World Traveller March 2019

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ISSUE 131 | MARCH <strong>2019</strong> | COMPLIMENTARY COPY<br />

BEAR<br />





CANADA<br />



TOKYO<br />


Produced in Dubai Production City<br />

Spring Awakening<br />

The season sorted: be it beach, city or countryside,<br />

we know just the place to send you

One Destination<br />


Enjoy an ideal staycation for the entire family and enjoy a world of luxury and<br />

comfort at any of our two beachfront hotels, JA Palm Tree Court or JA Beach Hotel<br />

conveniently located only 15 minutes away from Dubai. Relax by one of the 4 pools<br />

and on the 800m private beach or experience the thrill of over 30 exciting activities<br />

such as horse riding, golf, water sports and many more.<br />

For bookings or more information, please call +971 4 814 5800<br />

or email reservations.ptc@jaresorts.com

Discover a Revolutionary Beauty Line!<br />

Renew for the journey ahead.<br />

We have something new and exciting for you.<br />

Behold the mind-blowing, anti-aging and hydrating facial treatments by an innovative<br />

Korean product line, which uses Diamonds. Yes, you read that right! Diamonds are<br />

known for their ability to deliver ingredients to the deepest layers of your skin.<br />

Want to know the best part? You get to go home with your own box of exquisite<br />

products after each treatment.<br />

For more information or to make a booking please call +971 4 414 6754.<br />

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE<br />

mhrs.dxbjw.spa@marriott.com | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

Welcome note<br />

Spring has arrived and if you need a little nudge in the right<br />

direction, our comprehensive guide to where to travel this<br />

season (p26) provides all the inspiration you need to book<br />

your next adventure.<br />

Managing Director<br />

Victoria Thatcher<br />

Editorial Director<br />

John Thatcher<br />

General Manager<br />

David Wade<br />

Managing Editor<br />

Faye Bartle<br />

faye@hotmediapublishing.com<br />

Content Writer<br />

Habiba Azab<br />

Editorial Assistant<br />

Julianne Tolentino<br />

Art Director<br />

Kerri Bennett<br />

Senior Designer<br />

Hiral Kapadia<br />

Senior Advertising Manager<br />

Mia Cachero<br />

mia@hotmediapublishing.com<br />

Production Manager<br />

Muthu Kumar<br />


From the most coveted springtime experiences<br />

on the planet (such as catching the cherry<br />

blossoms in Kyoto, whale feeding in Alaska and<br />

seeing Damask roses in bloom at Al Jabal Al<br />

Akhdar), to going off-grid or heading deep into the<br />

countryside, our top picks are sure to recharge you<br />

before the long hot summer strikes.<br />

Also in this issue, we invite you to take a closer<br />

look at Bangkok through the eyes of our welltrodden<br />

travel writer Lara Brunt (p64). In her<br />

four-page feature, she shines a light on why this<br />

dynamic city is the most popular place in the world<br />

– gilded palaces, rooftop terraces and intoxicating<br />

markets included.<br />

If you've an eye out for a deal, have a flick<br />

through our exclusive reader offers (p78), which<br />

rounds up a selection of great value weekend<br />

escapes, and will tempt you with fantastic holidays<br />

as far-flung as Japan and Ireland.<br />

Happy travels,<br />

Faye Bartle<br />

Win!<br />

Find out how you<br />

can win a stay<br />

at Renaissance<br />

Downtown Hotel,<br />

Dubai on p83<br />




1<br />

At Hatta Wadi hub,<br />

you can try your hand<br />

at lots of adventurous<br />

activities, including axe<br />

throwing, p14<br />

2<br />

Travelling solo, dressing<br />

the part and checking<br />

in later are among the<br />

factors that could boost<br />

your chances of a free<br />

flight upgrade, p22<br />

3<br />

The Republic of<br />

Seychelles comprises<br />

115 islands, p48<br />

4<br />

Bangkok has been<br />

crowned the most<br />

popular place on the<br />

planet for the last three<br />

years, attracting more<br />

than 20 million annual<br />

visitors, p64<br />

5<br />

The cherry blossoms<br />

in Kyoto are so<br />

fleeting that the Japan<br />

Meteorological Agency<br />

issues an annual<br />

forecast to predict the<br />

dates the buds will<br />

bloom, p29<br />

Photography credits:<br />

Getty Images and Phocal Media<br />

Reproduction in whole or in<br />

part without written permission<br />

from HOT Media Publishing is<br />

strictly prohibited. HOT Media<br />

Publishing does not accept<br />

liability for omissions or errors in<br />

<strong>World</strong> <strong>Traveller</strong>.<br />

Tel: 00971 4 364 2876<br />

Fax: 00971 4 369 7494<br />


Santani Wellness Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka<br />

Find us at…<br />

ONLINE worldtravellermagazine.com<br />

FACEBOOK @worldtravellermagazine<br />

INSTAGRAM @dnataworldtraveller<br />

TWITTER @WT_Magazine<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 3

Contents<br />

<strong>March</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara<br />

26<br />


regulars<br />

8 13 22 26 84<br />



This month's go-to<br />

places include the<br />

stunning island of<br />

Sicily and 'cowboy<br />

country', Houston<br />


The region is having<br />

an art attack – what<br />

to see at Louvre Abu<br />

Dhabi; Art Dubai, and<br />

Bahrain's ArtBAB. Plus,<br />

starry glamping spots<br />


dnata Travel's product<br />

manager Julia Broome<br />

shares her insider<br />

secrets, including what<br />

you can do to boost your<br />

upgrade chances<br />


Spring is in the air and<br />

our total guide to where<br />

to travel this season<br />

takes in everywhere<br />

from vibrant cities to<br />

remote escapes<br />


You won't have to<br />

venture far to find a<br />

room with a twist this<br />

month - head down to<br />

Deira for a Bollywoodthemed<br />

boudoir<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 5


features<br />

42 48<br />



Tokyo is an assault on Each Indian Ocean<br />

the senses, but beneath island has its charm,<br />

the madness lies<br />

but none is quite as<br />

serenity - if you know charming as Seychelles,<br />

where to find it... argues Ed Grenby<br />

54<br />


Polar-bear spotting in<br />

Canada tends to require<br />

the safety of a hulking<br />

4WD, so what happens<br />

when you're on foot?<br />

42<br />

TOKYO<br />

weekends<br />

62 64<br />




Dubai's latest go-to Lara Brunt heads to<br />

hotpsot is a gourmand's Thailand's buzzing,<br />

dream destination colourful capital<br />

70<br />


Feel in need of a break?<br />

We have four more<br />

good reasons to book a<br />

weekend escape<br />

78<br />


It's time we sent you<br />

packing. Choose your<br />

next adventure from<br />

our exclusive offers<br />

6 worldtravellermagazine.com

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes. 1634. Oil on panel, New York, The Leiden Collection. Image courtesy of The Leiden Collection, New York<br />

Exhibition<br />

14 Feb - 18 May <strong>2019</strong><br />



Enjoy a day at Louvre Abu Dhabi and see this unmissable exhibition of Dutch masterpieces.<br />

Exhibition entry included in your museum admission ticket. AED 63, children under 13 free.<br />

Only 60 minutes from Dubai and 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi Airport.<br />

BOOK NOW<br />



Emily Williams, dnata Travel’s resident globetrotter,<br />

reveals the places that are trending this month<br />

Marrakech<br />

Known for its lively markets, namely Jemaa el-Fna (the central souk), Marrakech is a delightful place to visit<br />

for some retail therapy. Gaining popularity are Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, which frame Marrakech and offer<br />

spectacular hiking opportunities to some of the most remote villages in North Africa. Embark on one of the<br />

popular trails in the springtime, while the weather is mild.<br />

Highlights 1 Admire Koutoubia Mosque and its famous minaret, which has become a symbol of Marrakech.<br />

2 Visit the Yves Saint Laurent Museum for a deeper insight into the work of the legendary fashion designer.<br />

3 Be pampered at a hammam, with a traditional black soap scrub.<br />

8 worldtravellermagazine.com


Taipei<br />

Known as the heart of Asia, Taiwan is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination due to its epic landscapes<br />

(think beautiful mountains and natural springs), dynamic cities, delicious street food, and year-round calendar<br />

of festivals. Its capital, Taipei, is an excellent base from which to explore. This exciting city is famous for its night<br />

markets, and is home to one of the tallest buildings in the world, Taipei 101.<br />

HIGHLIGHTS 1 Head to Yangmingshan National Park, home to the famous hot springs. 2 Catch an art house movie at<br />

SPOT-Taipei Film House. 3 Head to Hello Kitty Kitchen And Dining on Jinshan North Road for the cutest snacks.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 9

Houston<br />

It’s rodeo time in Houston – what better time to visit the most populous city in southern USA? Until mid-<strong>March</strong>,<br />

twenty championship rodeo competitions will take place at the city’s NRG Park, concluded with entertainment<br />

from music superstars. Also, don’t miss Space Center Houston for a close-up look at NASA and the US Space<br />

Programme. It takes 16hr 35mins to get there direct on Emirates, but it's worth it.<br />

HIGHLIGHTS 1 Head to the city’s largest waterpark, SplashTown, for 40-acres of wet and wild fun. 2 Soak up the carnival-like atmosphere at<br />

Kemah Boardwalk, which is a hive of restaurants, shops, and entertainment. 3 Sit down to a breakfast of Southern style wings and waffles –<br />

The Breakfast Klub in Midtown has a dedicated following.<br />

10 worldtravellermagazine.com


Sicily<br />

In spring, the weather is perfect here, with almond trees blossoming on the island. Witness the natural wonder of<br />

Mount Etna while travelling along the stunning Italian coast to one of its most picturesque hilltop towns, Taormina.<br />

Stay and experience classic Sicilian glamour at the Belmond Grand Timeo Hotel, which is close to the beach with<br />

views of Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient Greek theatre. Flydubai goes non-stop from Dubai to Catania.<br />

HIGHLIGHTS 1 Sicily is rich in UNESCO <strong>World</strong> Heritage Sites, including Syracuse, which is brimming with archaeological wonders.<br />

2 Visit the Santa Venera al Pozzo thermal baths, where waters arrive from Etna’s sulphureous base. 3 Indulge in traditional pastries<br />

prepared with ricotta cheese and almond paste.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 11

MARCH<br />

Globetrotter<br />

Be informed, be inspired, be there<br />



You can go glamping in the<br />

Maldives thanks to the luxury<br />

Beach Bubble tent at Finolhu.<br />

Situated on a secluded stretch<br />

of sandbank, the inflatable tent<br />

is available exclusively for a one<br />

night only experience under<br />

the stars. At sunset, take the<br />

short stroll to the bubble where<br />

a beach barbecue awaits. After<br />

dinner, tuck up and catch some<br />

zzz’s so you can be up in time<br />

to see the sunrise and have<br />

breakfast by the water’s edge.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 13



Get back to nature at these other great glamping set-ups around the world…<br />

HATTA<br />

Trailer treasure<br />

This outdoorsy Dubai enclave<br />

has had a trendy makeover<br />

by Meraas to lure adventure<br />

seekers, complete with cosy<br />

lodges and vintage trailers to<br />

bed down in along the bank<br />

of Hatta Dam. After a restful<br />

night’s sleep, get active by<br />

setting off on a mountain<br />

bike, going zorbing, ziplining,<br />

or whizzing down the shoots<br />

at the water jump park – you<br />

can even test your skills at<br />

axe throwing. It’s all part<br />

of the Hatta Wadi Hub<br />

experience (visithatta.com).<br />


Welcome to the jungle<br />

Do the Maldives, safari-style,<br />

by staying in the Jungle<br />

Tented Villas at Fairmont<br />

Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi.<br />

In this secluded spot, you can<br />

brave the wilderness from<br />

your rustic abode, albeit with<br />

a few little luxuries on hand,<br />

including an outdoor rain<br />

shower and roll-top tub.<br />

The atoll is a 50-minute<br />

seaplane ride from Malé<br />

International Airport.<br />


Carmo’s Boutique Hotel<br />

Discover the traditions,<br />

cultural heritage, and distinct<br />

architecture of the beautiful<br />

Minho region of Portugal<br />

at this boutique hideaway,<br />

which is nestled in the hills<br />

of Ponte de Lima, the oldest<br />

town in the country. Ditch<br />

the more traditional rooms<br />

in favour of the Portuguese<br />

Colonial style luxury tent<br />

experiences and you're<br />

sure to feel at one with the<br />

beautiful countryside. The<br />

property is just 40 minutes<br />

from Porto.<br />

14 worldtravellermagazine.com

Whatever your vision of the perfect vacation – be it a fun family beach<br />

holiday, honeymoon romance or just relaxing in beachfront exclusivity<br />

– Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort offers a uniquely luxurious escape,<br />

inspired by Thai exoticism and the heartbeat of Dubai.<br />

Unwind in an enchanting Beach Pool Villa, with your very own private<br />

infinity pool. Soak up tranquil Arabian Gulf views from your Over Water<br />

Villa. Step straight from your room into the crystal clear waters of our<br />

10,000 square metre lagoon pools. Culinary journeys excite with a<br />

melange of mouthwatering flavours. The prestigious sanctuary of<br />

Anantara Spa rejuvenates and renews, from a range of inspirational<br />

treatments, to indulgent rituals in the Turkish Hammam.<br />

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. Visit anantara.com<br />



T +971 4 567 8888 E resdubaipalm@anantara.com


Louvre InterContinental Abu Dhabi Shanghai Wonderland<br />

ON OUR<br />

RADAR<br />

Holiday like Rami Malek, who<br />

rates Mandarin Oriental,<br />

Bodrum due to its<br />

“tranquility and<br />

peace”. The actor<br />

is the newest<br />

ambassador<br />

for Mandarin<br />

Oriental’s global<br />

ad campaign “He’s<br />

a Fan/She’s a Fan”.<br />




Nicknamed ‘the earthscraper’, the<br />

subterranean InterContinental<br />

Shanghai Wonderland in Sheshan has<br />

been built directly into the side wall<br />

of a quarry that was decommissioned<br />

for over a decade. Just two floors are<br />

above ground while 16 stretch below the<br />

surface, with the lowest two submerged<br />

inside an hypnotic aquarium.<br />


Set on the riverbank of the Chao<br />

Phray, the ultra-luxurious, all-suite<br />

Capella Bangkok, opening in Q2, is<br />

courting tastemakers with its signature<br />

restaurant by Michelin-starred chef<br />

Mauro Colagreco and Asian spa<br />

therapies. Chill at The Capella Living<br />

Room, which brings the neighbourhood<br />

vibe to life with its hip line-up of local<br />

artisans, music and culinary events.<br />


You’ll have to hold tight until<br />

September, but when JA Lake View<br />

Hotel opens, it’ll make JA The Resort<br />

in Jebel Ali Dubai’s largest experience<br />

resort. Adding a further 348 rooms and<br />

suites to the 128-acre holiday haven, it<br />

promises restaurant concepts driven<br />

by Michelin-star chefs, three outdoor<br />

swimming pools and a rooftop bar with<br />

views of the golf course and the sea.<br />

Be inspired by<br />

The Emirates<br />

Airline Festival<br />

of Literature<br />

in Dubai (1-9<br />

<strong>March</strong>), which<br />

has an engaging<br />

line-up of sessions,<br />

including the Happy<br />

Ever After talk devoted to<br />

crafting fairy-tale endings.<br />

Monte-Carlo Société<br />

des Bains de Mer in<br />

Monaco boasts<br />

the highest<br />

number of<br />

Michelin stars<br />

of any resort in<br />

Europe. The title<br />

was clinched thanks to<br />

a star recently awarded to Le<br />

Grill (headed by Chef Franck<br />

Cerutti), bringing the resort’s<br />

total number to seven.<br />

Travelling can take a toll on<br />

your complexion,<br />

but you can guard<br />

against changes in climate,<br />

pollutants, and other skin<br />

stressors with the Aesop Dubai<br />

kit, Dhs275, created especially<br />

for city hoppers.<br />

We’re loving the collab<br />

between TUMI and fatherdaughter<br />

duo Lenny and Zoë<br />

Kravitz, which was shot in the<br />

Bahamas. “It was amazing to<br />

travel to the other<br />

side of the island<br />

for my first time<br />

to see where my<br />

family originated<br />

from and to pay<br />

respect to our<br />

elders and those<br />

who came before<br />

us,” says Zoë.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 17


The Coco Chanel Suite, Ritz Paris<br />

Stylish stays<br />

Passionate about luxury labels? We<br />

shine a light on some of the most<br />

fashionable hotels around…<br />


Rocco Forte, Hotel Savoy<br />

x Emilio Pucci<br />

Strut across the historic Piazza della<br />

Repubblica and into the world of<br />

Florentine fashion house Emilio Pucci at<br />

Rocco Forte, Hotel Savoy, which features<br />

choice touches throughout the lobby and<br />

restaurant area, including statement black<br />

and fuchsia cushions, velvet flower print<br />

armchairs and a hand tufted rug featuring<br />

the iconic Lamborghini print from the<br />

Emilio Pucci Archives. The Maison has<br />

also produced an exclusive scarf for<br />

the property, which is encased in glass<br />

table tops in the terrace restaurant, and<br />

available to buy at the shop.<br />

DUBAI<br />

Palazzo Versace Dubai x<br />

Donatella Versace<br />

With its interiors showcasing the<br />

Versace lifestyle, Palazzo Versace Dubai<br />

epitomises grandeur and luxury in every<br />

inch of its spacious rooms and suites. The<br />

artistic direction of Donatella Versace<br />

is evident throughout, with the Medusa<br />

head, the Greek key and the house’s<br />

legendary prints prominent – something<br />

that’s captured especially well in the twobedroom<br />

duplex Imperial Suites.<br />

PARIS<br />

Ritz Paris x Coco Chanel<br />

“A girl should be two things: classy and<br />

fabulous,” according to Coco Chanel,<br />

who lived at Ritz Paris for more than 30<br />

years and decorated her very own suite.<br />

Today, you can revel in the grace and<br />

refinement championed by the French<br />

fashion designer by staying at The Coco<br />

Chanel Suite, which reflects her love for<br />

Asian lacquer, gilded mirrors and pairing<br />

black with white.<br />

Rocco Forte, Hotel Savoy<br />

18 worldtravellermagazine.com



Shopping in Singapore isn’t confined to<br />

Orchard Road and Marina Bay. You'll find<br />

shopping malls and markets all around,<br />

offering a mixture of international<br />

and local brands, as well as must-have<br />

keepsakes. Vivo City at Harbourfront and<br />

Bugis Junction are also popular shopping<br />

spots, and that's not forgetting the hip<br />

Haji Lane. With an efficient and reliable<br />

public transport system of buses, trains<br />

and taxis, you can easily hop from one<br />

shopping location to another in minutes.<br />


Discover the fabric of Singapore with these fresh<br />

experiences curated for a memorable holiday<br />

Famous for its striking attractions,<br />

mouth-watering culinary scene, stellar<br />

shopping and immersive tours and<br />

experiences, dynamic Singapore has<br />

something for everyone.<br />

MUST-SEE<br />

From the iconic Marina Bay Sands with its<br />

dreamy infinity pool overlooking the city<br />

skyline, to the award-winning Gardens<br />

by the Bay, and the myriad attractions on<br />

Sentosa (including Southeast Asia’s first<br />

and only Universal Studios), you'll never<br />

be bored here. More top attractions to<br />

visit include the S.E.A. Aquarium, home<br />

to more than 100,000 marine animals,<br />

Madame Tussauds for its life-like<br />

waxworks, and the suspended bridge over<br />

the trees at the Tree Top Walk.<br />

MUST-DO<br />

What better way to enjoy a destination<br />

than to experience it how the locals do?<br />

Join one of the Passion Tours, which<br />

have been especially curated to offer<br />

a memorable, cultural experience.<br />

From exploring vibrant Chinatown,<br />

to eating your way around Little India,<br />

discovering the ethnic Kampong<br />

Glam neighbourhood, and much-loved<br />

heritage area Katong, you can immerse<br />

yourself in the colourful, aromatic DNA<br />

of these precincts. Don’t miss the food<br />

tours, which'll help you understand why<br />

Singapore is known as foodie's paradise<br />

and there are lots of museums and art<br />

galleries to check out too.<br />

MUST-EAT<br />

Eating is a passion among Singaporeans<br />

and you won't go hungry, with delicious<br />

bites available in every corner of the<br />

island state, come day or night.<br />

Indeed, Singapore is a melting pot of<br />

many cultures, resulting in a cuisine<br />

that melds flavours, textures, aromas<br />

and spices from Asia and beyond. Halal<br />

and vegetarian food is easy to find. Flit<br />

between affordable hawker centre food<br />

stalls to fine dining restaurants – you'll<br />

find Michelin-star food at both.<br />

Find out more at visitsingapore.com<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 19

CREATE<br />



WITH US.<br />

Standing tall in the heart of<br />

Dubai Marina, featuring<br />

incomparable panoramic views<br />

of the city, combine the best<br />

of all worlds with luxurious<br />

accommodation, three<br />

contemporary dining<br />

destinations and a blissful<br />

caravanserai-inspired, Saray Spa.<br />





Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites<br />




Art aficionados have another reason to travel this month, as the region<br />

lifts the lid on a number of exciting events and acquisitions<br />

Rembrandt van Rijn.<br />

Head of a young<br />

man, with clasped<br />

hands: Study of the<br />

Figure of Christ, ca.<br />

1648-56. Oil and oak<br />

panel. 25.5 x 20.1 cm.<br />

© Louvre Abu Dhabi<br />

/ Photo by Seeing<br />

Things – Ismail Noor<br />

Psst! Over in<br />

Bahrain, ArtBAB<br />

<strong>2019</strong> (Art Bahrain<br />

Across Borders)<br />

is taking place<br />

from 6-10 <strong>March</strong><br />

at Bahrain<br />

Exhibitions &<br />

Convention Centre,<br />

shining a light on<br />

the kingdom’s<br />

contemporary<br />

art scene.<br />

Gilded masterpiece<br />

If you’re a fan of the artistic movement of the Dutch Golden Age, you’ll be eager<br />

to see the new Rembrandt acquisition at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The rare masterpiece,<br />

Head of a Young Man, is one of the finest examples of Rembrandt’s seven surviving<br />

oil sketches from the Face of Jesus group, and marks the first work by the Dutch<br />

Master known to have been acquired for a public collection in the Gulf region. It’ll<br />

be displayed permanently at the museum following its inclusion in the exhibition<br />

Rembrandt, Vermeer & the Dutch Golden Age: Masterpieces from The Leiden<br />

Collection and the Musée du Louvre, which is taking place until 18 May.<br />

Base – by Valentin Korzhov<br />


Featuring more than 90 galleries from 41 countries, Art Dubai is back (20-23 <strong>March</strong>) with a brand-new<br />

structure, giving you greater access to artists and galleries from non-Western geographies<br />

SEE. There are four main sections:<br />

Contemporary, Modern, Residents,<br />

and the new gallery Bawwaba. The<br />

latter features 10 solo presentations<br />

addressing themes of global migration,<br />

socioeconomic structures and identity.<br />

SHARE. Get involved in the programme<br />

of talks – a highlight is the Modern<br />

Symposium’s 60-minute masterclasses<br />

mapping out the cultural shifts and<br />

trends instigated by Baghdad, Beirut,<br />

Dakar and Lahore in the 20th century.<br />

STAY. Join the creative set staying at the<br />

four hotels on-site at Madinat Jumeirah.<br />

From the family-friendly Jumeirah Mina<br />

A’Salam to the Arabian styled Jumeirah<br />

Dar Al Masyaf summerhouses, you won’t<br />

have to suffer for your art.<br />

Chourouk Hriech, Exhibition view "De quoi ce monde<br />

est-il le miroir?", 2017. Courtesy: ©Nicolas Giraud-Cacc,<br />

courtesy of the artist Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou<br />

Art Dubai Modern Symposium 2018,<br />

courtesy of Photo Solutions<br />

Gulf Arabian Suite, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 21

KNOW-HOW<br />

The Knowledge<br />

HOW TO...<br />

Upgrade your travel experience<br />

Julia Broome, product manager at dnata Travel, gives us the inside track<br />

on some of the most frequently asked questions about travel<br />

If I book trip at the last minute,<br />

am I likely to get a better deal?<br />

It depends on how flexible you’re<br />

willing to be. Availability will always<br />

naturally be pressed closer to the time<br />

of travel and popular resorts, flights<br />

and tours, for instance, more likely to<br />

be occupied. Overall, it’s typically more<br />

cost effective to book in advance. If<br />

you are flexible, you may be able to<br />

secure a last-minute deal to more of<br />

an off-the-beaten-track destination.<br />

Instead of travelling to France, for<br />

example, try an up-and-coming<br />

destination in Eastern Europe. Or you<br />

could travel at an off-peak time.<br />

Is there anything I can do to boost<br />

my chance of a flight upgrade<br />

without having to pay for it?<br />

Joining frequent flyer programmes<br />

is the best way. Each airline has a<br />

different upgrade process, however,<br />

for the majority, passengers that<br />

reach the highest tier of the loyalty<br />

programme are more likely to be<br />

upgraded if the flight is overbooked.<br />

Seasoned travellers and members<br />

of such programmes will know that<br />

dressing appropriately, and checking<br />

in later, can sometimes provide a<br />

better opportunity for an upgrade,<br />

depending on availability. Travelling<br />

solo and without excessive luggage<br />

can also work in your favour, but<br />

nothing is ever guaranteed.<br />

If I want a room upgrade, is it best<br />

to negotiate before I arrive or once<br />

I’m there?<br />

Join hotel brand loyalty programmes<br />

to experience additional benefits<br />

during your stay including potential<br />

room upgrades. If you have a particular<br />

room or suite in mind, it’s always best<br />

to book in advance. You are less likely<br />

to be upgraded if you have booked<br />

Emirates airline Zero-gravity position in the Boeing 77 First Class Suites<br />

the lowest tier of room, or if you are<br />

looking to stay for a significant period<br />

of time.<br />

What are the key times of year<br />

to keep an eye open for the best<br />

holiday deals?<br />

Hotels and airlines can have sales at<br />

any time of year. In the lead up to<br />

public holidays, long weekends and<br />

school breaks, we will start to promote<br />

our best deals in advance so always<br />

look out for this. If you’re able to be<br />

flexible, we’d recommend booking<br />

your holiday at off-peak times or the<br />

days directly before or after these<br />

holidays commence.<br />

When I’m booking through a<br />

travel agent, are the prices I see<br />

negotiable?<br />

You have to be able to be flexible.<br />

Cheaper sale airfares are restricted to<br />

certain dates, for example. One of the<br />

best reasons to book via a travel agent<br />

is that they can help you to customise<br />

your trip to achieve the best price<br />

possible. If you are open to taking a<br />

travel agent’s advice, they have the<br />

knowledge and skills to find you the<br />

best prices depending on variables<br />

such as times, locations, flight duration,<br />

group versus smaller tours and the like,<br />

so can find the best solution for you.<br />

Can I get a better price for paying<br />

in full at time of booking?<br />

Some hotels and resorts offer the<br />

ability to pay a deposit and then the full<br />

amount at the time of departure. When<br />

accommodation or airlines have special<br />

rates on, you typically have to pay in<br />

full at the time of booking, but you<br />

can benefit from cheaper rates. Hotels<br />

can offer cheaper prices on a nonrefundable<br />

basis so again it all depends<br />

on how set you are on your chosen<br />

holiday or how flexible you want to be.<br />

22 worldtravellermagazine.com


Bundle of fun<br />

Luring thrill seekers and beach bunnies alike,<br />

discover this thrill-a-minute coastal retreat in Fujairah<br />

Nestled between the Hajar Mountains and the<br />

glistening Indian Ocean, the family-friendly<br />

Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah<br />

provides a scenic setting for a fun-filled weekend<br />

away. Currently, there are some great deals to be had<br />

on family staycations, with children under 12 staying<br />

for free in their parent's room, and rates inclusive of<br />

breakfast. Choose a sea-facing room for serene views.<br />

You can dine around at the resort's nine<br />

restaurants, each of which will take you on a culinary<br />

journey to a different part of the world. Highlights<br />

include the recently rejuvenated seafood restaurant<br />

Gonu, located on the beachfront, where you can taste<br />

the fresh catch of the day while lapping up the barefoot<br />

vibe. Alternatively, Views Restaurant lays out a suitsall<br />

themed buffet every evening.<br />

Thrill seekers will be pleased to know that this is the<br />

perfect place to unleash your adventurous side. Step<br />

up to the Al Aqah Challenge, the first ever obstacle<br />

rope course on the East Coast, where you can test<br />

your skills at ziplining, climbing and abseiling. Little<br />

ones can hit up the Le Méridien Family Club, where<br />

they can take part in fun activities under the watchful<br />

eye of childcare professionals. And when it's time to<br />

relax, you can drift into a deep and peaceful state of<br />

meditative bliss in Spa Al Aqah’s oasis of calm.<br />

To find out more, call +971 9 244 9000<br />

or visit marriott.com<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 23

24 worldtravellermagazine.com<br />



Reconnect with the leading ladies in your life on<br />

a pampering spa break, or at a girls' brunch, at<br />

selected Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts in Dubai


Strong, wise and ever-deserving of a<br />

pampering break away, women are in the<br />

spotlight this month with International<br />

Women’s Day falling on 8 <strong>March</strong>. To mark<br />

the occasion, Jumeirah has dreamt up a divine<br />

Women’s Escape package, which invites you<br />

on a revitalising stay and spa escape, with<br />

lots of added extras for females in the party.<br />

Whether you want to spend some quality<br />

time with your best friend, or embark on a<br />

multi-generational break away with your<br />

nearest and dearest, this relaxing holiday<br />

package is sure to bring you closer together.<br />

There are five hotels participating: Jumeirah<br />

Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah<br />

Al Qasr, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf and Jumeirah<br />

Mina A’Salam. Whichever property you choose<br />

to stay at, you’ll be treated to the same great<br />

benefits, including a welcome glass of bubbly<br />

with chocolate and strawberries for every<br />

female guest. With daily breakfast included,<br />

you'll be all set to take advantage of unlimited<br />

access to the two-kilometre-long private<br />

beach, Wild Wadi Waterpark, and state-of-<br />

Rise and shine to<br />

views of Burj Al Arab<br />

the-art facilities at Talise Fitness. Plus, female<br />

guests can wave goodbye to tension thanks to<br />

the 60-minute Swedish massage at the awardwinning<br />

Talise Spa*. And with late check-out<br />

until 2pm, you won’t be in a rush to leave.<br />

The offer is valid until 19 December <strong>2019</strong>,<br />

simply use the code JWOMEN upon booking.<br />

To find out more, visit<br />

jumeirah.com/womensescape<br />

Ladies Who<br />

Brunch<br />

Grab your girlfriends<br />

and head to the recently<br />

renovated Jumeirah Beach<br />

Hotel, where there's a<br />

brand-new bubbly brunch<br />

especially for women. Tuck<br />

into the buffet brimming with<br />

seafood, oysters, sushi and<br />

sashimi, before heading to<br />

the full roast lunch station<br />

for a traditional dinner with<br />

all the trimmings, or feasting<br />

on homemade dim sum,<br />

pizza and pasta. There’s also<br />

a gluten-free section and<br />

dedicated vegan kitchen<br />

serving dishes cooked to<br />

order, as well as healthy<br />

superfood juices.<br />

If you want to bring the<br />

kids along, they’ll have<br />

plenty to entertain them at<br />

the supervised children’s<br />

area. Even better, you can<br />

drop your other half at the<br />

Husband Creche in Kitchen<br />

Connection where they’ll be<br />

occupied with drinks on tap,<br />

delicious bites, a library of<br />

newspapers and magazines,<br />

and table football.<br />

Glitter make-up artists<br />

bring a festival vibe and<br />

there's a photobooth for<br />

snapping some take-home<br />

memories. Carry on the party<br />

by using your voucher for an<br />

additional drink or glass of<br />

fizz at Uptown Bar or Beach<br />

Lounge, enjoyed to sunset<br />

views of Burj Al Arab.<br />

Ladies Who Brunch takes<br />

place at Kitchen Connection,<br />

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, every<br />

Friday from 1-4pm. Dhs415 for<br />

the soft drink package, with a<br />

free upgrade to the bubbles<br />

package for ladies.<br />

* For up to two ladies per group, once per stay<br />

Wave goodbye to<br />

tension at Talise Spa<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 25

These pages:<br />

Dancers at the<br />

Rio Carnival<br />

26 worldtravellermagazine.com


Where to do<br />

SPRING<br />

Spring is in the air, the<br />

season of renewal, the<br />

perfect time to get<br />

away and recharge<br />

before the long hot<br />

summer strikes. We’ve<br />

got the lowdown on<br />

how to do it, any way<br />

you like it…<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 27

in the city<br />

New York<br />

The Big Apple’s weather<br />

can be extreme, with<br />

bone-chilling winters and<br />

scorching-hot summers,<br />

which means spring is<br />

the sweet spot. Catch<br />

the acclaimed Warhol<br />

retrospective at the Whitney<br />

Museum of American Art<br />

(until <strong>March</strong> 31), and explore<br />

the brand-new Hudson<br />

Yards neighbourhood,<br />

which this month opens<br />

its first shops, restaurants<br />

and cultural attractions<br />

on Manhattan’s west side.<br />

In May, the new Statue of<br />

Liberty Museum opens<br />

on Liberty Island, with<br />

multimedia displays and<br />

iconic artefacts including<br />

Lady Liberty’s original torch.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: The Edition<br />

has 273 sophisticated rooms<br />

– the best overlook the<br />

Empire State Building – and<br />

a Michelin-starred restaurant<br />

by Jason Atherton.<br />

Paris<br />

Paris is always a good idea,<br />

especially in springtime.<br />

As cherry blossoms and<br />

chestnuts start to bloom,<br />

make the most of the city’s<br />

glorious gardens and then<br />

park yourself at a pavement<br />

café to sip café crème<br />

and people-watch. After<br />

you’ve done the big-name<br />

sights, explore lesser-known<br />

locales such as the 11th<br />

arrondissement. Check out<br />

L’Atelier des Lumières – the<br />

city’s first digital museum of<br />

fine art – and refuel at the<br />

Michelin-starred Septime<br />

(reservations essential)<br />

or the seafood-focused<br />

Clamato next door.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: Near<br />

the Champs-Élysées, the<br />

40-room La Réserve is a<br />

fashion editor favourite<br />

with a luxurious spa<br />

and two-Michelin-star<br />

restaurant, Le Gabriel.<br />

Copenhagen<br />

As Copenhagen wakes<br />

from its winter hibernation,<br />

you’ll discover a city that’s<br />

equal parts Scandi cool and<br />

storybook charm. To get a<br />

feel for Denmark’s capital,<br />

take a canal boat tour past<br />

must-see sights including<br />

the Amalienborg Palace<br />

and Little Mermaid statue.<br />

But to experience the city<br />

like the locals do, hire a<br />

bike and whizz around on<br />

two wheels. Design fans<br />

should make a beeline<br />

for the Denmark Design<br />

Museum, while foodies<br />

can savour the seasonal<br />

seafood menu at Noma.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: Near the<br />

royal palace, Hotel Skt.<br />

Annae has 145 rooms in<br />

neutral tones, as well as a<br />

buzzy Italian restaurant.<br />

28 worldtravellermagazine.com


Amsterdam<br />

Home to gable-lined canals<br />

and treasure-packed<br />

museums, the Dutch<br />

capital is a popular city<br />

break destination yearround.<br />

Come springtime,<br />

Amsterdam bursts into<br />

bloom during tulip season,<br />

which can last until early<br />

May, while the annual King’s<br />

Day celebrations take place<br />

on April 27. Pack some<br />

orange threads and join the<br />

crowds for one of Europe’s<br />

biggest street parties, with<br />

live music and markets. Art<br />

lovers, meanwhile, should<br />

pre-book tickets online<br />

for fast-track entry to the<br />

world-famous Rijksmuseum<br />

and Van Gogh Museum.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: In the hip<br />

Noord neighbourhood, Sir<br />

Adam Hotel has 108 rooms,<br />

a gourmet burger joint and<br />

a fun rock n' roll vibe.<br />

Ljubljana<br />

It may be small in size, but<br />

Slovenia's charming capital<br />

makes a big impression.<br />

At this time of year, café<br />

tables start to spill onto<br />

the car-free streets of the<br />

Old Town, while locals stroll<br />

along the leafy banks of<br />

the Ljubljanica River which<br />

flows through the city. Take<br />

the funicular to the 16thcentury<br />

castle that hovers<br />

above the city, resplendent<br />

with Baroque architecture,<br />

then head to the Museum<br />

Quarter to browse the<br />

exhibitions at the Museum<br />

of Contemporary Art.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: In the<br />

Old Town, Vander has 20<br />

cool and contemporary<br />

rooms, along with a<br />

rooftop pool and trendy<br />

Slovenian restaurant.<br />

Rio de Janeiro<br />

Rio’s rainforest-meets-beach<br />

scenery and samba-fuelled<br />

spirit make it a bucket-list<br />

destination. If you don’t<br />

mind the crowds, visit the<br />

Marvellous City in <strong>March</strong> for<br />

Carnival, the biggest weeklong<br />

party in the world.<br />

Samba dancers parade<br />

in exotic costumes, while<br />

drum beats ring out from<br />

every corner of the city and<br />

revellers boogie at exuberant<br />

blocos (street parties). The<br />

post-party weather remains<br />

warm, so you can spend your<br />

days lazing on Copacabana<br />

beach, hiking up Sugarloaf<br />

Mountain, and exploring the<br />

city’s world-class museums,<br />

including the Oscar<br />

Niemeyer-designed Museum<br />

of Contemporary Art.<br />


upmarket Ipanema, the<br />

91-room Hotel Fasano<br />

features a mid-century<br />

aesthetic, rooftop infinity<br />

pool and contemporary<br />

seafood restaurant.<br />

Cherry blossoms<br />

in Kyoto, Japan<br />

Opposite: View from<br />

Central Park, New York<br />

This page, from top to<br />

bottom:Paris, Amsterdam<br />


SPRING #1<br />

During this time of the<br />

year, blush-hued posies<br />

plunge from the trees to<br />

make pools of pink on the<br />

normally spotless roads<br />

of Kyoto. Springtime in<br />

this city (once the capital<br />

of Japan) is synonymous<br />

with Hanami (flower<br />

viewing), the centuriesold<br />

tradition of enjoying<br />

the blooming cherry<br />

trees, resplendent in pink.<br />

Though Kyoto is the<br />

country's most popular<br />

destination for flowerwatchers,<br />

cherry trees<br />

blossom across Japan,<br />

starting in the south<br />

and moving northward.<br />

Yet the bloom is shortlived,<br />

typically lasting a<br />

just a couple of weeks.<br />

As such, the Japan<br />

Meteorological Agency<br />

issues an annual forecast<br />

to predict the dates that<br />

the buds will bloom. JT<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 29


of f-grid<br />

WHERE TO<br />


IN STYLE<br />

1On one remarkable<br />

island, where flocks<br />

of flamingos wade in<br />

a mangrove lagoon and<br />

a coalition of cheetahs<br />

roam the land, are three<br />

equally remarkable resorts<br />

comprising Anantara Sir Bani<br />

Yas Island. Each sets a slow<br />

pace you'll succumb to in an<br />

instant.<br />

2One of the most unique<br />

(and remote) resorts in<br />

the world, the multiaward-winning<br />

Amangiri<br />

neighbours the largest Native<br />

American reservation in the<br />

US, from where it blends<br />

into some 600 acres of<br />

raw beauty in Utah's 'red<br />

rock' landscape of canyons,<br />

mountains, rapids and desert.<br />

3<br />

A legendary resort<br />

hidden within the<br />

sweeping sand dunes<br />

of a wildlife rich conservation<br />

reserve, at Al Maha Desert<br />

Resort & Spa you can switch<br />

off beneath a nightly show<br />

of stars after a day spent<br />

watching the graceful Arabia<br />

oryx saunter passed your<br />

infinity pool. An easy escape<br />

from the bustling big city<br />

that never fails to enchant.<br />

4Backdropped by<br />

the <strong>World</strong> Heritagelisted<br />

Greater Blue<br />

Mountains, Emirates<br />

One&Only Wolgan Valley<br />

invites guests to explore their<br />

spectacular surrounds (on<br />

bike or horseback) which<br />

are alive with native animals,<br />

before seeing sunset from<br />

their soaking tub.<br />

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi<br />

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai<br />

Amangiri<br />

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley<br />

30 worldtravellermagazine.com


Explore Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection, a Marriott luxury lifestyle hotel<br />

located right in the heart of the world-famous Jumeirah Beach. An “exactly like nothing else” experience<br />

offers the best of both worlds for business and leisure travelers. The resort features 14 themed restaurants<br />

and bars, meeting venues and extensive recreation facilities with an immaculate private beach and spa.<br />

Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection<br />

Al Falea Street, Jumeirah Beach | Dubai, UAE | T. +971 4 399 5000 | F. +971 4 399 4547<br />



by the water<br />

The Maldives<br />

With white-sand beaches<br />

and balmy temperatures<br />

averaging 28.5°C yearround,<br />

the scattered isles<br />

of the Maldives make an<br />

idyllic getaway at any time<br />

of year. But the spring<br />

shoulder season brings<br />

fewer crowds (bar the<br />

Easter break, of course)<br />

so you’ll have no trouble<br />

finding a secluded patch of<br />

sand to work on your tan.<br />

Conditions are also perfect<br />

for snorkelling and diving<br />

among coral reefs, while<br />

whale shark sightings are<br />

all but guaranteed in<br />

the South Ari Atoll.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: On a<br />

powdery, postage-stamp<br />

sized island, JA Manafaru<br />

packs in idyllic experiences<br />

and fine dining to boot.<br />

Bali<br />

As the rainy season comes<br />

to an end and the mercury<br />

stays high, spring is a great<br />

time to visit Bali. Head to<br />

the south coast for palmfringed<br />

beaches, pumping<br />

surf breaks and hip beach<br />

clubs, then find your zen in<br />

the lush highlands of Ubud,<br />

home to wellness retreats,<br />

terraced rice fields and Tomb<br />

Raider-style temples. This<br />

month, join thousands of<br />

yogis from across the globe<br />

for workshops and world<br />

music at Ubud’s annual Bali<br />

Spirit Festival (<strong>March</strong> 24-31).<br />

WHERE TO STAY: Overlooking<br />

Echo Beach in the island's<br />

south, the Como Uma<br />

Canggu resort boasts a<br />

swanky spa, buzzing beach<br />

club and huge lagoon pool.<br />

Udaipur<br />

On the shores of Lake<br />

Pichola, Rajasthan’s most<br />

romantic city seduces<br />

travellers with its magnificent<br />

palaces, whitewashed havelis<br />

and maze of tightly winding<br />

streets. Summer is scorching,<br />

but low season brings hot<br />

32 worldtravellermagazine.com

Opposite: JA Manafaru<br />

This page, from top to<br />

bottom: COMO Uma Canggu;<br />

Taj Lake Palace<br />

weather and fewer crowds,<br />

so you can explore the sights<br />

at your own pace. Cruise the<br />

shimmering lake, admire the<br />

peacock mosaics at the City<br />

Palace, and catch a nightly<br />

screening at a rooftop café<br />

of James Bond’s Octopussy,<br />

filmed here in the eighties.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: With 83<br />

opulent rooms and roundthe-clock<br />

butlers, Taj Lake<br />

Palace is an all-white marble<br />

dream that seemingly<br />

floats on the lake.<br />

Ibiza<br />

Before the midsummer<br />

madness ensues, the White<br />

Island feels like a tranquil<br />

slice of paradise. With clear<br />

skies and temperatures<br />

nudging 20°C in April and<br />

May, Ibiza’s pine-clad hills<br />

are perfect for hiking and<br />

mountain biking – although<br />

it's tempting to spend your<br />

days lazing on crowd-free<br />

beaches and swimming in<br />

remote rocky coves. Dine<br />

among locals in quaint<br />

villages such as Santa<br />

Gertrudis and Es Cubells, and<br />

shop for unique handicrafts<br />

in arty Sant Carles de Peralta<br />

and Sant Rafel de sa Creu.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: In a<br />

19th-century farmhouse<br />

near Santa Gertrudis, the<br />

boutique Cas Gasi has just<br />

12 rooms, plus a spa, yoga<br />

deck and outdoor pool.<br />

Ohrid<br />

In the newly named Republic<br />

of North Macedonia, this<br />

picturesque town on the<br />

edge of Lake Ohrid is the<br />

country’s most popular<br />

tourist destination.<br />

Outside of July and August,<br />

Ohrid is still, somehow,<br />

an undiscovered idyll<br />

of cobblestone streets,<br />

medieaval buildings and<br />

lakeside cafés. Wander<br />

around the Old Town,<br />

sunbathe at rocky beaches<br />

and visit the Fortress of<br />

Tsar Samoil for the best<br />

lake views. Just out of town,<br />

Galicica National Park,<br />

situated on Mount Galicica,<br />

is a biodiversity hotspot<br />

dotted with hiking trails.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: With<br />

gorgeous lake views, the<br />

four-star Park Lakeside<br />

Hotel has an outdoor<br />

pool and 49 modern<br />

rooms and apartments.<br />

Sydney<br />

<strong>March</strong> may signal the start<br />

of spring in the northern<br />

hemisphere, but it’s autumn<br />

Down Under. Daytime<br />

temperatures hover in the<br />

low 20s and the harbour<br />

city’s relaxed outdoors<br />

lifestyle is still in full swing.<br />

Stroll along the spectacular<br />

clifftop coastal trail from<br />

Bondi to Bronte – keep your<br />

eyes peeled for migrating<br />

humpbacks in May – and<br />

pack your glad rags for the<br />

Sydney Autumn Racing<br />

Carnival, the city’s biggest<br />

horse-racing festival held<br />

over six weeks in <strong>March</strong><br />

and April.<br />

WHERE TO STAY: The<br />

200-room QT Sydney has<br />

highly Instagrammable<br />

interiors and a so-called<br />

Director of Chaos to help<br />

craft unique experiences.<br />


SPRING #2<br />

Whale feeding at<br />

Glacier Bay, Alaska<br />

During the spring,<br />

humpback whales travel<br />

to the 5,000-squarekilometre<br />

Glacier Bay<br />

National Park, on the<br />

southern tip of Alaska.<br />

And they do so for one<br />

reason; food. Back from<br />

their fast from winter<br />

season, these colossal<br />

mammals will feed here<br />

for the entire summer to<br />

fill their empty stomachs.<br />

Serving as a humpback<br />

whale sanctuary, the<br />

mammals benefit from<br />

Glacier Bay's strict<br />

protection, which has<br />

resulted in a steady rise<br />

in the number of whales<br />

spotted every year. Along<br />

with the chance to see<br />

these serene mammals<br />

up close, springtime at<br />

Glacier Bay bestows<br />

spectacular scenery<br />

(most of the snow has<br />

melted, allowing the<br />

green of the mountains<br />

to peek through) and<br />

a chance to see the<br />

aurora borealis. JT<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 33


on the move<br />


IN NEED OF<br />


Venice Simplon-Orient-Express<br />

1The alien-like landscape<br />

of Turkey's Cappadocia<br />

region is among the<br />

world's most dramatic - all<br />

distinctive cone-shaped<br />

rock formations lovingly<br />

christened 'fairy chimneys'<br />

and Bronze-age homes<br />

carved into cave walls. For<br />

a view of it that is equally<br />

wondrous, book a balloon<br />

ride, best taken as the sun<br />

rises to illuminate all below.<br />

2<br />

Nothing<br />

represents the<br />

style and glamour of<br />

a bygone era of travel<br />

quite like a train. And no train<br />

does it quite like the Venice<br />

Simplon-Orient-Express,<br />

which made its first journey<br />

from Paris to Venice back<br />

in 1883. You can take the<br />

same trip in April, departing<br />

springtime Paris and arriving<br />

next day in the City of Water.<br />

3<br />

Take<br />

the strain out<br />

of travel this season<br />

by cruising your way<br />

across the Mediterranean<br />

aboard the flagship Costa<br />

Diadema. You'll fly in for a<br />

night in Barcelona (spend<br />

it dining at the restaurant<br />

Disfrutar) before seven nights<br />

at sea and stop-offs in the<br />

likes of Civitavecchia, your<br />

gateway to Rome and its<br />

myriad ancient wonders.<br />

4<br />

Swathes<br />

of bright and<br />

blooming wildflowers<br />

(and a merciful lack of<br />

fellow visitors) make driving<br />

the Amalfi Coast an absolute<br />

joy in spring, winding around<br />

cliff-hugging roads that<br />

bestow astonishing views.<br />

Gaudi's Casa Batlló in Barcelona<br />

Balloons over Cappadocia<br />

Amalfi Coast<br />

34 worldtravellermagazine.com

in the country<br />

Gidleigh Park, England<br />

Hidden in a peaceful valley<br />

on the edge of Dartmoor<br />

National Park in Devon, this<br />

postcard-perfect country<br />

house hotel features Tudorstyle<br />

architecture and classic<br />

English interiors (antique<br />

furniture, wood panelling,<br />

stone fireplaces). The 24<br />

individually-decorated<br />

rooms come with giant<br />

marshmallow beds and<br />

roll-top baths, while a<br />

two-bedroom thatchedroof<br />

cottage overlooks<br />

the croquet lawn. There’s<br />

a tennis court, bowling<br />

green and 18-hole putting<br />

course, but most guests<br />

come here for the Michelinstarred<br />

restaurant. The menu<br />

features traditional, pareddown<br />

British dishes, such<br />

as salt-aged beef with<br />

potato terrine and<br />

cauliflower purée, with<br />

seasonal ingredients often<br />

sourced from the hotel’s<br />

own vegetable garden.<br />

Montali Country<br />

House, Italy<br />

High on a hilltop in<br />

Umbria with views of<br />

Lake Trasimeno, Montali<br />

is a rustic country house<br />

hotel with a difference:<br />

Brazilian-born chef Malu<br />

Musacchio serves purely<br />

vegetarian cuisine. Sublime<br />

dishes such as ravioli with<br />

truffle and saffron risotto<br />

will convert even the most<br />

devout meat-eater, while soft<br />

balls of mozzarella drizzled<br />

with olive oil equals Italian<br />

simplicity at its best. Nestled<br />

among an olive grove, the<br />

converted farmhouse has<br />

nine comfortable rooms<br />

with traditional stone walls<br />

and tiled floors. Days are<br />

best spent lazing by the<br />

sun-dappled pool, with<br />

occasional sorties to nearby<br />

Perugia, Assisi and Siena.<br />

Villa La Coste, France<br />

Surrounded by 600 acres<br />

of rolling vineyards, pine<br />

forests and lavender fields in<br />

Provence, this contemporary<br />

hotel features artworks by<br />

the likes of Damien Hirst<br />

and Ai Weiwei. There are<br />

28 villa-style suites with<br />

all-white interiors, cleanlined<br />

furniture and marble<br />

bathrooms; 10 come with<br />

private pools, while all have<br />

muslin-draped four-poster<br />

beds and private terraces<br />

offering bucolic valley views.<br />

Once you’ve settled in, head<br />

to the sleek spa for salt scrub<br />

exfoliations, mud massages<br />

and frankincense facials.<br />

All three restaurants serve<br />

organic produce from the<br />

36 worldtravellermagazine.com


Opposite: Gidleigh Park<br />

This page, from top to<br />

bottom: Four Seasons Resort<br />

Chiang Mai; Santani Wellness<br />

Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka<br />

garden, but the highlight is<br />

the Argentinian restaurant by<br />

star chef Francis Mallman.<br />

Four Seasons Resort<br />

Chiang Mai, Thailand<br />

For those who prefer lush<br />

countryside and elephant<br />

sanctuaries to swaying palm<br />

trees and coral reefs, this<br />

tranquil resort in northern<br />

Thailand ticks all the boxes.<br />

Dotted among the rice fields<br />

are 64 pitched-roof pavilions<br />

and 12 pool villas, along with<br />

all the five-star facilities<br />

you’d expect, including a<br />

nirvana-inducing spa and<br />

resident yogi. The signature<br />

restaurant serves lesserknown<br />

local dishes such as<br />

crispy catfish with tangerine,<br />

while the acclaimed<br />

cooking school is a must<br />

for gourmands. But what<br />

really sets this resort apart<br />

are the individually-tailored<br />

experiences, from planting<br />

rice with local farmers to art<br />

classes with a watercolourist.<br />

Santani Wellness Resort<br />

& Spa, Sri Lanka<br />

On a former tea plantation<br />

near Kandy, Santani is Sri<br />

Lanka’s first dedicated<br />

wellness resort. The 20<br />

hillside villas are deliberately<br />

minimalist – think polished<br />

concrete floors, floor-toceiling<br />

windows and teak<br />

beds draped in mosquito<br />

netting – to promote rest<br />

and relaxation. There’s a<br />

similarly stripped-back<br />

aesthetic in the spa, with<br />

a thermal salt pool, cedarwood<br />

sauna and open-air<br />

treatment rooms. There’s<br />

an Ayurvedic doctor on<br />

hand to diagnose your<br />

dosha, daily yoga, and<br />

meditation classes, plus<br />

hiking trails through lush rice<br />

fields. The dress code for<br />

dinner is ‘barefoot’ and the<br />

customised cuisine – ranging<br />

from cleansing to ketogenic<br />

– is healthy and delicious.<br />

Castell Son<br />

Claret, Spain<br />

Set on a rambling private<br />

estate in the foothills of the<br />

Tramuntana Mountains,<br />

Castell Son Claret is<br />

Mallorca’s most exceptional<br />

hideaway. There are just<br />

38 neutral-hued rooms<br />

spread throughout the<br />

18th-century manor house<br />

and former stables; some<br />

boast private pools and<br />

all have sun-trap terraces.<br />

Active travellers can fill<br />

their days with tennis and<br />

hiking, while sybarites will<br />

love the blue-tiled pool<br />

and subterranean spa.<br />

Meanwhile, Zaranda is the<br />

only the two-star Michelin<br />

restaurant in the Balearics.<br />


SPRING #3<br />

Damask roses on<br />

Al Jabal Al Akhdar<br />

Peaking at 2,500 metres<br />

above sea level, Oman's<br />

Al Jabal Al Akhdar<br />

(commonly known as<br />

Green Mountain) is where<br />

one of the world’s oldest<br />

roses adds colour to<br />

rugged mountain terrain.<br />

Indeed, from the end<br />

of <strong>March</strong> through April,<br />

scores of the dusty pink<br />

damask roses mask<br />

the mountain range,<br />

infusing the air with<br />

their fragrance. Stay<br />

at Anantara Al Jabal<br />

Akhdar Resort at this<br />

time of year and you can<br />

fully immerse yourself in<br />

this seasonal highlight<br />

by meeting the local<br />

families who continue the<br />

centuries-old tradition of<br />

making rose water from<br />

the damask bounty. JT<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 37


Full of promise<br />

For a quintessential Arabian desert adventure, look no further than this luxurious<br />

resort nestled deep within Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter<br />

Grains of golden sand dance across<br />

the dunes, arabesque music fills<br />

the air and the flickering flames<br />

of the campfire lend a magical glow to the<br />

Bedouin style dinner setting. What may<br />

sound like an Arabian dream is delivered on<br />

a golden platter to travellers who journey to<br />

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara,<br />

a resort that’s sure to earn a place on your<br />

wish list due to its unique blend of Arabian<br />

heritage, culture and luxury.<br />

Located in the majestic Empty Quarter<br />

(the largest uninterrupted sand mass in the<br />

world), it feels a million miles away from<br />

the capital, yet is just a two-hour drive from<br />

Abu Dhabi’s Western region (Al Gharbia).<br />

If you’re feeling flash, however, you can zip<br />

there via helicopter in 50 minutes flat.<br />

Emerging like a mirage amid the dunes,<br />

this fortress-like resort offers relaxation and<br />

adventure in equal measure. Rooms feature<br />

hand-crafted furnishings made by local<br />

artisans that evoke the spirit of Bedouin<br />

culture. Stunning desert views come as<br />

standard, so you feel fully immersed in your<br />

surroundings at all times.<br />

There’s so much more to do than gaze<br />

at the shifting sands, however, thanks to<br />

the extensive line-up of experiences that<br />

make the most of the landscape’s rugged<br />

beauty. From traversing the dunes atop<br />

a camel to zooming over the sand in a<br />

four-wheel drive and learning more about<br />

the region’s fascinating heritage during<br />

the falcon and saluki show, your passion<br />

for adventure will be fired up here. There’s<br />

ample opportunity to try something new,<br />

from off-roading at your own pace on a fat<br />

bike to renting a sandboard (it's Arabia’s<br />

answer to snowboarding), and taking the<br />

kids on an educational walk to learn more<br />

about local fauna.<br />

After a day of activity, Anantara Spa calls<br />

you to unwind with a soothing treatment.<br />

A highlight is the Moroccan hammam,<br />

although the desert fusion massage<br />

combining hot stone and Liwa sand massage<br />

techniques is something out of the ordinary.<br />

Dining against a desert backdrop never<br />

gets old. For the most Instagrammable<br />

views, head to The Sunset Lounge for<br />

drinks. Next, make your way to Al Falaj<br />

for a traditional dining experience. Get<br />

comfortable on the floor cushions and let<br />

the hypnotic sound of the qanun unwind<br />

the mind as you tuck into delicious Middle<br />

Eastern grills under a blanket of stars.<br />

To find out more, call +971 2 886 2088<br />

or visit anantara.com<br />

38 worldtravellermagazine.com

Deluxe Twin Room with balcony<br />

Al Falaj restaurant<br />

Villa with private pool<br />

Moroccan hammam<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 39



Make the most of the season with a holiday<br />

package to Europe. With our city break<br />

offers, experience the delights of<br />

Madrid, Milan, Geneva, Vienna, Paris<br />

or London. Take in the culture,<br />

shop for the latest fashion or<br />

indulge in some of the<br />

world’s best cuisine.<br />

Book at dnatatravel.com<br />

call 800 DNATA (36282) or<br />

speak to us in-store<br />

Download our app<br />

| Follow us on


Postcards<br />

Stories from journeys<br />

far and wide<br />

TOKYO p42<br />

SEYCHELLES p48<br />

Constance Ephelia, Mahé, Seychelles<br />

CANADA p54<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 41

TOKYO<br />

The rush of Tokyo is bewitching, but often<br />

bewildering. When you hit overload, retreat to<br />

its quiet corners, says former resident Alicia<br />

Miller. Then you’ll see the city like a local:<br />

electric and serene, in equal measure<br />

42 worldtravellermagazine.com

LAOS<br />

These pages, from left:<br />

All quiet as a lone<br />

taxi crosses the Ginza<br />

intersection: the sky-high<br />

spa at Aman Tokyo<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 43

n the shadows the whitecloaked<br />

master works<br />

slowly, rhythmically –<br />

painstakingly executing<br />

his ritual with reverence.<br />

His tools are basic, but no<br />

matter. He has done it all<br />

before, a thousand times<br />

over, cloistered in this tiny,<br />

dimly lit room — creamwalled,<br />

fringed in polished wood, bare,<br />

but not unfriendly. Seated in a semicircle<br />

around his workspace is a hushed<br />

audience of eight — myself included.<br />

Entranced, we feel like intruders on<br />

his sacred task. No-one dares disturb<br />

Gen Yamamoto as he toils. After 10<br />

minutes of tap-tap-tapping and swishswish-swishing<br />

in the darkness, he’s<br />

ready. He reaches across the gleaming<br />

wooden bar and presents me with the<br />

precious fruit of his labour: a juicy pear<br />

cocktail. It’s a taste of nature’s simplicity<br />

in this manic, modern megacity.<br />

In Tokyo, many things are not what<br />

they seem. Contradictions are rife: the<br />

sky-scraping, technicolour tangle of the<br />

transport-hub Shinjuku is futuristic —<br />

with robot-themed eateries and lavish<br />

department stores — yet locals prefer<br />

to flock to old-school, cash-only ramen<br />

joints in ramshackle alleyways. Service<br />

in shops is endlessly polite, yet there’s<br />

nothing courteous about the metro:<br />

no sharp elbow on the planet is more<br />

eviscerating than the one served up on<br />

the Yamanote Line come rush hour.<br />

Most contradictory of all is that,<br />

for all the city’s chaotic, unrelenting<br />

backdrop of swallow-you-whole neon<br />

glitz, thronging masses and brash<br />

consumerism, you can find serenity. And<br />

in the most unexpected of places. It is the<br />

clash of rampant and placid that makes<br />

Tokyo, well, Tokyo. Home to more than<br />

13 million people, to the uninitiated the<br />

city is an uncharted ocean, a mercurial<br />

monolith. But dig deeper, and you’ll<br />

find an ancient, sedate side waiting to<br />

be discovered. Escaping the crowds is<br />

easy, if you know where to look — and<br />

necessary, I realised on this return<br />

visit, in order to preserve your sanity.<br />

I lived in Tokyo during my party-loving<br />

early 20s and I couldn’t get enough of its<br />

flashy scene. Returning 10 years later,<br />

it’s a different story: I found myself<br />

overwhelmed by its brash vastness.<br />

These pages, clockwise<br />

from above: Women wearing<br />

kimonos walk through lit paper<br />

lanterns at Yasukuni Shrine;<br />

Mount Fuji backdrops the<br />

Tokyo skyline; a traditional<br />

tiny restaurant in 'memory<br />

lane'; street art in electronics<br />

shopping district Akihabara<br />

44 worldtravellermagazine.com

TOKYO<br />

‘<br />








’<br />

On my first morning, the crush of<br />

Shibuya, the trendy shopping district,<br />

left me breathless. At the famed Shibuya<br />

crossing, the illuminated, advert-flooded<br />

intersection — Piccadilly Circus on<br />

steroids — crowds scurried like ants<br />

across zebra crossings. Every direction<br />

provided a fresh assault: hole-in-thewall<br />

katsu curry bars, their plastic food<br />

displays pulling weary-eyed tourists<br />

into dingy basements; CD emporiums<br />

pumping out syrupy J-pop tunes; queues<br />

snaking from $2 sushi joints; purplehaired<br />

girls chattering outside malls.<br />

Of course, in Tokyo, the gaudy chaos<br />

is a ‘sight’ in itself — so, despite the<br />

hectic scene, I progressed. Rubbing the<br />

jet lag from my eyes, I wove through the<br />

thicket, heading north past lanes lined<br />

with shoe shops and towering homeware<br />

stores. I passed through the vintage<br />

boutiques of rammed, pedestrianised<br />

Cat Street; I perused the bizarre anime<br />

merchandise at bewildering megashop<br />

Kiddy Land. Before long I was<br />

in Harajuku, Tokyo’s teen-fashion<br />

epicentre, and bravely turned left onto<br />

Takeshita Street. Whatever madness<br />

had come before, it had nothing on this:<br />

hundreds, no thousands, of kids, a tidal<br />

wave rushing into discount sunglasses<br />

shops and out of cat cafés. Music was<br />

blaring from every direction; cloudlike<br />

puffs of rainbow cotton candy and<br />

bags of chocolate-smothered crisps<br />

were passed around by the dozen.<br />

And then, as if it wasn’t squeezy<br />

enough, along came a matsuri – a<br />

traditional Japanese festival procession.<br />

Where men and women in traditional<br />

happi coats bounced a golden shrine<br />

through the crowd, chanting excitedly.<br />

Once I reached the end of the street —<br />

it was just 400m, but it took more than<br />

an hour — I siphoned myself off from<br />

the human tide. I could have carried<br />

on with the flow, bound for the famed<br />

Meiji shrine, a grand series of wooden<br />

buildings in a sprawling nearby park.<br />

But experience told me that today — a<br />

Saturday — any sliver of tranquillity<br />

would be shattered by camera-clicking<br />

hordes and ooh-aahing tourists. I wasn’t<br />

22 anymore, and rather than more<br />

insanity, what I needed was a break.<br />

I fixed a quick plan: after a 20-minute<br />

zip on the metro, I stepped out from<br />

Gokokuji station, in central Tokyo’s<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 45

TOKYO<br />

northwest. I strode towards the 17thcentury<br />

Gokoku-ji building, directly<br />

ahead, passed under its grand red gate<br />

and was plunged into another world.<br />

Apart from a handful of grey-haired<br />

local ladies shuffling up the stone steps,<br />

there was no-one around. I had visited<br />

this place a decade before, at the time<br />

thinking the low-key vibe was rather<br />

dull. But now, I seized the silence,<br />

wandering past statues and vast wooden<br />

structures that had survived WWII<br />

bombings, padding through a room<br />

festooned in ornate gold decorations, and<br />

switching off to the rustle of a gnarled<br />

pine tree. Scores of cats prowled eerily<br />

around gravestones, my only company<br />

until a monk momentarily darted<br />

by, his robes flicking behind him.<br />

The whole serene scene was a different<br />

Tokyo, one I could now fully appreciate<br />

— and, impatient as I was to soak it up,<br />

it was a full, contemplative hour before,<br />

placidly, I stumbled out. I was a relative<br />

skip from crazy Shibuya — but there<br />

were no skyscrapers, few shops and<br />

hardly any people. Instead, wandering<br />

south towards the undulating Kanda<br />

River, I saw little houses framed with<br />

flower pots, and tiny noodle bars with<br />

makeshift signs. Had it not been for the<br />

luminous vending machines glimmering<br />

at every corner, I would have thought<br />

I’d gone back in time. Eventually, a<br />

thin alley led me past a clutch of art<br />

museums, before spitting me out on the<br />

leafy riverfront walkway. And there, cut<br />

from a creamy wall, was a tile-roofed<br />

entranceway to Chinzanso Garden.<br />

I’d forgotten how verdant Tokyo<br />

can be. From Imperial Palace parks<br />

to regal Hamarikyu gardens, little<br />

landscaped patchworks of green provide<br />

figurativeand literal breaths of fresh<br />

air among the cityscape’s suffocating<br />

intensity. Inside Chinzanso, among<br />

twisted trees and winding paths, I<br />

discovered craggy stone carvings, a<br />

pond fed by tinkling waterfalls, red<br />

tori shrine gates with a string of<br />

prayer notes fluttering in the breeze.<br />

Glamorous Japanese newlyweds,<br />

taking a pause from their wedding<br />

festivities in the nearby hotel, posed for<br />

pictures in front of blooms. I climbed<br />

‘<br />

LITTLE<br />








’<br />

uphill to a three-storey wooden pagoda,<br />

a creaky, half-century-old witness to the<br />

city’s transformation. In the distance<br />

rose a contrasting clutch of new buildings<br />

— the frenetic concrete city pushing<br />

against this lush green pocket. For now,<br />

at least, it couldn’t quite reach us.<br />

As evening descends in Tokyo, you feel<br />

the city revving up — doubling its electric<br />

energy to fever pitch. Below the rainbow<br />

signs blinking in the darkness, waves of<br />

identikit office workers rush from office<br />

to bar in a messy jumble; at 6pm, the<br />

city collectively loosens its tie in smoky<br />

yakitori grill bars. But up in my hotel, the<br />

Aman Tokyo, I felt none of it. It was my<br />

second day, and I had spent it huddled<br />

under an umbrella, exploring clogged<br />

Ginza — the ritzy designer-shopping<br />

area by Tokyo station. It was exhaustingly<br />

busy, especially in the rain; but a short<br />

walk and a zippy, 34-floor elevator ride<br />

had catapulted me far above the insanity.<br />

Tokyo is famous for its soaring<br />

buildings, but they do more than provide<br />

much-needed extra living space —<br />

they’re veritable floating oases above<br />

the city’s earthly rush. Up here, seen<br />

from the hotel spa, the buzzing traffic<br />

looked like toy models, the tower-block<br />

lights like flickering stars. In Aman’s<br />

dark-slate infinity pool in the sky,<br />

lined with floor-to-ceiling windows, I<br />

could paddle in peace, recouping my<br />

energy. I could laze on fluffy loungers<br />

and sip nutty, roasted hojicha tea,<br />

watching the mesmerising show unfold<br />

below. It was so very peaceful... Dare<br />

I say, after a while, a tad too peaceful.<br />

Because, however much Ginza’s earlier<br />

crowds had tired me out, I didn’t feel<br />

quite ready to hole up for the night.<br />

46 worldtravellermagazine.com

TOKYO<br />

Credit: Alicia Miller/The Sunday Times Travel Magazine/News Licensing<br />

Maybe it was just fond old memories<br />

beckoning me to play. In any case, the<br />

pull of the Tokyo night felt too strong.<br />

I soon found myself emerging from<br />

Akihabara station, in the city’s weird,<br />

wonderful electronics district. Lights<br />

throbbed; adverts for gaming arcades<br />

covered every facade. Electronics megashops<br />

such as Bic Camera — selling<br />

everything from cult action figures to<br />

rice cookers — encircled the station;<br />

‘maid’ cafés jostled with warren-like DVD<br />

shops. I stepped into quirky, only-in-<br />

Japan superstore Don Quijote in search<br />

of souvenirs. It was packed. I persevered<br />

through endless floors briming with fake<br />

horse heads and peculiar beauty<br />

products, emerging with a cutprice<br />

haul of my favourite Japanese<br />

sweets and facial sheet masks<br />

infused with green tea.<br />

The clock hands were inching towards<br />

11pm — these days my usual bedtime<br />

— but the frenzied mob spurred me<br />

onwards. Tokyo’s not ready to call it a<br />

night, so why should I? I elbowed my<br />

way through the crowds to a karaoke<br />

bar, where I met an old Japanese friend<br />

for a nostalgic singalong. As we were<br />

guided to our private room, the din from<br />

outside became increasingly muffled.<br />

Curling up in our cosy, cushy space —<br />

that Tokyo chaotic-calm contradiction<br />

again — we ordered pizzas. Sheltered<br />

from the mayhem outside, microphones<br />

in hand, song catalogues in our laps,<br />

we drank and sang dramatic, cheesy<br />

power ballads — Bonnie Tyler, Bryan<br />

Adams, you name it — until we were<br />

hoarse, and very late became very early.<br />

Over the next two days, further<br />

glimmers of my twentysomething self<br />

were teased out by Tokyo’s frenetic<br />

energy — I was falling back in love.<br />

But whenever my stamina wavered, a<br />

moment of peace was always waiting.<br />

Behind crowd-crammed Senso-ji<br />

temple, a stop on every tourist’s hit list, I<br />

discovered sleepy shopping arcades with<br />

kitchenware shops and old-school hotpot<br />

eateries. After braving frantic Odaiba,<br />

a Disneyesque mallscape with a replica<br />

of the Statue of Liberty, I caught my<br />

breath on a relaxed riverboat ride. On my<br />

final night, I booked myself into a swish<br />

restaurant, Sushi Kokoro. After a busy<br />

day museum-hopping, tranquillity here<br />

was practically guaranteed: intimate<br />

This page: Garden Lounge<br />

at Aman Tokyo<br />

omakase (chef’s choice) sushi spots such<br />

as this are famous for being respectfully<br />

hushed, as diners watch chefs prepare<br />

artful courses in awed silence.<br />

At 7pm, I pushed open the door and<br />

my chef-host, Oba-san, welcomed me<br />

with a polite smile. I joined seven other<br />

guests — together we filled the counter<br />

restaurant — and began the noiseless<br />

gourmet parade. We greeted a goblet<br />

of silky salmon roe with silent nods<br />

of approval. A blushing pink prawn<br />

was met with a shy ‘arigato’ (thank<br />

you). But the drinks were flowing, and<br />

somewhere between the gleaming<br />

silver mackerel and the creamy sea<br />

urchin, a Japanese salaryman next<br />

to me turned, practising his English<br />

with a simple ‘Where are you from?’<br />

A switch had been flipped, and the<br />

raucous descent began. Soon, all nine<br />

of us — Oba-san included — were<br />

doubled-up with giggles, wolfing down<br />

nigiri with cries of delight. Group<br />

photos were snapped, email addresses<br />

were swapped, and as we finished<br />

our meal with a simple flourish —<br />

a handful of sweet grapes — we<br />

decided to carry down the road. As we<br />

tottered out of the restaurant, Tokyo<br />

was, for once, cloaked in midnight<br />

silence. But only for a moment.<br />

Because that rare, sleepy stillness<br />

was suddenly shattered — by the<br />

sound of my own crackling laughter.<br />

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call<br />

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 47


Paradise doesn’t have to be deathly dull.<br />

Alongside the Seychelles’ perfect beaches,<br />

Ed Grenby finds giant tortoises, edible bats<br />

and a local party scene<br />

48 worldtravellermagazine.com

These pages: Four Seasons<br />

Resort Seychelles at<br />

Desroches Island<br />


I’m pretty sure George & Amal<br />

— headed to the same tiny<br />

Seychellois island as me —<br />

didn’t do it this way, aboard<br />

a ferry where holidaymakers<br />

and commuters and cargo<br />

share deckspace (as well as<br />

sick bags). But more fool the<br />

Clooneys and their helicopters,<br />

because this was exactly why<br />

I’d come to the Seychelles.<br />

True, I could live without the<br />

nauseous shipmates, but hanging out<br />

with islanders? Gawping gobsmacked<br />

at vast green mountains? Ambushing<br />

my tastebuds with crazy Creole cuisine?<br />

These — not to mention the humming<br />

towns and fascinatingly weird plant<br />

and animal life — were the reasons<br />

I’d given Mauritius and the Maldives a<br />

miss this year and dropped in on their<br />

Indian Ocean neighbours instead.<br />

See, the Seychelles has all the<br />

screensaver good looks and endlessly<br />

exquisite sandy shores of its brochure<br />

rivals, but with more. While the Maldives<br />

has nothing but pancake-flat microislets<br />

staffed by international automata,<br />

with little to do but stare at the sea or<br />

argue with your loved one, the Seychelles<br />

archipelago is a beach paradise with<br />

an actual country attached. (The main<br />

landmass is Mahé, and there’s 114 more<br />

once you’re done with that one.)<br />

Previously, the price you paid for all<br />

that was universally indifferent, shoulder<br />

shrugging service. But a bunch of new<br />

hotel openings has taken the pain<br />

out of paradise. And, for the moment<br />

at least, it’s still thrillingly exotic.<br />

Take my first stop, the Four Seasons<br />

resort on Desroches Island, a half-hour’s<br />

flight from Mahé. Here, instead of some<br />

desultory strip of sand and an ersatz<br />

‘village’ on stilts, you get a proper island:<br />

14km of fringing beach wound like<br />

wrapping paper around chunks of virgin<br />

forest, a village of traditional Tobleroneshaped<br />

Creole houses, a settler cemetery,<br />

a serious conservation centre — and,<br />

of course, a nice high-end hotel. Here,<br />

between massages performed with a<br />

giant ostrich egg (now that could have<br />

gone wrong in less expert hands) and<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 49


sipping drinks perched halfway up a<br />

lighthouse, I loaded up the basket of<br />

my villa’s bicycle with a picnic of limezest-dusted<br />

smoked salmon bagels<br />

from the deli and set off to explore.<br />

With secluded bays and vibrant<br />

snorkel spots mapped out all round<br />

the island, it wasn’t hard to find my<br />

own perfect stretch of driftwoodstrewn<br />

sand. And unlike those slightly<br />

self-conscious, private sandbank<br />

experiences in the Maldives, this<br />

was real privacy: no conveyor belt of<br />

couples queueing up for my spot, no<br />

surreptitious staff hovering behind me.<br />

Even better, the Seychelles does<br />

shade: instead of a spindly palm or two,<br />

gorgeous thick jade-green jungle has<br />

your back here. Fragrant lantern trees,<br />

flowering dogwoods, native mulberry,<br />

velvetseed.... Then there are the beasts<br />

(Sundberg’s day gecko, amberwing<br />

emperor dragonfly, marbled mantis) and<br />

the birds (wading whimbrel, tropical<br />

shearwater, firetruck-red fody), not to<br />

mention the prehistoric monsters.<br />

Roaming free-range across<br />

Desroches’s interior are 160-odd<br />

giant tortoises: cute as cubs, but<br />

disconcertingly, agelessly primordial,<br />

too, as if Jim Henson got the Jurassic<br />

Park gig. I’m introduced to George, 120<br />

years old and the size of a go-kart, but<br />

with the khaki colouring and armourplating<br />

and (once he sees food) slow,<br />

crushing, single-minded unstoppability<br />

of a tank. He was wrinkly and twinkly<br />

and genial-looking, but there was<br />

something in the coolly reptilian eyes of<br />

his companion, Naughty Lulu, that made<br />

me want to get out of her way before I<br />

found out how she came by the name.<br />

The island’s size comes in handy come<br />

nightfall, as well. Try escaping from<br />

the lights of your resort in the Maldives<br />

and you end up neck-deep in the ocean.<br />

But here, you can slip away unnoticed<br />

under some of the world’s darkest —<br />

and so most star-spattered — skies.<br />

I wandered up to the island’s airstrip,<br />

with its 360-degree horizons and 4,000<br />

hectares of inky black above, and saw a<br />

true, uncountable infinity of heavenly<br />

bodies. Mars glared an angry hot red<br />

on one side of the firmament, Venus<br />

sheened a cool clear liquid-mercury<br />

‘<br />

THE<br />







SANDY<br />





’<br />

on the other; and between them, a<br />

creamy, full-fat Milky Way was smeared<br />

across the sky as thick as the good stuff<br />

at the neck of a bottle of gold-top.<br />

The darkness has drama in the<br />

Seychelles. Bats wheel overhead, waves<br />

crash noisily on those millenniasmoothed<br />

granite boulders that bookend<br />

the beaches, and (unlike Mauritius<br />

or the Maldives) people go out.<br />

I crashed a couple of the impromptu<br />

parties that pop up around the bigger<br />

islands’ beaches and parking lots:<br />

barbecue smells effervesced into the<br />

warm night air along with the seggae, a<br />

blend of trad sega and modern reggae,<br />

and just the most tropical-sounding<br />

music you’ll ever hear. Even the resort<br />

islands have a bit of life to them. On<br />

my next one, Six Senses Zil Pasyon,<br />

guests cheerily pilfer the local rum from<br />

mini casks in the (dis)honesty bar.<br />

Zil Pasyon has adventures on tap, too.<br />

One morning I canoe to the next islet<br />

along. Another, I hike a path, ducking<br />

beneath umbrella-sized spider webs (I<br />

felt very Indiana Jones, but the critters<br />

are harmless) to a secret beach, big<br />

enough for just two. And on a third, I<br />

snorkelled early, right off the beach, and<br />

saw an eagle ray soaring through the<br />

water, serene as a seraph, then a turtle,<br />

just as benignly beatific, fading in and<br />

out of sight like a dream. Unsure what<br />

ancient wisdom the visitation was trying<br />

to impart, I interpreted it as ‘Have the<br />

scrambled-eggs-with- crab for breakfast’.<br />

Most guests get between the<br />

Seychelles’ outer-island resorts<br />

by helicopter, and that’s certainly<br />

the quickest and most glamorous<br />

way to do it (though you may not<br />

feel quite so Clooney when they<br />

weigh you before take-off).<br />

I loved the views from up there — the<br />

water’s neon blues glow even brighter<br />

from above — but I loved chuffing<br />

about by boat and bus, too, for a taste of<br />

island life you wouldn’t get in a month<br />

of Maldives. I saw impish schoolkids<br />

gambolling through their break-time<br />

games on the beaches beside their<br />

classrooms (who needs playgrounds?),<br />

picnicking families pulling cars over<br />

en route to siphon crystal water from<br />

roadside natural springs (who needs<br />

Evian?), and bantering fishmongers<br />

selling the morning’s catch off upended<br />

crates at street corners, the fish so fresh<br />

and many-coloured you’d think they<br />

were for the aquarium, not the plate.<br />

At Port Glaud, I got a bit damp myself.<br />

Here, just metres from a luxury resort<br />

in Mahé’s northwest corner, is a 1km<br />

path that winds through a hamlet (and<br />

shortcuts through someone’s back<br />

garden, for which privilege he’ll charge<br />

you $2 odd) to the Sauzier Waterfall. It’s<br />

pretty rather than dramatic, but at its<br />

base is a deep, cool, green natural pool,<br />

utterly irresistible, where I whooped<br />

and wallowed alongside a bunch of local<br />

lads until my fingertips wrinkled.<br />

That resort, Constance Ephelia,<br />

sprawls across two delectable bays, a<br />

handful of thickly forested hills and<br />

a mangrove swamp, so to tick off a<br />

few more items in my ‘I-Don’t-Spy’<br />

book of things you wouldn’t expect<br />

on an Indian Ocean holiday I zipline<br />

through those forests and kayak<br />

through those mangroves, scrumping<br />

milky-sweet cocoplums as I go.<br />

I also spent a day in the capital (which<br />

is more than I’ve managed in eight<br />

trips to Mauritius and the Maldives).<br />

Victoria has a real working fruit and fish<br />

market (you can tell it’s not for tourists<br />

because it’s early and it smells), named<br />

after one Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke<br />

(who seems, idiosyncratically, to have<br />

been named after himself). There’s<br />

the Botanical Gardens, too, where<br />

50 worldtravellermagazine.com


This page, clockwise from top left:<br />

The Lighthouse Lounge; a staff member<br />

at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at<br />

Desroches Island; Constance Ephelia from<br />

above; a fruit seller at Victoria Market; and<br />

a spa therapist at Constance Ephelia<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 51

NORWAY<br />

you can feed giant tortoises; and the<br />

Natural History Museum, where a dusty<br />

roomful of pickled mini sharks stare<br />

forlornly from their formaldehyde.<br />

It’s not just museums that are cheap<br />

in the Seychelles, either. You can get a<br />

decent beachside hotel for $150 a night,<br />

and a lovely one for $200 (my favourite<br />

is Mahé’s Anse Soleil Beachcomber).<br />

And — take that, Maldives! — there<br />

are plenty of self-catering options.<br />

(You won’t be spoilt for choice in the<br />

supermarkets if you go that route,<br />

mind, but there are good Creole<br />

restaurants all over. Do order: octopus<br />

curry, a fizz bomb of spicy-juicy fusion<br />

flavours. Don’t order: fruitbat — a<br />

gamey-but-boney, grit-your-teeth-soyou-can-say-you’ve-done-it<br />

affair.)<br />

In fact, with every beach a beauty<br />

round these parts, the main difference<br />

between the Seychelles’ megabuck<br />

resorts and its mom-&-pop guest houses<br />

is privacy. The resort that hosted George<br />

& Amal’s honeymoon — and Kate &<br />

Wills’s — is North Island, and they came<br />

because every one of the 11 villas sits<br />

in its own hectare or two of gardens,<br />

secreted among an island-wide jungle.<br />

(The discretion extends to the staff.<br />

Whenever I try to draw anyone into<br />

sharing even the tiniest detail about<br />

those other guests, I’m told firmly ‘I<br />

won’t tell you about their stay, and I<br />

won’t tell anyone about yours either’.)<br />

North Island is the most<br />

understatedly indulgent place I’ve<br />

ever stayed — it wears its luxury as<br />

lightly as a linen shirt — but it’s not<br />

the five showers in each villa, or the<br />

supernaturally good service, or the<br />

personally tailored menus and drinks<br />

list drawn up for each guest, that get<br />

me. It’s that I essentially have all this<br />

‘<br />





PLACE I’VE<br />


’<br />

to myself: 200 hectares divided by a<br />

maximum of around 22 guests equals<br />

never having to share your sunset.<br />

So, every evening I barefoot a few<br />

paces across the sherbet-soft sand<br />

for the (full multi-sensory) show.<br />

Waves shush, their dayglo ultramarine<br />

mellowing to mere aquamarine; the<br />

early-evening breeze on my forearms<br />

tempers the late-afternoon warmth<br />

52 worldtravellermagazine.com


These pages, clockwise from left: Chef<br />

offers up a plate of sushi; North Island; invilla<br />

BBQ set up at North Island<br />

Credit: Ed Grenby/The Sunday Times Travel Magazine/News Licensing<br />

on my face; the scent of woodsmoke<br />

and herbs and chargrilled langoustines<br />

drifts down from the barbecue; the<br />

citric zing of grapefruit washes over my<br />

tongue; and I watch the sun, blazing<br />

defiant, incandescent orange as it<br />

slowly drowns on the watery horizon,<br />

bleeding pink into the sky behind it.<br />

But, turning back inland towards<br />

the mountains and the bats and the<br />

people and the food and the waterfalls<br />

and the tortoises, I’m aware that, in the<br />

Seychelles, the life-changingly beautiful<br />

beaches and #inspirationalquote<br />

sunsets aren’t even half the story.<br />

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call<br />

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 53

54 worldtravellermagazine.com<br />

Come summer, Canada’s polar bears get playful. Skip the<br />

bus tour, sign up to walk with the white giants, and you’ll<br />

get close enough to gatecrash, says James Draven

CANADA<br />

splutters the feeble report from guide<br />

Andy MacPherson’s pistol. I was hoping<br />

for something a little more dramatic:<br />

‘Pop,’<br />

we’re standing not 20m from a 250kg<br />

polar bear (yes, 250kg). Her head down, eyes fixed<br />

on mine, she’s in a predatory trance as she lifts<br />

her muzzle and sniffs the air for my scent. Such a<br />

scene may be what my mother feared, when I told<br />

her I was going to subarctic Canada to walk with<br />

polar bears. Family and friends kept repeating<br />

the word ‘walk’ back at me with incredulity.<br />

Andy pulls the trigger twice more with similarly<br />

pitiful results: ‘Pop-pop.’ The minor commotion<br />

is not enough to deter a curious bear, but at least<br />

it’s drawn focus away from me: Andy has valiantly<br />

put himself on the menu. It’s only now though,<br />

as he regards his gun with a disdainful glower,<br />

that I realise there’s something wrong with his<br />

ammunition: he’s fired three duds in a row.<br />

Terrible timing for a weapon to malfunction.<br />

With remarkable sang-froid, he smoothly reloads<br />

his gun from a fresh box of rounds, while our<br />

taciturn, indigenous Cree guide, Albert ‘Butch’<br />

Saunders, silently surveys the scene, the very<br />

definition of composure. I calm myself with the<br />

thought that Churchill Wild, my tour operator, has<br />

been organising polar-bear walking safaris for 22<br />

years without incident. This is the first time in more<br />

than five years that Andy, veteran guide, has even<br />

needed to fire a banger deterrent from his starter<br />

pistol. Perhaps his ammo, having sat idle for so<br />

long in his pocket, has passed its sell-by date…<br />

It’s been a long journey to reach the shores of Lake<br />

Hudson. Nanuk Lodge, our cosy wilderness retreat in<br />

northern Manitoba, is remote. I’ve taken four flights,<br />

going via Toronto and Winnipeg, stopping over at the<br />

end of the third leg for a night in Churchill, Canada’s<br />

famous polar-bear town, where the crack of special<br />

shotgun shells, designed to scare off inquisitive<br />

bears, can be heard in the streets at night. They’re<br />

such frequent visitors to town that Churchill even<br />

has a team of ‘bear cops’, the conservation officers<br />

of the Polar Bear Alert Program, and the world’s<br />

only polar-bear holding facility — locals call it ‘bear<br />

jail’. For most tourists this is the end of the line, and<br />

many flock here for vehicle-based polar bear tours<br />

each winter. But my journey doesn’t end here. I’ve<br />

gone one step further to meet these iconic animals<br />

on their own turf: in the height of summer, the<br />

green shores of Hudson Bay are so busy with the<br />

giants, it’s known as ‘the polar-bear waiting room’.<br />

So, on the fourth and final stage of my journey, I<br />

fly out of Churchill and over Wapusk National Park<br />

down to Nanuk Lodge, in one of the tiny tin-can<br />

propeller planes that ply this route. The vast expanse<br />

of grassland green and samphire reds below contrasts<br />

with the blues and turquoise of Hudson Bay. Beluga<br />

whales splash in the water, while caribous and wolves<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 55

CANADA<br />

roam the plains. This sunny, frost-free<br />

scene is not the kind of place you expect<br />

to see polar bears, but see them you<br />

do: bright-white against the verdant<br />

spread of nature, hundreds can be<br />

spotted dozing. You can’t miss them.<br />

It’s not the only reason to be here<br />

in August. Sure, come winter, this<br />

polychromatic panorama transforms<br />

into snow-bleached tundra, and<br />

the azure bay freezes over.<br />

It’s then that — after a long summer<br />

stranded on land — thousands of<br />

hungry polar bears finally step out onto<br />

the ice shelf over the water to hunt<br />

seals, and gorge themselves on blubber.<br />

This is when most tourists arrive in<br />

their droves. But what visitors don’t<br />

appreciate is that bears are at their<br />

most aggressive and elusive at this<br />

time of year; witnesses are seeing only<br />

one side to the polar bear. And during<br />

winter, visitors only get to see polar<br />

bears from articulated tundra buggies<br />

— gargantuan, enclosed tour vehicles<br />

that roll out of Churchill, while people<br />

try to snap photos through windows<br />

over their neighbour’s shoulder.<br />

Against the lush backdrop of Hudson<br />

Bay’s subarctic summer I get an<br />

altogether more intimate insight into<br />

the lives of these fluffy white bears.<br />

There’s a reason they call this ‘their<br />

waiting room’: with full tummies from a<br />

winter season of hunting, this is where<br />

they loll and laze in the undergrowth,<br />

occasionally poking a nose above the<br />

wild flowers, whiling away long days in<br />

slumber until the bay freezes again.<br />

This is why, during my stay at Nanuk,<br />

we can approach bears on foot — even<br />

enormous males with the power to<br />

pulverise us. Perhaps more thrilling<br />

still, we sneak up on mothers cuddling<br />

their cubs. In each case, when they see<br />

us creeping up on them, they either<br />

take a few hesitant steps towards us<br />

— to investigate the strange creatures<br />

with telescopic noses that click and<br />

whirr and whisper — before fleeing<br />

the scene; or they roll over and nurse<br />

their cubs, stretching out among tall<br />

grasses and pawing the air. Sometimes<br />

they simply go back to sleep. The<br />

summer is a wonderful time to see these<br />

creatures up close, when they’re in a<br />

seasonal slump — like grandad after<br />

lunch. It’s a rare privilege to be able to<br />

stand on the same ground with them.<br />

If you want to picture how this<br />

once-in-a-lifetime experience actually<br />

unfolds, imagine a safari, just a few<br />

notches lower on the thermometer.<br />

Everything about the experience — from<br />

the short-hop flights in light aircraft, to<br />

the 4WDs used to traverse sparse plains,<br />

dense underbrush, river crossings and<br />

swamplands — is redolent of a Kenyan<br />

lion-hunt. And because it’s summer,<br />

our vehicles are completely open to<br />

the elements. Even the weather has its<br />

own chilly charm. A dawn safari reveals<br />

dew-bejewelled spiders’ webs and steam<br />

rising from lakes with ethereal beauty;<br />

at night, the diaphanous drapes of the<br />

Aurora Borealis ripple through the sky.<br />

The season offers up encounters<br />

you could only dream of at other times<br />

of year. Polar bears, I soon realise,<br />

are easily startled and, back at my<br />

accommodation, I even scare one off<br />

myself. Big Momma, a well-fed female<br />

bear, has been hanging around Nanuk<br />

Lodge all summer. She can easily<br />

be seen approaching through the<br />

panoramic lounge windows, and guests<br />

all bring their cameras to the table,<br />

poised to dash to the terrace to take<br />

pictures. One such lunchtime, on her<br />

daily lolloping constitutional around<br />

the perimeter, Big Momma emerges<br />

from behind an outbuilding to find me<br />

waiting with my camera on the other<br />

side of the fence, just a metre or so<br />

away. The majestic matriarch dwarfs<br />

me, but the shock of seeing a human<br />

sparks a comedic double-take, and<br />

I’m bemused to watch her run away.<br />

The bear that prompts Andy to get<br />

his gun, however, isn’t budging, and<br />

remains undeterred. I remember the<br />

advice Rose, a tour rep who lives in<br />

Churchill, gave me a few nights before.<br />

If confronted with a bear, a) make<br />

yourself look big, b) don’t turn your<br />

back on it, and c) move away slowly.<br />

‘Try to get into any building or car,’<br />

Rose told me. Nobody locks anything<br />

in Churchill, because they wouldn’t<br />

want to deprive anyone of an escape<br />

route. ‘I couldn’t even tell you where<br />

the keys to my house are. I’ll go on<br />

a two-week vacation and leave my<br />

front door unlocked,’ she swears.<br />

56 worldtravellermagazine.com

Opening pages: A polar bear<br />

swimming in Hudson Bay<br />

This page: Melting ice blocks<br />

line the rocky pathway<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 57

CANADA<br />

This page: A tundra buggy<br />

ferries passengers looking<br />

for polar bears at sunset in<br />

Cape Churchill<br />

Opposite: A polar bear<br />

rests up<br />

We’re pretty far from Churchill now<br />

though, so — puffing up my chest and<br />

looking as big as I can — I glance over<br />

my shoulder at our purpose-built polar<br />

exploration vehicle: a hulking 4WD<br />

powerhouse, with huge wheels and<br />

seats bolted to it. Staff have dubbed it<br />

‘the rhino’. Unfortunately, it has neither<br />

doors nor roof, so won’t provide much<br />

protection from a 2.5m (8ft!) bear.<br />

Andy usually discourages them from<br />

approaching us simply by talking, or<br />

clicking a couple of rocks together —<br />

methods that I’ve already seen him<br />

use — but his chatter goes unheeded<br />

this time. Butch remains mute. His<br />

grandfather once advised him, ‘Don’t<br />

tell the white man all our secrets at<br />

once,’ and the tight-lipped guide has<br />

apparently taken this lesson to heart.<br />

In fact, I’m also relishing the<br />

opportunity to study this polar bear up<br />

close. Her unique physiology — slightly<br />

webbed toes and musculature across<br />

her chest designed for swimming —<br />

defines her species as the world’s only<br />

marine bear. Even as she stalks us<br />

‘<br />







‘BEAR COPS’<br />

AND A POLAR-<br />



’<br />

she still looks utterly adorable, but I<br />

realise the situation has escalated when<br />

Butch, whose hawk-eyed tracking has<br />

hitherto been silent, bursts into life<br />

and launches a few stones towards the<br />

bear. They explode like waterbombs<br />

in the puddles around her and she<br />

retreats, momentarily startled, before<br />

fear turns to annoyance and she’s back.<br />

Butch jumps into the rhino and<br />

aggressively revs the engine, making the<br />

vehicle lurch forward. After his ballistic<br />

assault on the polar bear, though,<br />

she barely breaks stride at the racket,<br />

and as soon as he kills the motor her<br />

attention is again fixed solely on us.<br />

Bang! At last, a projectile rockets<br />

from the barrel of Andy’s pistol. The<br />

low-powered round arcs through<br />

the air and bursts just by our polar<br />

bear’s brow. It even makes my ears<br />

ring where I’m standing, so our poor<br />

bear must be deafened and, with a<br />

thunderclap that enshrouds her head<br />

in a cloud of smoke, she finally flees.<br />

As Andy bins his spent cartridges<br />

and pours us coffee from a flask,<br />

I spy Butch’s redundant shotgun<br />

sat idle in the rhino, and note the<br />

absence of a pistol on his hip.<br />

‘Sure, I have one,’ he smiles<br />

over the brim of his mug, and<br />

produces a gun from a leatherette<br />

case. ‘The company gave it to me<br />

years ago when I first joined.’<br />

‘When did you last have<br />

to use it?’ I ask him.<br />

He smirks in a way that silently<br />

betrays millennia of untold landlore<br />

(maybe he just thinks I’m<br />

an idiot) and replies: ‘Never.’<br />

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call<br />

+971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com<br />

Credit: James Draven/The Sunday Times Travel Magazine/News Licensing<br />

58 worldtravellermagazine.com

This page: Soft,<br />

colourful corals around<br />

Lizard Island<br />

Credit: Andrew Eames/The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Licensing<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 59

worldtravellermagazine.com<br />

Your passport to the Middle East's first fully<br />

bookable travel inspiration website<br />

Extend your journey with <strong>World</strong> <strong>Traveller</strong> magazine<br />

by heading online to read more inspirational and<br />

exclusive travel content and take advantage of upto-the-minute<br />

hotel and holiday features<br />

Dream Read Click Book


Weekends<br />

Staycations and short-haul escapes<br />


What’s a stay at a private island resort without a meal<br />

prepared by a Michelin-starred chef? Indian Ocean favourite,<br />

JA Manafaru, has teamed up with chef Dong Zhenxiang (aka<br />

Da Dong), to offer an exclusive pop-up dining experience<br />

at White Orchid. The culinary maestro, who founded the<br />

Michelin-starred Da Dong Roast Duck restaurant concept in<br />

Beijing, combines his signature dishes with Maldivian flavours<br />

for a stand-out dining experience, served throughout the year.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 61


Reasons to go back to…<br />


Dubai’s latest foodie destination on Palm Jumeirah is upping the ante<br />

with a new wave of hot happenings that are sure to whet the appetite<br />

Hawker hotspot<br />

Immerse yourself in the<br />

sights, tastes and aromas<br />

of Asia’s late-night<br />

markets at the newlyopened<br />

Asian District.<br />

Dubai’s largest Asian food<br />

market, the split-level<br />

hub has eight restaurants,<br />

each with a distinct theme.<br />

Take your pick from the<br />

live cooking stations<br />

offering freshly-made<br />

sushi, noodles, ramen,<br />

teppanyaki, dim sum,<br />

dumplings and more. You'll<br />

chow down to a backing<br />

track of livestock sounds,<br />

motorbikes, car horns<br />

and bicycle bells, with<br />

quirky performers, such as<br />

sumo wrestlers and actors<br />

playing mahjong, bringing<br />

the concept to life.<br />

Asian District<br />

Star power<br />

Rue Royale is causing a stir<br />

on Dubai’s dining scene,<br />

luring gourmands to taste<br />

fine French cuisine in an<br />

unlicensed setting. It’s the<br />

brainchild of two-Michelinstar<br />

chef Mathieu Viannay,<br />

the culinary mastermind<br />

behind the century-old La<br />

Mère Brazier in Lyon, which<br />

has welcomed numerous<br />

high-profile guests through<br />

its doors. Rue Royale takes<br />

inspiration from its French<br />

sibling, serving a selection<br />

of La Mère Brazier signature<br />

dishes, alongside new<br />

creations that nod to the<br />

culinary heritage of the<br />

Middle East. The best way<br />

to experience it is at the<br />

chef’s table.<br />

Sun King mocktail, Rue Royale<br />

Brunch with a view<br />

Seafood fans can soak up the sea air while<br />

chilling to a Balearic Islands soundtrack at the<br />

all-new The View brunch at Seafood Kitchen.<br />

Taking place every Friday from noon to 4pm,<br />

you can taste a delicious array of seafood<br />

specialities while sipping on free-flowing drinks.<br />

Menu highlights include red snapper ceviche,<br />

Spanish seafood paella and a piled-high platter<br />

of clams, mussels, soft-shell crab, prawns and<br />

char-grilled, locally-sourced fish. Yum.<br />

62 worldtravellermagazine.com

long<br />

the<br />

weekend<br />

Bangkok<br />

Get set to explore<br />

one of Asia’s most<br />

dynamic cities,<br />

where you'll discover<br />

gilded palaces,<br />

rooftop terraces and<br />

intoxicating markets<br />

64 worldtravellermagazine.com


For the past three years, Bangkok has been<br />

crowned the most popular place on the planet,<br />

attracting more than 20 million visitors. Sprawling,<br />

steamy and often smoggy, the Thai capital radiates<br />

an infectious energy.<br />

The city was founded in 1782 on the Chao Phraya<br />

River by the Chakri royal dynasty, which is still<br />

in place today. On the eastern riverbank, the Old<br />

City is home to must-see sights such as the Grand<br />

Palace, while nearby Chinatown is a colourful and<br />

chaotic maze. Along the river, Bangrak is the centre<br />

of the ever-evolving Creative District, with hip<br />

restaurants and grand riverside hotels. Elsewhere,<br />

Silom serves as the financial district by day and<br />

buzzing nightlife destination by night; Siam is<br />

the main shopping district; while the sois from<br />

Sukhumvit Road offer bountiful shops and eateries.<br />

Read on for our curated list of the best luxury<br />

hotels, talked-about restaurants and only-in-<br />

Bangkok experiences…<br />


From family-friendly resorts to boutique<br />

boltholes, here are the best places to stay<br />

Opened last year in the<br />

Siam shopping district,<br />

the Waldorf Astoria<br />

Bangkok has 171 rooms<br />

ranging from spacious<br />

to sprawling. There are<br />

five restaurants and<br />

lounges, while the 16thfloor<br />

infinity pool boasts<br />

Instagram-ready views<br />

over the city.<br />

In the same<br />

neighbourhood,<br />

the resort-like Siam<br />

Kempinski Hotel<br />

Bangkok has 401 rooms<br />

and four saltwater pools<br />

set amid landscaped<br />

gardens. Foodies will love<br />

the Michelin-starred Thai<br />

restaurant, while families<br />

will appreciate the<br />

complimentary kids’ club.<br />

Tucked away in acres of<br />

gardens and lotus ponds<br />

near Silom’s Lumpini Park,<br />

The Sukhothai Bangkok<br />

has 210 rooms outfitted<br />

with silks, teakwood and<br />

muted earthy colours. Chill<br />

out by the rooftop infinity<br />

pool or in the spa, and<br />

don’t miss the fabulous<br />

Sunday brunch.<br />

In tranquil grounds by<br />

the river, The Siam is an Art<br />

Deco-inspired gem with 29<br />

antique-filled suites and 10<br />

private pool villas. Lounge<br />

by the infinity pool or fill<br />

your days with cooking<br />

classes, spa treatments,<br />

Muay Thai boxing sessions<br />

or sunset cruises aboard an<br />

historic rice barge.<br />

In the heart of<br />

Chinatown, Baan 2459<br />

(baan2459.com) is a<br />

romantic heritage hotel<br />

which offers just four<br />

rooms. Each one is unique;<br />

plump for Room Two with<br />

its own private entrance,<br />

four-poster bed and<br />

clawfoot bath.<br />

Then there's the storied,<br />

riverside Mandarin Oriental<br />

Bangkok, forever ranked<br />

among the world's best.<br />

Opposite page: Lady selling fruit<br />

from her boat at Floating Market<br />

This page, from top: Chao Phraya<br />

river flows through the city; The<br />

Sukhothai, Bangkok<br />

sizzling<br />

street food<br />

Hit the streets to find<br />

some of the city’s most<br />

mouth-watering Thai food<br />

Despite recent attempts<br />

by city authorities to rid<br />

the pavements of food<br />

carts and stalls, Bangkok’s<br />

street food scene remains<br />

thrillingly vibrant.<br />

Septuagenarian chef,<br />

JAY FAI, is the undisputed<br />

queen; her eponymous<br />

shophouse in Rattanakosin<br />

became the first and only<br />

Thai street-food spot to<br />

receive a star in Bangkok’s<br />

inaugural Michelin guide in<br />

2018. Patient foodies won’t<br />

mind the long wait for her<br />

famous crab omelettes<br />

and crab curries. Close<br />

by, THIP SAMAI is widely<br />

considered to serve the<br />

city’s best pad thai.<br />

In Chinatown; Yaowarat<br />

Road and the surrounding<br />

sois are street-food central,<br />

with plastic tables set up<br />

from around 5pm 'til late.<br />

Keep your eyes peeled<br />

for GUAY JUB OUAN<br />


and LIM LAO NGOW.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 65

top of the<br />

shops<br />

Tailor on Ten<br />

For made-to-measure and<br />

bespoke gents tailoring,<br />

head to this little slice of<br />

Savile Row in Sukhumvit.<br />

The in-house tailors can<br />

create shirts and suits<br />

using high-quality Asian<br />

and European fabrics,<br />

plus the prices are fixed<br />

so no haggling is needed.<br />

tailoronten.com<br />

Warehouse 30<br />

This former WWII<br />

artillery warehouse in<br />

the Bangrak district has<br />

been transformed into the<br />

city’s coolest mixed-use<br />

space. Browse the stores<br />

selling locally designed<br />

fashion, homewares<br />

and accessories, and<br />

refuel at the excellent<br />

café. facebook.com/<br />

TheWarehouse30<br />

Lhong 1919<br />

On the opposite side of<br />

the river, this cluster of<br />

restored 19th-century<br />

warehouses features<br />

beautifully-preserved<br />

Chinese murals and a<br />

dozen boutiques selling<br />

homewares, clothing and<br />

leather goods. Stay for<br />

lunch or dinner at the<br />

hip Nai Harng restaurant.<br />

lhong1919.com<br />

ALL-STAR<br />

DINING<br />

Bangkok has long<br />

been street-food<br />

nirvana, but you’ll<br />

also find plenty of<br />

Michelin-starred<br />

establishments<br />

shaking things up<br />

Gaa<br />

Opposite Gaggan<br />

– regularly named<br />

Asia’s best restaurant<br />

– you’ll find the lesshyped<br />

but equally<br />

impressive Gaa. Chef<br />

Garima Arora, a former<br />

Noma and Gaggan<br />

alumnus, serves a 10-<br />

or 14-course tasting<br />

menu inspired by her<br />

Indian background,<br />

Thai ingredients and<br />

Nordic philosophies,<br />

with dishes like duck<br />

doughnut and liquid<br />

banana bread.<br />

gaabkk.com<br />

Paste<br />

Located in the upmarket<br />

Gaysorn Village mall,<br />

husband-and-wife team<br />

Bee Satongun and Jason<br />

Bailey draw inspiration<br />

from centuries-old<br />

royal Thai cuisine to<br />

create bold, colourful<br />

dishes made for sharing.<br />

Highlights include<br />

slow-roasted goat curry<br />

and pickled chive root<br />

salad with lobster and<br />

morel mushrooms.<br />

pastebangkok.com<br />

Saawaan<br />

Housed in a converted<br />

shophouse with moody<br />

dark walls and floor-toceiling<br />

windows, chef<br />

Aom Pongmorn serves<br />

a seasonal 10-course<br />

tasting menu with tea<br />

or grape pairings. From<br />

the first amuse bouche<br />

– kai luk koey (poached<br />

egg in tamarind sauce)<br />

– to the final pumpkin<br />

pudding, the dishes will<br />

surprise and delight.<br />

saawaan.com<br />


If you’re in town on the weekend, take a 25-minute cab ride from downtown to Taling<br />

Chan floating market. Stroll along the floating dock as vendors serve up freshly<br />

cooked specialities such as hoy tort (fried oyster omelette) from moored boats.<br />

Then climb aboard a longtail boat and cruise the nearby canals. Make Chatuchak<br />

weekend market your next stop. The teeming market is divided into 27 sections and<br />

has more than 10,000 stalls, so download Nancy Chandler’s comprehensive map<br />

(nancychandler.net) to pinpoint the areas you’re interested in. Best buys include<br />

traditional textiles and handmade leather goods. After dark, head to hipster-rich Rot<br />

Fai night market in Ratchada (there’s also a larger sister market on the eastern edges<br />

of the city). Shop for vintage fashion and kitschy curios and tuck into street food from<br />

converted VW vans strung with fairy lights.<br />

66 worldtravellermagazine.com


Opposite page, from top:<br />

Saawaan; Warehouse 30<br />

This page, from top: Oriental<br />

Spa; Mahanakhon SkyWalk<br />


If a spa day is top of your wishlist, here are<br />

three of the best places to get pampered<br />

ORIENTAL SPA Housed in a century-old teak<br />

house, the Mandarin Oriental’s spa is reached by<br />

boat across the river from the main hotel. There<br />

are 15 treatment rooms, including a handful with<br />

hot tubs, and menu of traditional Thai and modern<br />

Western treatments. mandarinoriental.com<br />

PANPURI ORGANIC SPAThis all-white spa at the<br />

Park Hyatt specialises in anti-ageing facials and<br />

hot oil massages from Thailand's leading organic<br />

skincare brand. There’s a second spa with five<br />

Japanese-style thermal pools at Gaysorn Village<br />

mall. panpuriorganicspa.com<br />

THE PENINSULA SPA In a colonial-style building<br />

overlooking the Chao Phraya, this three-storey spa<br />

offers a full range of treatments, from a two-hour<br />

Thai massage to a hi-tech Second Skin facial using<br />

3D-printed hyaluronic strips. peninsula.com<br />

Words: Lara Brunt<br />

ask a local<br />

Somrak Sila,<br />

co-founder of WTF<br />

Café & Gallery<br />

(wtfbangkok.com),<br />

shares her insider<br />

tips for Bangkok<br />

“Soul Food<br />

Mahanakorn (soulfoodmahanakorn.com)<br />

is my favourite restaurant. It serves<br />

consistently great Thai food in a simple<br />

dining space – the pomelo salad with<br />

chilli jam and popcorn tiger prawns<br />

is a must-try. Overlooking the Chao<br />

Phraya River, Loy La Long Hotel<br />

(loylalong.com) is a tiny hidden<br />

gem in the grounds of a temple<br />

and a top spot for a quiet sunset<br />

drink. A few doors down from my<br />

own café and gallery, Studio Lam<br />

(facebook.com/studiolambangkok)<br />

is perfect for those who love an<br />

intimate club with incredibly diverse<br />

music. And don’t leave Bangkok<br />

without buying some Tiger Balm<br />

– it’ll fix all of your problems!”<br />


Enjoy sensational sunsets<br />

and sky-high views<br />

atop some of the city’s<br />

tallest towers. When the<br />

golden hour approaches,<br />

those in the know head<br />

skyward to one of the<br />

city’s many rooftop<br />

terraces. Join them<br />

at the newly opened<br />

Mahanakhon SkyWalk<br />

(kingpowermahanakhon.<br />

co.th), a two-tiered<br />

observation deck<br />

314 metres above<br />

the busy streets of<br />

Silom, complete with<br />

a glass floor section<br />

and Bangkok’s highest<br />

rooftop bar.<br />

Meanwhile, the<br />

aptly-named Vertigo<br />

(banyantree.com) pairs<br />

upscale al fresco dining<br />

– think smoked Wagyu<br />

carpaccio topped with<br />

crayfish and caviar – with<br />

spectacular views from<br />

61 floors above the city.<br />

Before you sit down<br />

for dinner, drop by<br />

Moon Bar next door for<br />

sundowners.<br />

Across the river,<br />

ThreeSixty (www3.<br />

hilton.com) sits atop<br />

the Millennium Hilton<br />

Bangkok. Listen to<br />

live jazz while taking<br />

in the unfettered<br />

panorama of the city<br />

skyline and filling up<br />

your Instagram feed.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 67



Immersed<br />

in nature<br />

Swap the concrete jungle for the great outdoors<br />

by exploring these stunning natural attractions<br />

Photo: Abu Dhabi Mangroves<br />

1<br />

The mangroves. A mega<br />

eco asset, the capital’s<br />

Mangrove National Park<br />

is a biodiversity hotspot,<br />

with lush mangrove forests,<br />

salt marshes, mudflats<br />

and algal communities<br />

to discover. In addition<br />

to its tropical vibe, the<br />

mangroves act as a natural<br />

windbreak, and guard<br />

against tidal surges, while<br />

the body of water helps<br />

remove carbon dioxide from<br />

the atmosphere. Eastern<br />

Mangroves Hotel & Spa<br />

by Anantara offers guided<br />

kayaking tours for guests.<br />

You’ll likely spot herons,<br />

foxes and turtles as you<br />

paddle and, if you’re really<br />

lucky, you may even catch a<br />

glimpse of dolphins.<br />

2Al Wathba Wetland<br />

Reserve. It may be<br />

famous for its pink<br />

flamingos, but there’s much<br />

more to these wetlands than<br />

pretty pink birds. More than<br />

250 avian species, 37 plant<br />

species and a variety of<br />

dragonflies and damselflies<br />

call the five-squarekilometre<br />

landscape home.<br />

Break out the binoculars<br />

and explore on foot, or join<br />

one of the tours hosted<br />

by local nature fan and<br />

photographer Sultan Karrani<br />

(see visitabudhabi.ae).<br />

3Al Ain Oasis. Rewind<br />

some 4,000 years to<br />

when the people who<br />

lived here started taming the<br />

desert and you’ll get an idea<br />

of the historic significance<br />

of this sprawling oasis. A<br />

UNESCO <strong>World</strong> Heritage<br />

Site since 2011, it is shaped<br />

by a complex shared water<br />

supply based on wells and<br />

falaj (the UAE’s traditional<br />

irrigation system), and<br />

you can wander through it<br />

under the shade of myriad<br />

date palms. Make it an<br />

educational experience by<br />

learning more about efforts<br />

to preserve the delicate<br />

ecosystem, and showcase<br />

traditional farming methods,<br />

at the Eco-Centre.<br />

68 worldtravellermagazine.com

A world of<br />

ideas to be<br />

discovered<br />

Register now at<br />

arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com<br />

Follow us<br />




Dukes Dubai<br />

With its Palm Jumeirah address and distinct British character, Dukes Dubai reigns supreme<br />


Offering the best of British hospitality<br />

in the UAE, Dukes Dubai has all the<br />

ingredients for a fun-filled holiday.<br />

Choose a Junior Suite and you’ll get access<br />

to the Executive Lounge, which comes<br />

with a host of benefits, including early<br />

check-in (and late check-out, so you can<br />

stretch your stay to the max). If you want<br />

to stay for longer, the tastefully furnished<br />

hotel apartments are just the ticket.<br />

THE FOOD<br />

Tuck into hearty classics with a twist<br />

at Great British Restaurant (GBR) or<br />

taste a North Indian palette of flavours<br />

at Khyber. Just be sure to keep Friday<br />

afternoons free for the DUKESY Family<br />

Brunch, which takes place at West 14th<br />

Steakhouse from 1pm-4pm. Grab a seat al<br />

fresco and tuck into tasty food from the<br />

live cooking stations while the children<br />

get stuck into the self-serve buffet.<br />

To find out more, call +971 4 455 1111 or visit dukesdubai.com<br />


Make the most of the private beach<br />

access, take a refreshing dip in the<br />

infinity pool and navigate the lazy river<br />

on a pool float. Next, have a personal<br />

training session at the gym, unwind with<br />

a yoga class by the indoor pool, and book<br />

the kids in for a swimming lesson*. Little<br />

ones can run off steam at DUKESY Kids<br />

Club (for ages 5 to 12), where they can get<br />

creative with arts and crafts and more.<br />

* Bookings for activities are subject to availability<br />

70 worldtravellermagazine.com



Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa<br />

Take time out at this luxurious desert resort that'll whisk you away on an Arabian adventure<br />


A 45-minute drive from central Dubai,<br />

Bab Al Shams has been designed in<br />

harmony with the surroundings, and<br />

its 115 rooms and suites make the most<br />

of the Arabian styled setting. Book a<br />

Terrace Room for views of the golden<br />

dunes or the lush Palm Grove. Ideal for<br />

families, the Deluxe Suite is the largest<br />

room, with ample space for two adults<br />

and two children.<br />

THE FOOD<br />

The focus this month is firmly on<br />

brunch. The picnic style 360 Nature<br />

Brunch, on Saturdays, invites you to<br />

settle on blanket on the grass and tuck<br />

into a hamper of delicious treats. The<br />

Garden Brunch, every Friday, indulges<br />

foodies with an extensive buffet and livecooking<br />

stations offering global cuisine.<br />

Kids' entertainment and supervised play<br />

areas make these brunches fun for all.<br />


Mums can take advantage of the special<br />

Mother's Day spa packages available this<br />

month (on weekdays only), which are<br />

designed to offer respite and adventure<br />

in equal measure. The 'relaxed' package<br />

includes a Balinese massage while the<br />

'active' package offers you a choice of<br />

archery, fat biking or cycling. Plus,<br />

each includes a leisurely lunch and<br />

access to the swimming pool.<br />

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

72 worldtravellermagazine.com


Nestled among the dunes, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is the world’s favourite<br />

choice for dream desert getaways.<br />

This oasis of tranquility combines rustic charm with top-tier hospitality and luxury<br />

to bring to life an authentic desert experience.<br />



Dubai,United Arab Emirates<br />

+971 4 809 6100<br />

BAS.info@meydanhotels.com<br />

babalshams.com<br />

/babalshamshotel /babalshamshotel /babalshamshotel



The St. Regis Abu Dhabi<br />

Located at the vibrant heart of the city, opulence abounds at this five-star royal retreat<br />


Soar up high in the clouds at the<br />

world’s highest suspended Abu<br />

Dhabi Suite, with two-floors of jawdropping<br />

grandeur – a cinema, spa<br />

and private elevator are just some of<br />

the highlights. If the budget doesn't<br />

quite stretch to this, enjoy the 36 Hour<br />

Escape staycation offering a Superior<br />

King Sea View Room with breakfast for<br />

two at The Terrace on the Corniche.<br />

THE FOOD<br />

Not for the faint of heart, those with<br />

a head for heights can experience a<br />

Helipad Sunset Supper, 255 metres<br />

in the air, with a spread of exquisite<br />

dining delights to spice up the evening.<br />

Alternatively, keep it simple at Villa<br />

Toscana, where the interiors are<br />

reminiscent of Italian summer vibes,<br />

and the food speaks a tale of ancient<br />

culinary traditions.<br />


For weary travellers, Remède Spa's<br />

75-min Jet-Lag Recovery treatment<br />

is the perfect fix for travel fatigue.<br />

Bask in the comfort of stimulating<br />

back and foot massages, accompanied<br />

by a hydrating, bespoke facial as<br />

your body’s internal clock adjusts.<br />

Afterwards, you can chill at Nation<br />

Riviera Beach Club, which boasts its<br />

own private stretch of sand.<br />

To find out more, call +971 2 694 4444 or visit stregisabudhabi.com<br />

74 worldtravellermagazine.com

Abu Dhabi’s Finest Urban Resort<br />

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi soars to new heights of splendour and service beyond<br />

expectation. Located at the vibrant heart of Abu Dhabi with a 200 metre stretch of<br />

pristine beach, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf which is home<br />

to the Nation Riviera Beach Club at the finest address in the city.<br />

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi<br />

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates t. +971 2 694 4444 stregisabudhabi.com<br />

©<strong>2019</strong> Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, St. Regis and their logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.<br />

Stay exquisite at more than 40 St. Regis hotels and resorts worldwide.<br />



Jumeirah Emirates Towers<br />


Jumeirah Creekside Hotel<br />

Bisected by the Dubai Creek and offering a duo of unique experiences, make your next<br />

city break a Jumeirah Creekside Hotel or Jumeirah Emirates Towers occasion<br />

Contemporary art-styled luxury minutes from the city’s<br />

heritage heartland, or a lifestyle destination with<br />

architectural prominence on the doorstep of Dubai’s<br />

retail and entertainment scene, this duo of five-star Jumeirah<br />

hotels are tailor made city break destinations.<br />

Five minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport places<br />

you in the soaring sunlit atrium of Jumeirah Creekside Hotel,<br />

with its commanding views of Dubai Creek. Recognised<br />

as much for its living art gallery spaces as for its historic<br />

waterway vistas, and views of the golf club, it’s the perfect city<br />

base for those looking to get a feel for Dubai’s rich past.<br />

Get a sense of the city from the comfort of a spacious Club<br />

Room, your haven of calm after a day spent wandering the<br />

lanes of the nearby Gold Souk and Spice Souk, or after a sunset<br />

stroll along the banks of Dubai Creek.<br />

The view from Jumeirah<br />

Creekside Hotel<br />

Premium Deluxe Bedroom,<br />

Jumeirah Emirates Towers<br />

Post-exploration downtime also comes in the form of an<br />

eclectic collection of restaurants and lounges, including the<br />

gorgeous rooftop setting of Cu-Ba, whose cantilevered pool<br />

with its sleek glass floor dramatically extends out over the<br />

building façade.<br />

A prominent design presence at the head of Sheikh Zayed<br />

Road, Jumeirah Emirates Towers’ reputation for sky-high<br />

hospitality is grounded across 56 floors of leisure, dining<br />

and relaxation focused space that includes award-winning<br />

grill restaurant The Rib Room and blissful Talise Spa with its<br />

flotation pool and oxygen bar.<br />

The stylish accommodation includes the Chopard Ladiesonly<br />

floor complete with all-female staff, bespoke amenities<br />

and walk-in shower with separate marble tub.<br />

Linger at your leisure, but with a clutch of galleries and<br />

wealth of on-trend eateries housed within the DIFC district,<br />

located adjacent to the hotel, and the record-breaking<br />

attractions of Downtown Dubai a few minutes drive away,<br />

there’s added incentive to explore the area.<br />

To find out more, visit jumeirah.com/citybreaks<br />

76 worldtravellermagazine.com



Save up to 25% when you book your next<br />

holiday at Jumeirah Emirates Towers or<br />

Jumeirah Creekside Hotel inclusive of daily<br />

complimentary breakfast, spa and dining<br />

offers.<br />

Unwind and enjoy exclusive privileges<br />

including complimentary WiFi unlimited<br />

entry to Wild Wadi Waterpark, Talise Fitness<br />

and Jumeirah’s pristine private beach.<br />

jumeirah.com/citybreaks<br />

*Terms and conditions apply

1<br />



Reader offers<br />

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78 worldtravellermagazine.com



BALI, KUTA<br />


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3 nights starting from<br />

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3 nights starting from<br />

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worldtravellermagazine.com 79



UAE<br />


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Special offer: Complimentary<br />

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80 worldtravellermagazine.com

Get peace of mind and exclusive benefits of travel insurance with AIG through dnata.<br />

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THE LENS<br />

Orrido di Ponte Alto,<br />

Trento, Italy<br />

"I wasn't familiar with the<br />

Trentino region in Northern<br />

Italy before visiting, but<br />

within minutes of arriving<br />

its hidden mix of dramatic<br />

mountains, mirror-like lakes<br />

and charming scenery had me<br />

hooked. Sandwiched between<br />

idyllic small towns, it doesn't<br />

boast the huge crowds like<br />

Venice or Florence can muster –<br />

something that came in handy<br />

as our guide ushered our small<br />

group into this dramatic gorge.<br />

Standing behind the sheer<br />

power of the cascading waterfall<br />

is something I'll never forget. As<br />

the crashing flow deafened me,<br />

I was left completely in awe of<br />

nature's beauty."<br />

Photographer, Daniel James<br />

Clarke, loves to travel because<br />

"it's the best classroom we<br />

can enter, it’s full of voices and<br />

diversity you’ll never find in<br />

any school." @danflyingsolo;<br />

danflyingsolo.com<br />



in high-res jpeg format, along<br />

with the stories behind them to<br />

habiba@hotmediapublishing.<br />

com and you may end up<br />

being featured<br />

on this page<br />

82 worldtravellermagazine.com


Now win!<br />



Stay up-to-date with all that’s<br />

happening on our social channels<br />

and join in the conversation by<br />

sharing your experiences. Here’s<br />

where you can find us…<br />

@dnataworldtraveller<br />

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A luxurious stay at Renaissance<br />

Downtown Hotel, Dubai<br />

Situated a stone's throw from Burj Khalifa, this hip and<br />

happening property offers a sense of place with its expansive<br />

guestrooms featuring indigenous accents. You could be in<br />

with the chance of winning a one night stay in a Deluxe Room<br />

for two guests (inclusive of breakfast and Wi-Fi), with dinner<br />

for two in Bleu Blanc, where you'll be treated to a three-course<br />

set menu with soft drinks. To find out more and to enter, visit<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com/win (terms & conditions apply).<br />


Let our travel news and round-ups, available to read on our website,<br />

inspire your next trip…<br />

1The Knowledge.<br />

Read our handy<br />

how-tos, from<br />

getting to grips with<br />

travel insurance to<br />

helping kids beat jet<br />

lag, and more.<br />

2Staycations.<br />

Take a peek<br />

inside these top<br />

hotels and resorts on<br />

your doorstep and<br />

then book your next<br />

mini break!<br />

3Insider Guides.<br />

Check out our<br />

in-the-know<br />

travel edits of some<br />

of the most popular<br />

holiday destinations<br />

on our radar.<br />

worldtravellermagazine.com 83


Suite dreams<br />

Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a<br />

suite that has a character and style all of its own<br />

The Bollywood Suite<br />

Aloft City Centre Deira<br />

Get your Shah Rukh Khan on inside this<br />

vibrant suite, which will immerse you in<br />

the Hindi film scene with its collection of<br />

movie memorabilia, in-room cinema screen<br />

streaming Bollywood blockbusters and<br />

built-in vending machine dispensing snacks.<br />

Teamed with a stellar view of the Dubai<br />

skyline, it's sure to give you a taste of the<br />

A-list lifestyle. The Bollywood Suite is one of<br />

four cinema themed suites at the property.<br />

84 worldtravellermagazine.com

Ronald Codrai © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi<br />

رونالد كودراي © دائرة الثقافة والسياحة - أبوظبي<br />







Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building<br />

in Abu Dhabi. It includes the city’s first permanent<br />

structure, a coral and sea stone watch tower built to<br />

protect the settlement of Abu Dhabi established on the<br />

island in the 1760s. Qasr Al Hosn became home to the<br />

ruling family, a seat of government, and it now stands as<br />

our nation’s living monument, telling the story of<br />

Abu Dhabi and its people.<br />

Book your experience at qasralhosn.ae

Inspiration. Expertly crafted.<br />

Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, the world’s tallest 5-star hotel,<br />

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over 15 award-winning restaurants and lounges, Saray Spa featuring traditional hammams,<br />

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as well as 8,000 sqm of spectacular meeting spaces.<br />

JW Marriott® Marquis® Hotel Dubai<br />

jwmarriott.com/DXBJW<br />

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

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