dhows. Step

aboard the Sundowner

Cruise (from 5-6pm) and

you can take in the sights

from the outdoor deck.

Or, there's the option to

linger over a meal served

to a classy soundtrack.

64 worldtravellermagazine.com





From a divided city

to an achingly cool

capital, Berlin hums

with creative energy

and exciting things

to see and do, says

resident Lara Brunt

This page: Alexanderplatz

and Television Tower

Opposite from top:

the Reichstag building;


66 worldtravellermagazine.com




to find a capital as cool as Berlin.

Founded in the 13th century on the River Spree, Berlin

has had a turbulent history. After the devastation of Hitler’s

Third Reich, the Cold War left the city brutally divided into

East and West by the Berlin Wall. Following reunification in

1990, ample space and cheap rents lured creative types to

Berlin and resulted in an explosion of art, music and culture.

Today, Berlin offers history and hipsters at every turn.

The central Mitte district is packed with enough attractions

to keep you busy for days, including the World Heritagelisted

Museum Island and Brandenburg Gate.

Straddling the Spree, the hip ‘hoods of Kreuzberg

and Friedrichshain are bustling with clubs, cafés and

restaurants. Heading west, Tiergarten is dominated by the

park of the same name, while upmarket Charlottenburg is

home to Ku’damm, Berlin’s main shopping mile. And no trip

to Berlin is complete without paying a visit to the splendid

palaces of Potsdam on the outskirts of the city.

Our Berlin guide offers a curated list of the best things to

see and do, and the hippest places to eat, shop and sleep.

So, let’s start exploring…

The number of hotels

in the German capital

has doubled in the last

decade, with an eclectic

mix of luxury and designled

spaces that reflect

the arty atmosphere

of the city itself.

Overlooking the

Brandenburg Gate, Hotel

Adlon Kempinski is Berlin’s

most glamorous fivestar

hotel. The 385-room

hotel is sumptuous as

you’d expect, with a two-

Michelin-starred restaurant

and a tri-level spa.

In a former bank near

the State Opera House,

Hotel de Rome features

four historic suites. Chill

out in the subterranean

spa and head to the

rooftop terrace for

impressive views.

The 78-room Das Stue

on the edge of Tiergarten,

the city’s largest park, was

once the Danish Embassy.

Plump for a sprawling Stue

suite with a freestanding

silver tub, then indulge in

Catalan chef Paco Pérez’s

Michelin-starred cuisine.

Next to Berlin Zoo,

25hours Hotel Bikini


From historic properties to boutique hotels,

discover the best places to bed down

Berlin is an Instagrammer’s

dream – think hammocks

in the lobby and a hip

rooftop lounge. Choose

from rooms overlooking

the animal enclosures,

or the buzzing streets

of West Berlin.

A short stroll from

the shops of Ku’damm,

Provocateur has stylish

rooms with lipstick-red

or rich teal hues and

plush velvet bedheads.

Shimmy along lamp-lit

hallways to the acclaimed

restaurant serving

French-Chinese fusion.

On the banks of the

Spree, the Hotel nhow

Berlin is close to the city’s

best nightlife. It boasts

candy-coloured interiors

by Egyptian-born designer

Karim Rashid and roundthe-clock

room service

offering guitars and decks

for post-clubbing parties.


the wall

Nearly 30 years since the

fall of the Berlin Wall,

explore one of the city’s

darkest chapters




Running for

more than

1.3km, this

open-air gallery is the

longest remaining stretch

of the wall. It features

around 100 murals painted

by international artists soon

after the wall came down

commemorating the pain

of separation and the joy of



Bypass Checkpoint Charlie

– the old border crossing

is now a tacky tourist

trap – and instead visit

this fantastic (and free)

indoor-outdoor museum

on Bernauer Strasse in

Mitte. Alongside remnants

of the wall, the moving

monuments and exhibitions

show the impact of division

on daily life.

worldtravellermagazine.com 67



From fashion to furniture,

Berlin’s shopping scene is

as eclectic as the city itself


Opened in 1907 and

recently revamped by

Pritzker Prize-winning

architect Rem Koolhaas,

KaDaWe is Berlin’s

counterpart to Harrods.

Spread over 60,000sqm,

the department store

stocks a dazzling array of

luxury brands from around

the world. Don’t miss the

sixth-floor food hall, where

you can shop for artisan

cheese and chocolate, and

dine at more than a dozen

high-end food counters.

Frau Tonis Parfum

Bottle a bit of the

city’s bohemian

spirit at this

sleek perfumery

near Checkpoint

Charlie. Founders

Stefanie Hanssen

and Christoph

Niedermeier’s unique

fragrances evoke the Berlin

of the Roaring Twenties,

including the best-selling

Violet No.37 inspired by

Marlene Dietrich. You

can even get a customblended

scent to match

your style, or try your hand

at creating your own.

Andreas Murkudis

In a former printing

factory in the Tiergarten

neighbourhood, this

concept store showcases

an eclectic edit of more

than 300 brands in a

gallery-like space.

There’s a mix of established

brands – think Dries

Van Noten and Comme

des Garçons – and

freshly discovered

designers that favour a

minimalist aesthetic.


Home to more than 400

galleries, Berlin has one

of the most exciting art

scenes on the planet

The epicentre of Berlin’s

post-Wall contemporary

art scene, Auguststrasse

in Mitte is a great place

to start your gallery hop.

Stop by the KW Institute

for Contemporary

Art (kw-berlin.de) and

me Collectors Room

(me-berlin.com), two

sprawling galleries

showcasing local and

international works,

and pop into Clärchens

Ballhaus to the see the

beautiful 19th-century

mirrored ballroom.

Wander over to the

Boros Collection


de); you’ll need to

book in advance, but

both the contemporary

art collection and the

building itself – a World

War II bunker – warrant a

visit. Opt for a group tour

(Thursdays to Sundays)

or a private viewing of the

current exhibition, which

features works by Andreas

Eriksson and Guan Xiao.

Then continue northwest

to the Hamburger

Bahnhof (smb.museum),

one of the world’s

largest museums for

contemporary art. Housed

in a former railway

station, works range from

Andy Warhol and Roy

Lichtenstein to the German

artist Joseph Beuys.

Next, take public

transport south to Blain

Southern (blainsouthern.

com) in the same former

factory on Potsdamer

Strasse as Andreas

Murkudis’ concept store

(see 'retail therapy'). The

gallery’s roster of artists

includes top names such

as Lynn Chadwick, Wim

Wenders and Bill Viola.

Finish up at the nearby

Urban Nation (urbannation.com),

the world’s

first major museum

dedicated exclusively to

street art and graffiti.


Coffee is serious business in Berlin, with third-wave

roasters and independent cafés packed with laptoptoting

locals. In Mitte’s gallery district, The Barn

(thebarn.de) focuses on single-origin coffee, while the

croissants are so popular you can only buy two at a

time. Over in Friedrichshain, Silo Coffee (instagram.

com/silocoffee) does a mean flat white, while in a redbrick

former factory in Kreuzberg, Bonanza Roastery

Café (bonanzacoffee.de) serves one of the smoothest

cappuccinos in town. Their beans are also served at The

Store (thestores.com), an über-cool concept store and

café on the ground floor of Soho House in Mitte.

68 worldtravellermagazine.com

Opposite from top: Artist at

work; Hamburger Bahnhof; a

flat white at The Barn

This page from top: A dish by

Horváth; Boxhagener Platz



Once a culinary backwater, Berlin now

boasts innovative restaurants and a

constellation of Michelin stars

RESTAURANT TIM RAUE Not far from Checkpoint

Charlie, Tim Raue serves highly creative, Asianinfluenced

fusion cuisine. Dishes such as wasabi

langoustine and Peking duck three ways have earned

the Berlin-born chef two Michelin stars. tim-raue.com

COOKIES & CREAM Berlin is Europe’s vegan capital,

and the city’s first meat-free fine diner has been

awarded a Michelin star. Chef Stephan Hentschel

works his magic on dishes such as mushroom ravioli

with wild herbs and Parmesan dumplings with

Périgord truffle stock. cookiescream.com

HORVÁTH This cosy, wood-panelled restaurant in

Kreuzberg is another of Berlin’s more unconventional

Michelin-starred spots. Chef Sebastian Frank – named

European Chef of the Year – serves imaginative twists

on Austrian favourites. finesse. restaurant-horvath.de

insider tips

Domingos Ruiz

Lepores, editor of

Awesome Berlin


net), shares his

top picks for...

exploring the city:

“I always take visitors to Dahlem, a leafy

residential neighbourhood with the

most beautiful houses in Berlin. Stop

by the Domäne Dahlem, a small farm

where you can buy homegrown fruits

and vegetables. My favourite hidden

gem is Gartenstadt Falkenberg in the

far eastern neighbourhood of Grunau.

This UNESCO World Heritage-listed

modernist housing estate was designed

by architect Bruno Taut, who also

influenced the Bauhaus movement.

And don’t leave Berlin without climbing

the 285 steps of the Victory Column in

Tiergarten for one of the best views of

To market

the city from above.


Foodies should make a

beeline for Markthalle

Neun (markthalleneun.

de), a 19th-century

market hall in trendy

Kreuzberg that focuses

on regional farmers

and artisan purveyors.

Regular events include

the hugely popular

Street Food Thursday

and Breakfast Market,

which takes place every

third Sunday.

On Saturdays,

head to Boxhagener

Platz – aka Boxi – in

the hip Friedrichshain

neighbourhood for

the weekly farmers’

market and explore

the surrounding cafés

and boutiques. On

Sundays, Mitte’s

Mauerpark market

is a must for lovers

of vintage and vinyl.

If the sun is shining,

stroll over to the

amphitheatre for

Bearpit Karaoke –

easily one of the most

entertaining afternoons

you’ll ever have.

worldtravellermagazine.com 69

Family first

If spending more time with loved ones is at the top of your list this year, then

it's high time to feel the family-friendly staycay vibes at Fairmont The Palm

70 worldtravellermagazine.com


There are two main camps

of people when it comes to

organising family holidays:

those who are open to going

with the flow, and those who

prefer to precision plan their stays. If you

fall into the latter category, you’ll be cursed

with a checklist as long as your arm that no

doubt has to be carefully cross examined

before committing to leaving the house

with the little ones in tow. Common points

that are non-negotiable include having an

entertaining kids’ club, toddler-friendly

swimming pool and plenty of space to spread

out in. Thankfully, families are blessed with

an impressive number of staycation options

in the UAE, and Fairmont The Palm is on the

radar as a top choice for parents in search of

a fuss-free break away.

Tucked along

the trunk of Palm

Jumeirah, the hotel’s

island location lends

a fun, vacation vibe

– there’s something

about feeling the salty

sea breeze wash over

you that screams

“holiday”. Those of you

with younger kids will

agree that a speedy

check-in is worth its weight in gold and the

aptly named Fairmont Gold experience is

like getting access to a secret hotel within a

hotel. With it, you’ll be able to usher the kids

straight past the main reception and up to

the ninth floor where a private, lounge-style

space awaits. Simply collect your key as your

kids gulp down fresh juice and get stuck into

their activity packs, and you’ll be in your

room in a flash.

Fairmont Gold Rooms come with one king

bed or two queen beds, with cots available

upon request, and interconnecting rooms

available for larger broods. If you need more

space still, you can upgrade to a suite, the

pinnacle of which is the Deluxe Suite, which

has a separate living room and dedicated

dining space, as well as an adjoining butler’s

pantry, large terrace and access to all the

signature benefits, such as complimentary

breakfast in the lounge and afternoon tea

served from 2-4pm.

The hotel’s

island location

lends a fun,

vacation vibe

Adventure in spades

If you’re eager to get out and enjoy the winter

sunshine, the swimming pools and beach

are enough to keep you busy for hours on

end. You’ll find the family pools to the right

of the hotel – the first you come across is

the shallowest where kids are free to roam,

under a watchful eye, without wandering

out of their depth (our two-year-old couldn’t

touch the bottom near the basketball hoop,

but the rest of the pool was perfect for him).

Just beyond this is the splash park where

vibrant sprinklers invite water babies to play.

The private beach (open from 6.30am to

sunset, depending on the season) is reached

via a short walkway which opens out to a

stretch of soft sand and marked swimming

area, with great views towards Dubai Marina

and the Ain Dubai Ferris wheel.

There are plenty of watersports available,

from kayaking to sailing lessons and there’s

also a cool line-up of fitness activities to

try, such as PRAMA by

Pavigym, which will put

a hi-tech spin on your

training session as you

strive to stay in step with

the interactive floor. If

you need to occupy the

children while you sweat

it out, you can drop them

at Fairmont Falcons Kids'

Club (for ages 18 months

to six years) where they

can tackle the climbing

wall, get absorbed in arts and crafts, play

dress up or kick back with video games in the

chillout zone.

Dinner companions

Family-friendly dining venues are easy

to come by, with Flow Kitchen offering

something to suit all tastes – the Friday

family lunch is especially popular among

guests of all ages. Blowfish does American

style ‘grab and go’ dishes such as burgers and

crazy shakes by the beach while the vibrant

interiors of Little Miss India invite you to

taste Indian cuisine. There are children’s

menus available at the majority of venues,

offering a healthy twist on the usual kidfriendly

favourites, but if you don’t feel like

leaving your room, the in-room dining is

a great option (we’ve never seen our kids

devour so much food in one sitting). Order

glasses of milk for your pyjama-clad minimes

so they can settle down to sleep while

you sneak out onto the terrace to recount

memories of the day.

To find out more call +971 4 457 3388

or visit fairmont.com/palm



Fun at Fairmont

Falcons Kids' Club

The little ones will love the lineup

of activities crafted by the

in-house playmakers, along

with books, toys and jigsaw

puzzles to get stuck into.

Friday family lunch

at Flow Kitchen

Taking place from 12.30pm-

3.30pm, you can dine al

fresco at this fun family buffet

– the pick 'n' mix style sweetie

counter will blow their minds.

Be pampered at

Willow Stream Spa

Unwind with a traditional

Moroccan hammam and tipto-toe

body scrub at this multiaward-winning


worldtravellermagazine.com 71



Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Let this rustic Arabian oasis charm its way into your travel plans


Designed in harmony with the

surroundings, you'll feel at one with

the dunes inside these abodes – from

the Superior Room with its desert or

courtyard views, to the Deluxe Suite,

which fits families of four and has a

terrace with a seating area ideal for

gazing at those golden sunsets. The

Junior Suites are decorated with rare,

handcrafted Arabian furnishings.


Enjoying a traditional meal underneath

a blanket of stars makes for a

memorable meal and Al Hadheerah

more than delivers with its cosy seating

and live entertainment. Head to Al

Sarab Lounge for an elevated view of

the landscape – the warm glow of the

lanterns and soothing oud music add to

the ambience. Masala is the place to go

for delicious North Indian fare.


Ensure you start 2019 looking and

feeling your best with the three-hour

Blissful Desert Rose Experience at

Satori Spa, which includes a full-body

exfoliation, tip-to-toe aromatherapy

rub with rose oil, body wrap and

soothing facial with scalp massage. Not

only will you say "goodbye" to muscle

tension, but you'll emerge a more

radiant version of your former self.

To find out more, call +971 4 809 6100 or visit babalshams.com

72 worldtravellermagazine.com



Behind you lies the urban sprawl. Up front, the rolling dunes and the promise of a luxury desert getaway like no other.

Here, luxury and relaxation are reinvented. And now, this dream desert experience comes with a great deal.

PRICE FROM AED 1000 Superior King per room per night


Dubai,United Arab Emirates

T:+971 4 809 6194, bas.reservations@meydanhotels.com


/babalshamshotel /babalshamshotel /babalshamshotel



Gloria Hotel Dubai

Place yourself at the heart of new Dubai at this family-friendly, all suite property


When you've a large family to

accommodate on holiday, or are looking

for a comfortable space where you can

stay for longer in Dubai, these elegant

suites and apartments may be the

answer. The Grand Suite Sea View, for

instance, has views of Palm Jumeirah,

two bedrooms to spread out in, a cosy

living room, and kitchenette for a

happy, holiday home vibe.


If you feel like a day off cooking, there

are plenty of places to dine in the hotel.

Feast on barbecue food on the rooftop

at La Terrasse Tent, or step inside the

main restaurant (it's open for breakfast,

lunch and dinner) to dine à la carte in

a stylish setting. For Lebanese food,

Qutoof Restaurant is the place to go.

Its enclosed terrace area comes in

especially handy during the summer.


Take a dip in the pool – lessons for kids

are available – and keep up your fitness

regime at the gym, which has a fab

line-up of classes, such as martial arts

and spinning. For pampering, head to

Dreamworks Spa, where all manner of

revitalising treatments are on offer,

from soothing wraps to complexionboosting

facials. Plus, all the attractions

of new Dubai are on the doorstep.

To find out more, call +971 4 399 6666 or visit gloria-hotels.com

74 worldtravellermagazine.com

Discover the perfect blend of convenience,

stylish comfort for pleasure and business.

Email: info@2seasonshotels.com | Web: www.2seasonshotels.com

Tel: +971 4 399 6666 | Fax: +971 4 381 8067 | P.O.Box: 502222, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Internet City, UAE

א א

Unlimited Comfort



JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Rise to the top at the world's tallest five-star hotel


This lofty hotel has ample space to

welcome guests. Its 1,608 guestrooms

and suites have luxurious finishings

– think marble bathrooms with rain

showers and oversized tubs – and

views of the glittering skyline or Dubai

Water Canal. Families can book a suite

and spread out in two separate living

and sleeping areas. Room service is

available around the clock.


There are 15 award-winning restaurants

and bars at the property, each serving

memorable meals. Fans of delicious

steak will want to head straight to

Prime68, while Positano is the place to

feast on handmade pasta and pizza. For

something a bit different, try Japanese

restaurant Izakaya – the resident Wasabi

Girl (she has green hair) will prepare

fresh wasabi at your table.


The hotel is close to many top

attractions, but there are lots of perks

that'll tempt you to linger for longer at

the property. Take a dip in the sparkling

outdoor swimming pool or, for a spot

of pampering, head to Saray Spa, which

is home to the UAE's only Dead Sea

floatation pool. Try the Saray Golden

Hammam, which includes a decadent

skin massage using 24-karat gold.

To find out more, call +971 4 414 3000 or visit jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

76 worldtravellermagazine.com

Service and detail that shape your journey.

Immerse in the luxury of rich experiences at the JW Penthouse Suite and Marquis Penthouse Suite,

spread across two levels of impeccably designed space with a touch of traditional Arabic design.

Each 624sqm suite features two separate bedrooms with two separate living rooms.

Additional benefits include complimentary airport transfers, private check-in and check-out

and access to the award-winning Executive Lounge on the 37 th floor.

Enjoy celebratory dining in more than 15 restaurants and bars, and pampering at the luxurious Saray Spa.

JW Marriott® Marquis® Hotel Dubai


Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971.4.414.0000 | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com




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80 worldtravellermagazine.com



Sultan Qaboos Mosque

in Sohar, Oman

“This mosque had popped up

in my Instagram feed a few

times so I was determined to

go and photograph it for my

MasjidSeries project, which

documents mosques around

the world to portray Islam in

a beautiful, positive light. Its

architecture is very heavily

influenced by Persian and

Central Asian Islamic design,

and the person in the shot

reveals its scale – this isn't even

the main door, it's just a side

door! I enjoyed my visit so much

that I ended up spending around

four hours there and was able

to pray Asr and Maghreb. It was

the trip that made me fall in

love with Oman.”

Dubai-based investment

banker turned photographer,

Alamash Javed, loves to

travel because “it helps open

up my mind and appreciate

the world” @aljvd;




in high-res jpeg format, along

with a snippet of the stories

behind them via email to


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A 3-night stay at

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

We’ve teamed up with this eco hideaway to give away a threenight

stay in a villa suite for two people, including daily breakfast

and return transfers*. Just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Velana

International Airport, this lush resort invites you to pamper

yourself with a tension-busting massage, dine on Maldivian

favourites, an grab a surfboard and tackle the waves (lessons

are available in the lagoon) – there’s so much to discover. Visit

worldtravellermagzine.com for details. *Terms & conditions apply.


Let our travel news and round-ups, available exclusively on our website,

inspire your next trip…

1A dunk above

the rest. Dip a toe

into our selection

of stunning rooftop

swimming pools

around the globe.

2Bucket list

trips. Our

countdown of

100 must-have travel

experiences is still

going strong.

3Rooms with a

view. Feast your

eyes on these

coveted rooms and

suites with postcardworthy


worldtravellermagazine.com 83


Suite dreams

Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a

suite that has a character and style all of its own

Virginia Woolf Suite

University Arms, Cambridge

Fans of the celebrated British author will have

plenty to write home about while staying in this

sophisticated suite, which nods to the literary

heroine with a library curated by Heywood Hill,

one of London's leading bookshops, and a portrait

of Woolf on the wall. Hints of Cambridge Blue,

bespoke furniture and a statement chandelier

enhance the property's quintessentially

English heritage and the academic spirit of

Cambridge (it has recently undergone a two-year

refurbishment at the hands of Martin Brudnizki

and John Simpson), so you don't have to look far

to find your inspiration.

84 worldtravellermagazine.com

Ronald Codrai © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi

رونالد كودراي © دائرة الثقافة والسياحة - أبوظبي







Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building

in Abu Dhabi. It includes the city’s first permanent

structure, a coral and sea stone watch tower built to

protect the settlement of Abu Dhabi established on the

island in the 1760s. Qasr Al Hosn became home to the

ruling family, a seat of government, and it now stands as

our nation’s living monument, telling the story of

Abu Dhabi and its people.

Book your experience at qasralhosn.ae

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