World Traveller October 2019





in the


The 20 cities

you need to visit

How to do…

epic Iceland



A wild encounter in

stunning Zululand





Produced in Dubai Production City

Royal Penthouse · Breathtaking views & sublime style

Providing 325 square metres of contemporary elegance, the Royal Penthouse

features a splendid 175 square-metre terrace with panoramic vistas of snowcapped

mountains, the River Rhone and the city’s Old Town.

Mandarin Oriental, Geneva · Quai Turrettini 1, 1201 Geneva · Switzerland · T. +41 22 909 00 00 · ·

Welcome note

From the striking architecture, to the distinctive cultural buzz,

and the throngs of locals going about their daily lives, city

breaks are our go-to for a dash of excitment – and nowhere

does urban thrills like the USA. Whether you want to be

Managing Director

Victoria Thatcher

Chief Creative Officer

John Thatcher

General Manager

David Wade

Managing Editor

Faye Bartle

Content Writers

Habiba Azab

Sophia Dyer

Editorial Assistant

Ronak Sagar

Art Director

Kerri Bennett

Senior Designer

Hiral Kapadia

Senior Advertising Manager

Mia Cachero

Production Manager

Muthu Kumar

bowled over by the Art Deco cool of Miami, soak

up the swagger of New Orleans, or check out

some of those under-the-radar spots (San José,

Austin and Detroit, to name just a few), we've got

the skinny on America's 20 greatest cities to add

to your wish list (p24).

Keeping cool cities in the spotlight, we follow

the Thatcher family to Geneva to discover how a

fortnight in the watch-making capital sees them

slowing down the pace in order to appreciate its

inner workings (p36). Plus, we dig deeper into

the sights and sounds of Singapore to offer you a

snapshot of how best to spend a long weekend in

the Lion City (p60).

If you want to stay closer to home, look no

further than the fun-filled destinations on your

doorstep, which are springing to life for a jampacked

winter of sun, sea and sand. Turn to page

66 for this month's top staycation suggestions

that'll get you firmly in the holiday spirit.

Happy travels,

Faye Bartle


A three-night

stay at Anantara

Kalutara Resort in

Sri Lanka, p79





Testing your skills at a

new activity is one of

the easiest (and most

fun) ways to stay fit and

healthy while you're

away, p20


Think you know the Big

Apple? Think again, as

there are a number of

new neighbourhoods

on the scene, such

as Hudson Yards, on

Manhattan’s West Side,

to check out, p24


All the animals at Thula

Thula Private Game

Reserve in South Africa

have names, such as the

cheeky rhino Thabo,



The barbecued sambal

stingray is the dish to try

at Singapore's famous

Newton Food Centre,



Carouge is Geneva’s

answer to New York’s

Greenwich Village. Go

there for bohemian

vibes, handcrafted

keepsakes... and pizza,



Photography credits:

Getty Images and Phocal Media

Reproduction in whole or in part

without written permission from

HOT Media is strictly prohibited.

HOT Media does not accept

liability for omissions or errors in

World Traveller.

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Octola in Lapland


October 2019




8 13 20 78 80



This month's go-to

places take us from

scenic Sarajevo to

the vibrant streets of

Santiago de Chile.


Admire autumn's best

beauty spots, embark

on a pampering spa

trek, and get set to

scream at these new

theme park attractions.


Active travel expert

Nadine Du Toit shares

some fun and easy

ways to stick to your

health and fitness goals

while on holiday.


Head online for

exclusive content and,

better still, the chance

to win a three-night stay

at Anantara Kalutara

Resort in Sri Lanka.


Gaze down upon the

picturesque V&A

Waterfront from the

stylish confines of the

Superior Suite at The

Silo in Cape Town. 5



24 36


GREATEST CITIES Would a fortnight

From Uptown

in the city of high

NYC to beachside LA, watchmaking prove

we know the hottest too much time? John

urban holiday spots. Thatcher finds out.

A lifeguard tower on South Beach, Miami



An epic 10-day

adventure or a weekend

whistle-stop? Go with

the flow thanks to our

two expert itineraries.



Lyndsey Steven heads

off on a heart-warming

wildlife adventure

at Thula Thula game

reserve in Zululand.





58 60




We've found a suite From its lush green

spot amid Marylebone's spaces to its hawker

pretty streets.

fare, the Lion City roars.



Feel in need of a break?

We have a few more

reasons to book a

weekend escape.



It's time we sent you

packing. Choose your

next adventure from

our exclusive offers.




Diana’s Point

Cliff Pool Villa

Al Maisan Restaurant

A rare jewel in the rocky contours of the vast Saiq Plateau on Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Resort is the highest five star resort in the Middle East. In this extraordinary destination, the true source of adventure is revealed

through Anantara’s distinctive natural luxury and innovative Arabian hospitality.

An exhilarating escape for culture and history enthusiasts, offering 115 guestrooms and pool villas of luxurious authenticity as

well as culinary experiences with five dining outlets to choose from. Guests can continue their journey at the Anantara Spa

complete with a Hammam as well as a fitness centre, tennis court, kids club and teens club. Bespoke outdoor adventure sports

providing cultural, historical, and environmental activities will be widely on offer and available for all of the guests to experience.

Telephone: +968 25218000






Emily Williams, dnata Travel’s resident globetrotter,

reveals the best places to hop on a plane to this month


Tourists are flocking to see the scenic landscapes and charming towns of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including its

culturally diverse capital, Sarajevo, which is tucked inside a valley and surrounded by mountains. Avoid the crowds

by going in the autumn, when the ancient woodlands glow with shades of gold. Discover the museums and sample

the lively nightlife before taking the three-hour drive to Mostar, where the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) sits.

Highlights 1 For a bird’s eye view of the city, take the cable car up Trebević Mountain. If you’ve energy to burn, you can hike or mountain bike

back down again. 2 Pay a visit to the former Olympic Bobsleigh track, and take a stroll along the tubes adorned with funky street art.

3 Admire the neo-Moorish architecture of Vijećnica (the City Hall) and venture inside to swot up on the history of the city and the building itself.




It’s springtime in Chile and the country is starting to blossom. Almost half the population lives in the cosmopolitan

capital Santiago de Chile, a metropolis surrounded by the peaks of the Andes. Make like a local by shopping for

locally-made goods at the popular Santa Lucia Artisan Fair, sampling delicious street foods from the food trucks,

and watching the sun set from the tallest building in South America, Costanera Center.

Highlights 1 Watch the Changing of the Guard in front of La Moneda Palace for some historical fanfare. 2 Visit the home of Chile’s

Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda, and discover the quirky objects the artist collected throughout his life. 3 Foodies can follow

their noses to Mercado Central marketplace to sample its famous lunchtime seafood dishes, such as custardy crab pie. 9

Yosemite National Park

A scenic four-hour drive from San Francisco takes you to Yosemite, a vast protected area of California’s Sierra

Nevada Mountains. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yosemite is home to granite cliffs, lakes, giant sequoia groves,

glaciers, waterfalls and forests, which turn a mishmash of vibrant hues in the autumn months. A paradise for

outdoor adventure seekers, it's an idyllic spot for white-water rafting, hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding.

Highlights 1 Visit the Ansel Adams Gallery to view the Martino Hoss fine art exhibition, which captures the beauty of the majestic landscape

(from 13 October to 16 November). 2 Hug one of the largest trees in the world, the enormous Grizzly Giant, which is thought to be over 2,000

years old. 3 Be mesmerised by the picture-perfect green foliage and cascading waters of Vernal Falls.




Stretches of white sand, turquoise lagoons and luxury resorts may spring to mind, but Mauritius is so much more

than just a beach destination. Its mountainous scenery presents brilliant hiking opportunities, with unforgettable

views of Le Morne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What's more, its coral reefs and centuries-old shipwrecks offer

world-class diving, while its forests are home to precious wildlife, including the Mauritian flying fox.

Highlights 1 Check out the multi-coloured sand dunes of the town of Chamarel, a rare natural phenomenon that's destined to

be an Instagram hit. 2 Venture south of Port Louis to Eureka House, an ode to colonial living that’s now a fascinating museum.

3 Head north to the quaint town of Cap Malheureux and watch the fishermen making their living on the beach. 11

Discover a Revolutionary Beauty Line!

Renew for the journey ahead.

We have something new and exciting for you.

Behold the mind-blowing, anti-aging and hydrating facial treatments by an innovative

Korean product line, which uses Diamonds. Yes, you read that right! Diamonds are

known for their ability to deliver ingredients to the deepest layers of your skin.

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

products after each treatment.

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

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




Be informed, be inspired, be there


If you go down to this 300-hectare

Lapland wood today, you're sure of a

big surprise. Sitting in total isolation, the

new Octola Private Wilderness lodge

offers unprecedented access to nature's

finest moments, including the Northern

Lights (October-April), with Michelinstar

dining and spa treatments adding

a touch of luxury. Comprising 10-suites,

the lodge can be booked in its entirety,

complete with personal butler and

wilderness guide. 13


Lulworth Cove in Dorset by Nikky Casana

for the CEWE Best of Britain photography



Beauty spots to fall for

Perfect places to see golden leaves as they fall from trees


NEW YORK There are

approximately 18,000 trees

inside this famous park. See

the green leaves transform

into rich hues of orange and

red with the turning of the

season – rent a bike and

cycle to your heart's content.


DORSET, UK After the

summer rush to England's

Jurassic Coast has died

down, the cooler winds

bring a moody ambience

to the stunning natural rock

formations here. Perfect

for a crisp hike to nearby

UNESCO site, Durdle Door.


Providing epic views of

Mount Fuji, this park is

revered for its autumnal

leaves, so much so that

there's a festival dedicated

to it spanning the month

of November. The Momiji

Kairo (maple tree corridor) is

utterly share-worthy.



In the heart of the Loire

Valley, Chaumont Château's

gardens boast an array of

expertly-kept flowers and

foliage. The annual Autumn

Central Park in New York City looks

picture-perfect with its autumnal leaves

Splendours festival, from

19 October to 3 November,

showcases seasonal plants

while offering educational

gardening workshops.

Stop and stare. Photographer and seasoned globetrotter

Michael Poliza has visited 170 countries capturing the

most stunning natural landscapes along the way. In his

new limited edition book, aptly named The World, Poliza

reveals previously unpublished images of nature's beauty

from all seven continents.

© The World by Michael Poliza, published by teNeues in October 2019.





As Munich welcomes its

famous Oktoberfest (21

September to 6 October), the

rest of the world follows suit

in joining in the Bavarian

celebrations. You

can still catch The

London Oktoberfest

(london-oktoberfest., which runs

from October to

November at various

venues, all serving up

traditional food and music.

The Chedi Muscat



Nestled between the Al Hajar

Mountains and the azure waters of the

Gulf of Oman, The Chedi Muscat places

you in the lap of serenity – something

that's best experienced while on one

of the new and indulgent Luxury

Wellness Escapes. Choose from a

two-, four- or six-day retreat, each of

which begins with a consultation with

the spa's director. We say blow the

budget on the six-day escape, which

offers no less than 10 transformative

experiences, including a dolphinwatching

cruise, with beauty rituals and

therapeutic massages aplenty.


Angkor Resort


Going on a spa trek

Traverse the globe in pursuit of relaxation




Feeling lost? The Seven Ways of

Enlightenment wellness experiences

call upon soul searchers to embark

on an holistic journey inspired by the

local Khmer healing rituals. Choose

the four- or five-hour spiritual quest,

featuring treatments including a Chi

Nei Tsang massage to tackle energy

blockages. Or, settle into a four- to

seven-day package designed to

push the reset button by inspiring a

healthier way of life.



Favour a scientific approach to

wellness? The collaboration between

One&Only and Chenot is just your

speed, giving rise to two wellness

experiences for 2020. The Espace

Chenot at One&Only Desaru Coast in

Malaysia is designed to detox and reset

the body while the new One&Only Spa

by Chenot, at the Portonovi property

in Montenegro, allows you to dip a toe

into the famous Chenot Method.

Need an excuse to book

your next trip? According to

neuroscientist Dr Michael

Merzenich, travel is

scientifically proven

to be good for the

brain. Breaking the

monotony of the

daily routine is key,

he says – sounds good

to us!

The Mandarin Oriental

Guangzhou has teamed

up with Tory Burch to

launch the Bouquet

of Guangzhou

experience. The chic

new room package

includes a Blossom

Afternoon Tea, spa

treatment and a

designer gift to boot.

In need of a bonding break

with your besties? Soneva

Fushi's BFF package is just

the ticket for a short break

with the girls (or

guys). The itinerary

includes wow

experiences such

as dinner beneath

the stars, a yoga

class, and a dolphin

cruise for a fresh

take on Maldives

with your mates.


Abu Dhabi’s Finest Urban Resort

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi soars to new heights of splendour and service beyond

expectation. Located at the vibrant heart of Abu Dhabi with a 200 metre stretch of

pristine beach, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf which is home

to the Nation Riviera Beach Club at the finest address in the city.

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates t. +971 2 694 4444

©2019 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All names, marks and logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.

Stay exquisite at more than 40 St. Regis hotels and resorts worldwide.



t hrills

and s pills

Star Wars Hotel, Walt Disney World Resort, USA

Step aboard the starship and set off on a voyage through

space that's brought to life by characters and stories that

unfold all around you during your stay at this immersive

hotel resort. Throw yourself into your role by dressing in Star

Wars-inspired attire and peek through the window in your

room for a glimpse of the galaxy outside – just keep your

eyes peeled for galactic friends and foes. Opening date tbc.

To half-term and beyond... make a break for these upand-coming

theme park adventures for the whole family

Disney's Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel,

Disneyland Paris

A Thor hammer's throw away from the Disney Parks and

Disney Village, this four-star hotel is set to be a comic book

fan's dream. Featuring over 300 Marvel artworks in the style

of a contemporary Manhattan art gallery, it'll be the only

Disney Hotel where you can meet Marvel Super Heroes.

Opening summer 2020; booking from 5 November 2019.

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park at American Dream,

New Jersey, USA

The hotly-anticipated American Dream is opening on

25 October, bringing a sprawling complex of shops,

entertainment, attractions and more to New Jersey.

A flagship attraction, the Nickelodeon Universe Theme

Park invites you to test your nerve on the world's steepest

rollercoaster, The Shellraiser (it has a 121.5-degree drop),

before meeting SpongeBob and friends.


1 2 3

Maggie & Rose, global

A London-born family

members club concept

with healthy cafés and

stunning play scenes. The

hip hangout has gone

global with branches in

Hong Kong, Singapore and

China. Plus, non-members

can book into Big Kids

Camps during the holidays.

Wunderhaus, Berlin

A tranquil setting where likeminded

parents can come

to relax while the children

play, Wunderhaus offers a

cool line-up of classes and

workshops for grown-ups,

plus childcare to keep the

little ones busy. The club

is aimed at those with kids

aged from four months to

four years.

Purple Dragon, London

A well established club that's

welcomed a few famous

members over the years,

Purple Dragon aims to foster

precious family moments.

Kids can take classes such

as Michelin Masters (as fancy

as it sounds), Mini Maestros

and Jedi Training, all with

Montessori principles.

Maggie & Rose,




Embark on a journey to an exceptional experience at InterContinental Genève.

Satisfy your taste for luxury in one of our Suites.

Live the InterContinental life.


The Knowledge


Smash your health goals while on holiday

Don't let your healthy habits slide while you're away. Dubai-based travel

and fitness influencer Nadine Du Toit (@glorygirlfit) tells us how

You know the drill. You’ve been nailing

your gym routine and green juicing

like a pro, but the second you set foot

off the aeroplane, going on a run is the

last thing on your mind. While it can

be a challenge to stick to your health

and fitness goals on holiday, making

good choices doesn’t have to mean

drawn-out cardio sessions and skipping

dessert. Here’s how to enjoy yourself

without acquiring any excess baggage…


If you’re off to a destination where

there’s plenty to see, ditch taxis and

public transport in favour of walking

from a to b. It's a simple fix, but it works.

“I normally make a deal with myself that

I will walk as much as possible when

exploring a new place, as it’s a great

way to connect with the environment,”

says Nadine. “Quite often, walking

means you’ll see and experience things

you may have missed if you were stuck

in a train or a car. If you like running,

consider downloading a local trail map

or app and exercise alongside the

locals.” Be sure to carry a water bottle

when you're out and about to help

avoid dehydration – even when you're in

cooler climes.



“Create memories –and Instagram

moments – by filling your days with fun

activities,” advises Nadine. "If you’re

close to the ocean, get some vitamin D

and test your skills at the watersports

on offer, such as windsurfing, or rent

a bike and explore the natural beauty

spots. Taking part in a new activity or

challenge, is great for your fitness levels

and helps you feel more connected with

nature." Not only is it lots of fun, but

you’ll be surprised how many sleepy

muscles you use.



If buffet style meals are a weakness,

don’t fret, as you can successfully

balance eating well and a healthy

dose of indulgence. “Don’t go in with

a mindset of avoidance” says Nadine.

“Instead, start with a full plate of fresh

greens, salad and some fruit. The

fibre will fill you up and the enzymes

in the fresh produce will prepare the

digestive system to fully digest the rest

of the meal. Remember that you are

on holiday so if you really want to eat

something, go for it. Don’t miss out on

trying the local cuisine, just exercise

some portion control and enjoy it –

that’s the most important thing.”


“Whenever you feel like it, grab your

earphones, put on your favourite

workout playlist and get moving,” says

Nadine. “Workouts don’t have to be

complicated or involve using large

equipment. I love travelling with my

skipping rope, as it’s lightweight and

doesn’t take up much space.” Even

15-minutes in the gym, or jogging in

the local park, is better than nothing.

“I recommend doing five rounds of

three-minute intervals. For example,

one-minute skipping, one-minute

shadow boxing (trust me, this is hard

work) and one-minute abs or core work

out,” says Nadine. If in doubt, ask the

hotel gym instructor to draw you up a

quick and easy 15-minute routine.


“Sleep is an important factor for staying

healthy while travelling,” says Nadine.

“On top of helping you to feel your

best, it will encourage you to make

better choices the next day when it

comes to movement and nutrition.”

Of course, when you’re away it can

be hard to catch those zzz’s as there’s

so much to do but, as Nadine says, “if

you can prioritise sleep, it will make a

big difference”. Some rules of thumb

include setting the thermostat to a

slumber-friendly setting (the right

temperature for sleep is between 16-

18°C), and following your usual wind

down routine as much as possible.


The Swiss Luxury Apartments are located just

two minutes' walk from Lake Geneva and the

world-famous Jet d’Eau – right at the heart of the

business district and within easy reach of numerous

restaurants and the city’s vibrant nightlife.

The exclusive, fully air-conditioned Swiss

Luxury Apartments are housed in an historical

building in the city centre, which was once

home to Simon Wedgwood. The beautifully

renovated contemporary apartments offer

the latest hi-tech facilities, with some novel

luxuries to make your stay a joy.

The superbly appointed suites are the perfect

choice for discerning clients seeking luxurious

accommodation with an outstanding array of

facilities. Each offers: a giant 4k TV; free high-speed

secure LAN and WLAN Internet connections; ECO

air conditioning; fully adjustable LED lighting in

the bathrooms; a power shower and separate bath

tub; fully-equipped kitchenette with a Nespresso

coffee machine; luxurious rung beds with Frette silk

duvets; and a choice of pillows to ensure you have a

wonderful night’s sleep.

✔ Reception and concierge service

✔ 24/7 daily housekeeping service

✔ Fully air-conditioned

✔ In-room breakfast available every day from 6am to noon,

priced at CHF39 per person

✔ High-speed Internet access and hi-tech devices (including a

giant 4k TV screen, headphones, and speakers)

✔ In-room dining with a private chef for CHF245 per person

✔ Dedicated cell phone with free roaming, local and international calls

✔ Special ladies’ welcome

✔ Free baby kit upon request

✔ Babysitting service upon request

✔ Nintendo & PlayStations for your kids

✔ Free well-being and health kit

✔ Massages, body treatments and hair dressing service

available upon request

✔ Free transportation card to use on public transport in Geneva

✔ Free, unlimited in-house laundry services

✔ Minibar filled and refreshed every day with complimentary

soft drinks

✔ Storage facilities in the basement

✔ Winner, three times in a row, of the Luxury Travel Guide 2017-2019

✔ Ranked number one out of 109 hotels in Geneva on

TripAdvisor, according to travellers. | | +41 (0)22 596 12 00

Natural charm

One of the newest resorts to grace the Kalutara peninsula,

Anantara Kalutara Resort unveils untouched natural wonders

with plenty of adventure and culture just around the corner



Private cabanas on the beach

Take some time to relfect

by the Kalu Ganga River

Unwind with

an Ayurvedic


Royal Bawa Suite

Warm Sri Lankan hospitality

welcomes you the

moment you set foot on

this beautiful property. Whether it’s

a traditional chanting ceremony or

a simple friendly smile that greets

you, you’ll be instantly immersed in

the country’s vibrant way of life.

Tucked away on a peninsula between

the Indian Ocean and Kalu Ganga

River, the tropical retreat feels a

million miles away from the hustle

and bustle of the capital, yet by the

clock it’s just an hour’s drive. With

towering coconut palms, lush botanical

gardens and an alluring mix of serene

lagoons and white-sandy beaches,

the resort hits every holiday mark.

But what immediately draws you

in is its dramatic scale and unique

architecture that smoothly blends

sunlit, breezy structures with nature

– a signature style that’s inspired by

the vision of the late Geoffrey Bawa,

Sri Lanka’s most celebrated architect.

Boasting stunning vistas that serve

as a reminder of being in a distinctly

exotic destination, the resort has 141

luxury guest rooms, suites and pool

villas – each with private balconies

offering views of the lush greenery,

peaceful lagoon or rolling ocean. For

a memorable stay, request the Royal

Bawa Suite, which pays homage to

Bawa’s unique aesthetic with indigenous

artworks and plush textiles highlighting

his trademark tropical modernism.

Pause to reflect with a traditional high

tea served on the Upper Deck, from

which you can admire stunning views

of the Kalu River and Indian Ocean.

Get a slice of the action by zip-lining

across the lagoon, testing your skills

at abseiling, or rock climbing at Glider

Adventure Tower. If you prefer to slow

down the pace, however, the resort’s

serene setting lends itself well to yoga

and meditation. Head to Anantara Spa

where, after a consultation with the

Ayurvedic doctor, you can experience

Royal Bawa Suite

therapies such as Shirodhara, which

involves gently pouring liquids over

the forehead to lull you into a deep

state of relaxation and help restore

the flow of energy in the body.

For authentic Thai and Indian delights,

head to Spice Traders, which is a treat

for the senses with its array of authentic

Asian flavours. Or, you can soak up

some more of the Sri Lankan culture

by tasting signature dishes featuring

fresh local ingredients, such as blue

mussels, spiny lobster and king prawns.

If you want to learn the secrets of

creating such culinary gems, Spice

Spoons cooking school is the place to go

for some expert tips on mastering the

art of the famously zesty cuisine. Let the

resident foodies take you on a market tour

so you can handpick ingredients to cook

back at the resort, marking a delicious

end to your Sri Lankan adventure.

To find out more, visit

For a chance to win a stay, see page 79. 23




20 greatest cities

Nowhere does urban thrills like the USA. And from uptown

NYC to beachside LA, we know the hottest joints in town



Why go? Miami is the American beach

city, with pale sands, postcard palms

and Art Deco cool — plus a Latino pulse

to keep you buzzing late.

Pink, baby-blue, canary-yellow — the

Art Deco style you came for doesn’t

disappoint. Find the highlights along

Ocean Drive, where the island of Miami

Beach tapers to SoBe (South Beach).

Beside the blue Atlantic, neon-toned

lifeguard stations line the shore. Take a

walking tour ( for the boomand-bust

story, via ’20s excess, the

Great Depression and ’80s vice to 21stcentury


For lunch, grab a seat on the terrace

of the Betsy — Ocean Drive at its most

elegant, with towering burgers.

As the day fades, take an Uber to

Wynwood in mainland Miami. Once

a forlorn grid of streets, it now has a

millennial edge, with graffiti art on old

warehouses. Northwest 25th is the

street to wander along, and it’s where

you’ll find Kyu, an Asian-minimalist

concrete box, where friends sip creative

cocktails and share soft shell crab buns

on high stools.

Next day, explore Coconut Grove,

a rich, but real-feeling community of

palm trees and sea breezes. Drop by

the Mayfair Hotel, inspired by Gaudí,

for coconut-crusted French toast at

Greenstreet Cafè.

Your afternoon idyll is around the

corner: sprawl on the lawns of Barnacle

Historic State Park, with its views of

Biscayne Bay. After dark, the streets

of Little Havana, a 10-minute taxi ride

north, beckon. Join salsa fans at Ball &

Chain, then walk east to hear songs by

Cuban minstrels at Cafe La Trova.

Spend another few days on the beach.

Or, if that's too chilled for your tastes,

explore. Downtown is on the up, with

Mama Tried bar bound to waylay you.

But come by day, too, for an intriguing

tour of the birth of Miami with Dr Paul

George ( He’ll show

you the ornate skyscrapers and gilt

lobbies that put the city on the map. 25


Why go? It’s not just

politicos who’ll love the

American capital. There’s

fiery food, old-school

bars, galleries and gossip.

The 17 Smithsonian

museums could fill a

week alone, covering

everything from African

Art to the daily mail —

the Postal Museum even

displays mail-delivering

Amelia Earhart’s flight

suit. Prioritise the National

Air and Space Museum,

where you’ll see the

Apollo 11 command

module and the world’s

first aeroplane. Next best

is the National Museum

of the American Indian,

which explores the

cultures and practices of

indigenous groups across

the Americas.

Also free, the memorials

lining the National Mall

are easy enough to walk

around in half a day: the

Lincoln and Jefferson

Memorials are more like

temples, while those

honouring the Korean War

and Martin Luther King

Jr are more symbolic, yet

incredibly moving. Finish

with a tour of the US

Capitol building.

But Washington’s not all

highbrow. The interactive

International Spy Museum

lets you into the world

of disguises, hidden

weapons and double

agents. Then there’s the

social scene. Capitol Hill’s

the spot to overhear juicy

gossip, while U Street

Corridor, to the north,

is an important African-

American cultural hub.

Marvin bar-resto sums

it up best with a loose

Marvin Gaye theme,


cuisine, live music and a

rooftop terrace.


Long an automotive


Detroit went into

decline after

the ’50s. But in

recent years,

the city has seen

the rejuvenation

of its art deco

skyscrapers, the

opening of some

of the country’s

hippest shops and

restaurants, and

meteoric propertyprice

rises. Explore

Corktown, with its

rainbow, Federalstyle


wander around

Belle isle park; or

dive into Motown

Museum — after

all, Detroit is the

hometown of

Aretha and

Diana Ross.

San Francisco

Why go? More than 50

years after the Summer of

Love, San Francisco is still

America’s non-conformist

city par excellence, where

beatniks and hippies coexist

with start-up millionaires.

It’s also the gateway to the

Californian wilderness.

Start with the Golden

Gate Bridge, the city’s

most famous site — best

appreciated on a bike. Hire

an electric one from Blazing

Saddles on Fisherman’s

Wharf (blazing saddles.

com), then trundle along

Crissy Field Beach and up

through Presidio Park to the

icon. Cross over and wind

down to chi-chi Sausalito,

where the ferry will return

you back across the Bay.

Back near the bridge cityside,

Golden Gate Park is

home to the San Francisco

Botanical Garden, a

California-in-miniature set of

wildflowers and redwoods,

with plants from around the

world. Nearby is the Haight-

Ashbury neighbourhood,

where the Summer of Love

lives on in vintage shops.

After dark, you want the

hip, grungy Mission district

— specifically, cult restaurant



Mission Chinese, known

for its peppery mapo tofu.

Move on to Foreign Cinema

nearby, which screens

movies in the courtyard as

you drink.

Day two starts with

avocado toast at the Ferry

Building Farmers’ Market,

where locals gather every

weekend to buy organic

veg. Just up the waterfront

is Pier 33, where Alcatraz

Cruises will whisk you to the

infamous island — former

inmates narrate the jail audio

tour. Be warned, however,

that tours get booked up

months in advance.

Finish in North Beach,

home of the Beat

Generation. Lawrence

Ferlinghetti founded

bookshop City Lights,

which published the

Beats’ works; now aged

100, he still pops in. Cross

the road for dinner at

Tosca, a dive bar-turned

fancy Italian; order the

off-menu meatballs.

Spend a day at Muir

Woods, a redwood grove

in nearby Marin County,

with a beach where locals

paddle in tidal pools by

day and light bonfires

at night.

This image: Golden Gate Bridge

Right: A traditional Philly

cheesesteak sandwich


It has long lived

in Philadelphia’s

shadow, but

Pittsburgh has

lots to tempt you.

The Andy Warhol

Museum has the

world’s largest

collection by

the artist (a city

native), while the

Carnegie Museum

of Natural History

is old-school.

Sports fans won’t

be disappointed

— local teams

the Penguins

(ice hockey) and

Steelers (American

football) are

worshipped and

witnessing a game

is a truly electric



Why go? Philly is hugely historical — it’s

where the US was born, in fact — but

has plenty of blue-collar friendliness to

complement its heritage attractions.

The Independence National Historical

Park is the big draw. It includes bighitter

buildings — arrive early for

tours of Independence Hall, where

the Declaration of Independence

and US Constitution were signed.

Another standout is the Museum of

the American Revolution, with a 3D,

timeline-style approach to how the US

broke free from colonial control.

Philly also hosts one of the world’s

greatest art collections at the

Philadelphia Museum of Art. Snap

a selfie by the Rocky sculpture

(yes, that Rocky), then take in the

French Impressionists and Chinese

porcelain exhibitions, before moving

on to see politically charged murals

in the city — the best concentration

is on South Street. Next, visit Philly’s

most impressive sight: the 1829-built

Eastern State Penitentiary, the model

for hundreds of prisons around the

world. Walking its abandoned wings is

thoroughly chilling.

Philadelphia is also a brilliant sit-ata-bar-and-get-pally

city, and hip East

Passyunk Avenue is heaving with

sociable joints, including Manatawny

Still Works. The central Reading

Terminal Market has a similar vibe, but

with food stalls. Hop on a stool and dig

into a world-famous Philly cheesesteak

sandwich, full of tangy, waistlineexpanding

provolone cheese and beef. 27

This image: A New

Orleans jazz band

in the city's French


Right: Disney

Concert Hall in

downtown LA

San José

The heart of

Silicon Valley has

a lot more going

for it than the

headquarters of

Google, Apple

and Facebook.

This anythingis-possible

burgeoning city has

an exciting global

food scene, art

museums and topdrawer


that ranges from

makers market

to fashionable

Santana Row. And

if you’re a tech

nerd, you won’t

be disappointed

— the sprawling

Tech Museum of

Innovation is


New Orleans

Why go? Jazz... Fried oysters...

Funerals that are also street

parties... Street parties that are also

ground-quaking 14-day festivals of

decadence... New Orleans literally

invented these things. And the city’s

still a place where they let les bon

temps roule with a unique swagger.

Ease yourself into the city with

a drink at Longway Tavern, just

metres from rowdy Bourbon Street

in the prettily historic central French

Quarter, to enjoy its sultry plantstrewn


Brunch at Brennan’s is an elegant

institution, and you’ll never

understand this city if you don’t

embrace its bring-it-on attitude

to food and drink. Come evening,

catch trad jazz in its purest form at

winsomely dilapidated Preservation

Hall — no need to reserve seats,

as the sociable queue and alfresco

tippling make the line part of the

fun. Dine at Justine, with street art

on the walls, Frenchy stuff on the

menu, and some light burlesque

between tables.

Next day, see a cemetery:

NOLA entombs her deceased

above ground in atmospheric

stone cities of the dead. Saint

Louise No. 1 has some famous

graves, but a tour is compulsory


Lafayette No. 1 cemetery is free and

in the Garden District, where the

city’s wealthy live in leafy, porticoed,

plantation-era splendour: wander,




Why go? Portland’s

transformation from

backwater lumber town

to ultra-cool craft capital

has been remarkable.

Surrounded by mountains

and wine regions, the city

itself is surprisingly flat and

easy to explore, on foot or

by bike.

For the backstory, the

Underground Portland Tour

from Portland Walking Tours


combines historic tales of

crooked cops and kidnapped

sailors. But otherwise,

forget the somewhat

mediocre attractions —

you’re here to eat and drink.

Portland is booming with

microbreweries, artisan

distilleries, and food trucks.

Unlike other cities, these

don’t converge in one

particular hip neighbourhood

— they’re spread across the

centre. So take a tour for

an introduction. Forktown

( sorts the


Otherwise, an amble

through East Portland can

thread together much of

what makes the city great.

Cartopia at Southeast 12th

and Hawthorne is one of

the original food-cart pods,

with vegan burritos, grilled

chicken or wood-oven pizza

for less than $10.

Finally, Portland also

benefits from Oregon’s

lack of a sales tax, making

it a cheap place to shop,

especially in the flagship

Nike store.


Some Texan

stereotypes (BBQs

and cowboy-boot

shops) persist, but

these days Austin is

a hipster oasis. The

live-music scene

is superb — the

Red River District

is geared towards

serious musiclovers

— downtown

Sixth Street is

more raucous. For

quirky shops, head

to South Congress

Avenue. The

massive, natural

Barton Springs Pool

and the nightly bat

migration from the

Congress Avenue

Bridge show off

the city’s

outdoorsy side.

ogle, envy. You’re not far now from

the Southern Food and Beverage

Museum, but the real draw here

is its soul-satisfyingly good

restaurant, Toups South. Next,

cruise out of town on the charming

St Louis streetcar, then walk back

up Magazine Street for its quirky

boutiques and hip evening options.

Best is Cavan. End your evening

(and begin your night) in the

Marigny district. On Frenchmen

Street, every other building is a

stomping jazz bar, and the standard

is astonishingly high. Even at 4am...

Over the next couple of days get

out into the bayou by kayak (you’ll

get a feel for the swamp that you

won’t with a motorised boat trip;



Why go? LA is changing, and fast. Steer clear of Hollywood, they used to say

— it’s grimy, touristy and has nothing going for it outside the Walk of Fame.

But today, what used to be grim now gleams with rooftop bars, starlet-filled

restaurants and only-in-LA nightlife. Take, for instance, Good Times at Davey

Wayne’s, a ’70s-themed speakeasy with a secret entrance through a fridge, or

Black Rabbit Rose, where you sip drinks to a live magic show.

Then there’s downtown’s major transformation from architectural ghost town

to the heart of the city. The Beaux-Arts and Art Deco buildings are coming

back to life, thanks to the likes of the Last Bookstore, where second-hand

tomes double as sculptures, and Grand Central Market. Here, foodies descend

to eat fried chicken at Lucky Bird and egg-and-cheese brioche buns at cult

breakfast spot Eggslut.

Don’t forget to check out the Valley. Movie stars have always called this

place home, but its so-so food scene meant they often crossed the Hollywood

Hills to eat. Not any more: chef Michael Cardenas opened Mister O’s last

year to great acclaim, hitting LA’s veg trend hard, with the likes of fusilli

with mushrooms, beans and greens. And, right at the other end of the taste

spectrum, Ricardo Zarate has opened Los Balcones with a daring menu that

includes BBQ beef hearts. 29

Clockwise from this image:

Historic Acorn Street on Boston's

Beacon Hill; Chicago's Art Deco

Carbide and Carbon Building,

which now houses a hotel; a cowgirl

shows off her boots in Nashville


Atlanta’s the logical

place to start a

deep South road

trip. But hang


a while first — the

vast city greedily

hoards top-drawer

attractions. The

CNN Studio Tour

and World of

Coca-Cola are at

the fun end of the

scale, while the

brilliant National

Center for Civil and

Human Rights, plus

the Martin Luther

King Jr National

Historical Site

are powerful and

hugely evocative.


Why go? Home of Harvard and JFK;

clam chowder capital; tinderbox

of the Revolution... Boston blends

preppiness and coastal delights with

historic sites. And you can do it all in

two or three days.

Kick off at leafy Boston Common,

starting point of the Freedom Trail,

a 4km walk connecting Revolution

hotspots, including the grave of John

Hancock and Paul Revere’s home.

The trail ends in the North End, an

Italian neighbourhood dotted with

cannoli bakeries and old-school

pasta joints, including Bricco. But,

for a first lunch, there’s no beating

honey-butter-soaked Johnnycake

(cornmeal flatbread) with smoked

bluefish at Neptune Oyster Bar.

Later, try a whale-watching

cruise from nearby Long Wharf

( Or hop in

a cab west and wander past vibrant

John Singleton Copley portraits and

Tiffany stained-glass windows at the

Museum of Fine Arts. As evening

falls, wind up with a hot dog and

game at vintage baseball stadium

Fenway Park.

Next morning, head to a Boston icon:

Harvard, where a free, student-led

tour whisks you through the grand

buildings and tree-shaded grounds.

Now hop on the subway to the JFK

Presidential Library and Museum.

Exhibits explore the late president’s

life — worth it even if you’re not a real

politics geek.

Later, see Seaport, Boston’s refurbed

industrial district, and the residential

South End. On Sundays, SoWa

market fuses art, street food and lawn

games, but every day of the week

you can enjoy the edgy Institute of

Contemporary Art and the handsome

brownstones by Tremont Street.

Nearby are some of the city’s finest

restaurants: try Sportello for silky

pastas or Row 34 for yummy oysters,

clams and buttery lobster rolls.

Beyond the city lie some of

Massachusetts’s finest assets, such

as scenic Cape Cod, quaint Martha’s

Vineyard island and historic Plymouth

Rock. Or try Salem, famed for its 17thcentury

witch trials. Take the train from

North Station to its clapboard houses

and Peabody Essex Museum.




Why go? Chicago is a proper, muscular

American city, with skyscrapers that

drip with Art Deco details, world-class

museums, and a sophisticated food

scene. But a walkable centre makes it

surprisingly doable in a few days.

Focus your sightseeing on the Loop,

Chicago’s downtown core. The quickest

way to get to know it is with a free tour

guide ( Note an

interest in architecture and you may find

yourself with Nancy Whitlock, who will

whisk you to the Marquette Building’s

brass reliefs and Tiffany mosaics. Lunch

with the 9-5 crowd next door, at Revival

Food Hall, home to stall-sized offshoots

of hot city restaurants. The house-made

charcuterie from Danke is a must.

Next, head north on a river cruise

( for a neckcraning

view of the most giddying

buildings, such as the Champagnebottle-inspired

Carbide and Carbon

Building, designed as a two-fingered

salute to Prohibition. In the evening, raise

a glass to its architects at cosy, woodpanelled

Coq d’Or bar in the Drake Hotel,

the second in the city to obtain a liquor

licence after the repeal.

Day two: arrive early to beat the queue

for the Art Institute of Chicago, with its

A-list line-up, from Edward Hopper to

Vincent Van Gogh. Nearby, Miller’s Pub

serves American classics beneath the

rattling L-traintracks. Finally, take the

green L line to leafy Oak Park to ogle

the turreted mansion home of a teenage

Ernest Hemingway, who couldn’t wait to

leave, and to see where architect Frank

Lloyd Wright built his first house.

Take another two days to explore

Chicago’s neighbourhoods. Wrigleyville

is home to the Chicago Cubs, the 2016

World Series-winning baseball team.

You’ll find fans in noisy-but-fun cult

sports bar Sluggers, which even has

batting cages installed.

To the west, up-and-coming Logan

Square is littered with foodie spots such

as Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. Join the

queue for sweet pies — think honey and

orange blossom.

San Diego

Picture classic

California beaches,

and you’re almost

certainly picturing

San Diego. Here,

there’s one for

every taste. Surfers

love Ocean Beach,


Why go? The barman in a

Stetson, pouring your shot;

barbecue chicken thighs so

hot they make your teeth

hurt; the next Taylor Swift

strumming a hard-luck song...

That’s what travellers imagine

they’ll get in Nashville, the

music capital of Tennessee (if

not the world). And you know

what? That’s exactly what

they get. Visit the city and

it’s like stepping into a No.1

country album. Take a tour

with Songbird to understand

how much music truly means

to Nashville. On board a

customised bus with a small

stage, passengers listen to

singer-songwriters perform

in between stories of big hits

and record-label wrangles


Next up, duck into the

Country Music Hall of Fame

before nightfall. Here, Dolly

Parton outfits and Elvis’s

Cadillac bring the legends

back to life. Now hit honkytonk

bars on Broadway

(Tootsies is the best and

grimiest), where unsigned

acts are all good-enoughfor-a-Grammy.

Then find

your spot in the greatest

live-music venue of all time:

Ryman Auditorium, a temple

to acoustics — the audience

even sits on wooden pews.

where the waves

pound against the

shore. Fashionistas

join the yoga-pants

crowd at Pacific

Beach, with its



For palm trees

and sea lions, it’s

chi-chi La Jolla. For

wide white sands

backed by Golden

age mansions, try

Coronado. 31


Gateway to the

Rocky Mountain

National Park,

Colorado’s big city

provides thrills for

those who love

the outdoors — in

summer, rugged

hikes, in winter,

some of America’s

finest skiing within

easy reach. But

there’s plenty to

do downtown,

too. Hop between

the RiNo, Ballpark

and Five Points

districts. Follow up

with a concert at

Red Rocks Park and

Amphitheatre — the

coolest outdoor

venue in the US.

Las Vegas

Why go? It’s supersized, gaudy, and

— if you throw yourself into it — lots

and lots of fun. Las Vegas’s scale,

bravado and all-out assault on the

senses are unmatched anywhere else

on Earth.

The Las Vegas Strip is lined with

huge resorts, most with gimmicks

— such as the replica Eiffel Tower

outside Paris, and the exploding

volcano by the Mirage. Spend your

first day ambling through them, wideeyed.

Some attractions are worth

shelling out for, too, including the

Titanic exhibition at the Luxor, and

the rollercoaster at New York

New York.

Top freebies include the Fine Art

collection at CityCenter and the

fountains outside the Bellagio.

For dinner, obscene buffet-gorging

is a quintessentially Vegas experience.

Le Village Buffet at Paris is better

value and higher quality than most,

with individual cooking stations

inspired by French regions. Later, hit

a show — one of the best reasons to

visit Vegas.

Avoid comedy — overpriced and

too US-centric — but for everything

else, hunt on, vegas.

com or for discounts

(on the day you’ll get up to 50% off).

You can’t go wrong with a Cirque du

Soleil show, especially the Beatlesthemed

LOVE or acrobatics-meetswar


Head downtown. Here, the Mob

Museum delves deep into Vegas’s

dodgy gangster origins, while classic

neon signs line Fremont Street. Mooch

for a block either side and you’ll find

large-scale street art. When you’re

ready to eat, the Downtown Container

Park hosts bars, restaurants and indie

This image: The fountains in front of the

Bellagio hotel on the Vegas strip

Right: A breakfast burrito



shops in shipping containers (a bit

like Dubai's Boxpark).

In the evening, the Fremont Street

Experience — a multi-block LED

canopy — puts on a light show,

often with live bands. You can fly

through it on the SlotZilla Zip Line

(vegasexperience. com/slotzilla-zipline)

— best done before dinner

(try Carson Kitchen for rock meets

comfort food).

Vegas is surrounded by awesome

desert and mountain scenery —

worth a couple more days at least.

Take Sundance Helicopters’ Grand

Voyager flight into the Grand Canyon,

which includes a boat trip down the

Colorado River (sundancehelicopters.

com). Otherwise, there’s the

multicoloured Red Rock Canyon,

21km west of the Strip — Red E Bike

( does tours — or the

engineering marvel Hoover Dam.


Grunge and high

tech collide in the

coastal, mountainsurrounded

home of

Nirvana, Microsoft

and Amazon. Money

from the latter has

been pumped into

big attractions,

including the

music and movieworshipping



museum of Popular

Culture. But the

sprawling, multistorey

Pike Place

Market channels

Seattle’s coffeeguzzling,


Northwest happy,

slacker character.


Why go? This year, there are new

neighbourhoods to explore. Riverside

complex Hudson Yards, on Manhattan’s

West Side, has sprung up almost from

nowhere, in a futuristic explosion of

public art, immaculate plazas and

gleaming, glassy restaurants. Get in

there for coca flatbreads or sizzling

paella at its stylish Little Spain food hall,

then climb the crisscrossing staircases

of the Yards’ centrepiece, a hive-like

Thomas Heatherwick sculpture.

Next, potter down the High Line

public walkway to Chelsea. This oncegrungy

neighbourhood is now a hotbed

of cool. As well as new gallery collective

the High Line Nine, in a building

designed by Zaha Hadid, there’s the

lavish Restoration Hardware interiors

store, with a leafy bar-restaurant on the

roof, and the minimalist-chic new Moxy

Hotel Downtown. Smartly designed

affordable hotels are a general trend:

the Moxy is rivalled by brand-new stay

Sister City, in the rejuvenated Bowery

area of town.

Meanwhile, vegan comfort food

dominates the city’s hip restaurants: try

the bizarrely ‘meaty’ Impossible Burger

at Saxon and Parole in the Bowery;

vegan dim sum at the East Village’s Fire

& Water; or meatless breakfast burritos

at Brooklyn’s Hartbreakers. Lastly, one

of the biggest sightseeing changes

to New York’s iconic line-up in years

has recently reopened: a dazzling new

museum beside the Statue of Liberty. 33

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Stories from journeys

far and wide 35


A summer fling with Juilliard saw John Thatcher and family head

to Geneva, but would their fortnight engagement in the city

of high watchmaking prove too much time?



ime and Geneva are

inexorably linked. The

city is home to the world’s

finest watchmakers,

their horological feats only deemed

worthy to bear the coveted Seal of Geneva

if they have met strict parameters.

Naturally, then, the city shouts of this

proud heritage from its rooftops, on

which advertising hoardings bearing

manufacturers’ prized names (Patek

Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and all)

are loftily positioned so that they are

visible from the beautiful Lac Léman.

Time would also define our stay in

Geneva. At two weeks we had too much

of it, said some of our friends; former

residents of the mountain-backed city.

Yet with only a window of six hours per

day to explore, we also had too little.

Their belief of the former was built on

the fact that as a relatively small city

(just over six square miles), Geneva

is easy to explore over the course of a

weekend – particularly as every hotel

guest is given a complimentary Geneva

Transport Card when they check in,

which permits a free ride on the city’s

public transport network (bus, train,

tram and boat) for the duration of their

stay. The latter thought was expressed

because of Geneva’s enviable location,

which puts France and Italy within

easy reach, not to mention Mont Blanc

and the wider, ample attractions of

Switzerland. As such, day trips from

the city are ripe with adventure.

So why did we only have six hours?

That was on account of the reason we

headed to Geneva in the first place:

our eldest daughter had won a place at

Juilliard’s Summer Performing Arts

programme, which meant we had to

be in the small town of Pont-Céard

(a train-ride from Geneva) at 9am

each morning to drop her off, and at

5pm each afternoon to collect her.

When time is of the essence, it

certainly helps that Switzerland’s trains

run on time. Growing up in the UK you

come to believe that scheduled train

times are a simple matter of guess work,

a wild stab in the dark at when the train

will likely roll in, if it actually rolls in

it all. Here, they leave on the second.

It also helped that our first hotel, Swiss

Luxury Apartments, stands a mere 600

metres from the city’s train station, 37


Cornavin, and that staying there made

everything a breeze. Take breakfast, for

example, which at our designated hour

was delivered each morning (right on

time, obviously) to our door on a silver

platter – a veritable buffet comprised of

cold cuts, cheeses, yogurt, cereal, juices

and pastries. They also ensured that any

clothes we’d consigned to the washing

basket – a lot when you have two stainprone

kids in tow– were returned clean

and neatly folded the following day. And

along with leaving our room squeakily

spotless they’d also deposit a gourmet

treat: not the standard chocolate on your

pillow, but genuinely thoughtful things

like organic, locally produced honey; a

beautifully wrapped box of handmade

fudge; and, upon departure, a wheel

of raclette cheese to enjoy warm and

melted when back home. Little wonder

that the apartments were awash with

fellow guests from the Middle East.

Within two minutes of stepping out

from the apartments we were aside

the great lake, its famous Jet d’Eau

spurting into a baby blue sky, on our

way to Place du Rhône to catch another

train, this one more toy-like in size. It

took us on a whistle-stop tour of some

of the city’s most historic spots: the

imposing opera house, with stone figures

carved into its façade; the Reformation

Wall in pretty Parc des Bastions, a

grand monument with the towering

figure of John Calvin at its core, a key

figure of the Protestant Reformation

in Europe and the 400 th anniversary

of whose birth the long stretch of wall

was built to commemorate; and lastly

the charismatic old town, at the heart

of which is Bourg-de-Four Square,

Geneva’s oldest spot where locals traded

their wares in Roman times. It now

does a roaring trade in coffee shops.

The Gothic-influenced St. Peter’s

Cathedral towers above the old town,

and a climb up its near 200 stone stairs

is a must. The trade-off for burning

calf muscles is a spectacular view

of Geneva’s blessing from Mother

Nature – that stunning, sun-kissed

lake and the cloud-shrouded spikes

of mountains which frame a vista

that’s simply pretty as a picture.

Multiple lanes branch off Bourgde-Four

Square, one of which, Rue des

Chaudronniers, plays host to a gem of










a fashion find: Vintage Garde-Robe.

While the new season’s luxuries can be

purchased from the concentration of

designer boutiques along Rue du Rhône,

Vintage Garde-Robe has curated an

outstanding selection of styles from

seasons’ past, including couture (lots of

it) from the likes of Chanel and Valentino.

They also deliver to the Middle East.

Vintage of a rarer, stranger kind was

also ours to (weirdly) enjoy when we

returned to the old town for dinner.

Having chosen an alfresco table, we had

ringside seats for an impromptu street

performance. I’ve been brought up to

believe it’s impolite to ask a lady her age,

which has resulted in me being utterly

abject at guessing, but I’d put the age

of this street performer at somewhere

between 90 and 110. Which made her

choice of attire, a pink leotard and tutu,

somewhat distressing. Having placed

a stereo on the cobbled floor, she then

proceeded to perform a ballet routine

to Delibes’ Flower Duet. Like a car

crash, it was something I desperately

wanted to look away from yet watched

transfixed. Until, that is, she finished

with a croisé that almost snapped her

twig-like legs and came to our table in

search of a performance fee. Knowing

I had only a 50-franc note in my wallet,

I tried to make for the toilet and hide

until she had petit jetéd off, but thwarted

by own children whom she insisted on

being photographed with, I now have a

permanent reminder of why our dinner

cost 50 francs more than it should have.

That experience alone was why the

very next day we took a one-hour bus ride

(free with the Geneva Transport Card)

into south eastern France to visit Annecy,

the charming town lovingly dubbed

‘Venice of the Alps’ due to its old stone

bridges and winding canals. Besting

Venice for sheer beauty however – a

result of it having The Alps as a backdrop

– Annecy also boasts its own storied

old town, one mercifully free of aged

ballerinas but rife with farmers selling

their prized produce on the morning

we were there – cheeses the size of car

wheels, tomatoes rose red and ripened

to burst, and olives the size of eggs.

There’s a similarly tempting array

of farmers’ fare to buy on Saturday

mornings in Carouge, billed as Geneva’s

equivalent to New York’s Greenwich

Village. You may also hear it referred to

as ‘Little Italy’, not on account of it having

a battery of pizza parlours, but due to

its Sardinian heritage, which makes it

architecturally different to other parts

of the city. This is the bohemian side of

town, where branded storefronts give

way to quaint boutiques selling the likes

of speciality teas and hand-blown glass

bottles, into which they’ll deposit your

tipple of choice, and where craftsman

openly work on bespoke timepieces

and jewellery, employing their timehonoured

methods while you watch.

Proud locals contribute much to

Carouge’s overt charm, with their

artistic endeavours to the fore. Wander

around and you’ll see one of the side

streets shaded by dozens of colourful

umbrellas strung between the rooftops,

while residents fought hard (and won) to

secure the future of a near century-old

cinema that shows independent films.

It’s a wonderfully atmospheric place to

visit on a sun-soaked Saturday morning.

The little town of Nyon, home to an

imposing 13th century castle which

once guarded it but is now a porcelain

museum, is a beautiful, leisurely cruise

from Geneva, during which we floated

past hamlets of chocolate-box houses,

sloping vineyards, and mountains so

striking in hues of emerald and mint the

scene looks almost handpainted.

We sailed on the Savoie, the paddle

steamer jewell in Lake Geneva's Belle

Epoque fleet, which also offers a highquality

silver service lunch – the best

way to sample the soft-as-butter perch

fillet, a Lake fish common to the menus

of nearly every Geneva restaurant.

It doesn’t, however, feature on

the menu at Yakumanka, Mandarin

Oriental’s Peruvian hotspot which is an



Opening pages: Geneva and Lac Léman

These pages, clockwise from top left:

Buying freshly-baked goods at

Carouge's weekend market; picturesque

Parc des Eaux-Vives; Carouge's colourful

street; Yakumanka; Geneva Natural

History Museum 39

Mandarin Oriental Geneva

stands aside the Rhone River



outstanding example of what Geneva’s

generally staid food scene currently

lacks but is in the process of acquiring.

It’s bright, buzzy and its dishes a riot of

freshness, creativity and flavour. Not

that I expected anything less from the

Mandarin Oriental, the second hotel we

stayed at. Wherever in the world we have

stayed at one of their hotels – in London

and Boston, Singapore and Bangkok,

Miami and Hong Kong – the experience is

near faultless, with their staff a cut above

when it comes to applying a personal

touch. Here, the staff at breakfast were

somehow aware that our daughter was

at the Juilliard camp and decorated her

order of waffles with chocolate sauce

and berries shaped into musical notes.

While our eldest daughter brought the

hills alive with the sound of music, our

youngest was determined to make the

most of having our undivided attention,

which saw her pitch for (and usually

win) ice cream or some sort of chocolate

treat (when in Switzerland…) on what

felt like an hourly basis, but was probably

more like 30 minutes. So her smile was

as wide as Lac Léman when we told her

we’d enrolled to take a chocolate-making

workshop at one of Geneva’s oldest

chocolate factories, La Bonbonnière.

Like a scene from Charlie and The

Chocolate Factory, La Bonbonnière’s

kitchen is all vats full of melted chocolate

and shelves piled high with cocoa from

South America, the air thick with an

intoxicating scent. Over the course of a

thoroughly enjoyable hour the three of

us were individually tasked with making

a chocolate box and almond-flecked

chocolates to place inside. We did so with

varying degrees of success. While my

wife’s was clearly best, mine looked like

I’d created it with my eyes closed while

trying to fend off an attack dog. My eightyear-old

daughter’s was much better,

even though she spent much of the hour

scoffing the chocolates meant for her box.

That night we rolled ourselves into the

InterContinental Geneva, perched high

on a steep hill next to the United Nations

and home to a line-up of stellar suites

headed by The Residence, a magnificently

opulent dwelling comprising the

Presidential and Royal Residences, the

Grand Salon and Grand Dining Room,

replete with two full kitchens. No prizes

for guessing it’s the city’s largest.








This is the hotel of choice for politicians

visiting the UN, and at breakfast we sat

next to a delegation from Washington,

who five minutes previously we had

seen on Sky News. The hotel’s restaurant

Poolside (no prizes either for guessing

how it got that name) is where the

bigwigs relax after a hard day’s debating,

enjoying the likes of seabass lightly

grilled on a barbecue that’s fired-up

nightly. It’s a lovely little spot for dinner.

As is little known, hard-to-find La

Vie des Champs. Owner Agathe, who

previously worked at a hotel in Dubai,

opened the restaurant in what is her

grandparents’ old house, and the love that

she has for the place radiates from her.

She has never advertised, never wants to,

and is happy to serve whomever seeks her

out, which on occasion happened to be

high-ranking politicians, flanked by their

bodyguards. When we found our way there

it was in-the-know locals who filled the

tables, taking their pick of three dishes

from a dinner menu that changes weekly

based on what seasonal ingredients the

chef has procured from his daily trips to

the market. I had a grilled octopus that

bettered any I have ever had elsewhere.

In the end, we didn’t have too much

or too little time to enjoy Geneva. As

a city it doesn’t buzz. Instead, like the

sweeping hands of one of its finely

tuned watches. It moves stealthily,

and to fully appreciate it you have to

see its inner workings. Which is why

two weeks turned out to be just about

perfect. Coming from the taller, faster,


city of Dubai, it took us a while to adjust,

but once we had we discovered a city that

is charming, historic, and, in many parts,

simply beautiful. A timeless classic.

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

800 DNATA or visit 41


Skógafoss waterfall

An epic 10-day adventure of otherworldly awe? Or a long

weekend of discovery? We’ve distilled the highlights into

two expert itineraries. No worries — just go with the flow...




on’t be fooled by the

name. Iceland may

be a wild, glaciercrowned

island, but

it’s far from frigid

or inhospitable. Wry

locals are as warm as

their woollen jumpers and the landscape

steams with geysers and hot springs. Its

capital, Reykjavík, is a high-energy hub

of creativity, and the country’s food scene

is blossoming. As well as the infamous

fermented shark (hákarl), which is

best ignored entirely, you’ll find a new

generation of young chefs is putting a

sophisticated spin on local ingredients

in restaurants that rival Scandinavia’s

best. If you know where to look, you’ll

find a nature documentary’s worth of

wildlife, from mink to minke whales.

There’s also blood-chilling Viking history,

spooky Norse mythology and plenty of

geothermal activity — which means

exploding geysers, outdoor hot pools

and steamy, super-luxe spas. There are

any number of ways you can tackle a trip

here, but the big question is: ‘How long

have you got?’ If it’s just a few days, you’ll

want our ‘Reykjavík and the Golden Circle’

tour for a slice of city action and a taste

of Iceland’s wild, weird landscape over a

long weekend. And if you’ve got longer,

try our Route 1 road trip, which will take

you around the whole island ticking off

its most spectacular sights. Either way,

strike now while the island’s hot...

Reykjavík and the

golden circle

First visit? This three-night trip

combines the capital with a selfdrive

tour of handy geological

treats, says Alex Allen

DAYS 1-2

Raw nature: Blue Lagoon

& Golden Circle

Black waves lashing at a basalt-peppered

beach; a lone church looking out over a

landscape of volcanic rubble — and that’s

just what you’ll see from the plane window

as you descend into Iceland’s Keflavík

airport. For the full ‘moon landing’

experience, rather than heading straight

into the urbanity of Reykjavík, rent a car

and speed half an hour south to the Blue

Lagoon. Approaching along a road rolled








flat through a moss-furred lava field,

you’ll spot clouds of steam billowing

from a cluster of silvery buildings. One of

these is the Retreat, an out-of-this-world

stunner of a hotel where you should spend

your first night. Inside you’ll find rooms

that combine stylish, Scandi minimalism

with cave-like cosiness. Access to its vast

spa — and hotel residents’ own private

section of the lagoon — is included,

too, so get up early the next morning

for a soothing soak before check-out

Day two is all about the Golden Circle —

a compact loop of three major geological

sights: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss

waterfall and the Geysir hot springs. You

can take a basic group bus tour for about

$90pp, but being able to stop on a whim to

gawp at the landscape or follow signs for

hand-knitted souvenirs make self-driving

the best way to go. Ignore what the sat

nav will tell you, and instead of heading

north, via Reykjavík, strike out south, via

the fishing town of Grindavík. This route

is far quieter and more scenic — a rolling

backdrop of vast gravel plains, foil-sheet

lakes and stumpy peaks dip-dyed in neon

green. Things get more dramatic at your

first stop, in Thingvellir National Park,

where you’ll hit a ridge that rises out of

the landscape like the spine of a book.

This is the Almannagjá ravine, where

the Eurasian and North American plates

meet in a rocky seam. It’s also the site

of the world’s first parliament — the

Althing, founded around 930CE. Don’t

miss Oxarafoss waterfall, which roars like

the echoes of a thousand Viking voices.

By now you’ll be hankering for some

lunch, so before heading an hour east to

the Geysir Hot Springs — the second stop

on your Golden Circle itinerary — make

a pit stop at Friðheimar, a geothermally

powered indoor tomato farm and

restaurant. Watch docile bumble bees

drone past as you slurp down bowl

after bowl of delicious all-you-can-eat

tomato soup with freshly baked bread.

At Geysir, fumaroles bubble and billow

like the set of a B-movie horror. There

are several geysers here, from ones

the size of a witch’s cauldron to those

blasting tower-block-high columns of

steam into the air. But Strokkur is the

most active, going off every three to

four minutes, as if playing to

the whooping crowds.

The final stop on the tour — 10 minutes

down the road — is Gullfoss, a waterfall

of knee-buckling scale. In full flow, it

can funnel about 1,400 cubic metres of

water per second over its 200-metre-wide

crest — making it one of the largest falls,

by volume, in Europe. Warm up with a

coffee in the visitor centre before the

two-hour drive back to Reykjavík, where

you should check in at the CenterHotel

Midgardur — at the quiet end of the

central Laugavegur shopping street.


City scenes: ReykjavÍk

Iceland’s capital is best explored on foot.

With the playful street art, tucked-away

boutiques and offbeat museums, a crosstown

walk feels more like a treasure hunt

than a trek. But you’ll want to load up

on a good breakfast first. Brauð & Co, a

bakery just off Laugavegur street, is where

you can watch sheets of dough turn into

custard-filled buns or blueberry and

liquorice rolls in the hands of the bakers.

Fill a paper bag with a selection and head

up the road to Hallgrímskirkja, the iconic

church that looms over the city like a

concrete rocket. The lift ride to the top of

the steeple costs $9, but it’s worth it for

the sight of Reykjavík’s colourful houses

laid out like spilt Lego. From here it’s a

20-minute walk to the National Museum

of Iceland, where you’ll find the country’s

history told with brilliantly preserved

artefacts, including grisly Viking remains.

Making your way back into the centre,

don’t miss the black building that

houses Fischer, a quirky concept store

owned by artist Jónsi of the Icelandic

band Sigur Rós. You’ll find beautifully

packaged products, from perfumes

and candles to teas and tinctures.

Reykjavík’s food scene has come on

loads in the past few years. At Skál!,

for instance, chef Gísli creates pretty,

delicious and reasonably priced dishes


Clockwise from above left:

A hearty bowl of tomato soup;

Northern lights in the skies

above Iceland; high angle view of

Reykjavik; a geyser spirts high into

the blue sky 45 45

from seasonal, local ingredients,

such as braised lamb ribs with

smoked buttermilk and celeriac.

Kids will love walking beneath life-size

models of blue and humpback whales at

the Whales of Iceland exhibition by the

harbour, the poignant tales of Iceland’s

fishing communities at the nearby

Maritime Museum are more for parents.

Icelanders love a drink and you’ll find

locals doing plenty of it at Bryggjan

Brewery ( The food

here is good, but better at next-door

Matur Og Drykkur, where you should

order the ‘from sea’ tasting menu — the

creamy mussel soup is wonderfully

warming. Next day, a steamy morning

dip at Sudhöllin public swimming

pool is the perfect pre-flight tonic.

The route 1 drive

Looped by the Ring Road, aka Route

1, Iceland makes for a top driving tour

— especially in summer, when roads

are ice-free and the midnight sun

shines. Sarah Marshall maps it out

Working clockwise from

southwesterly Reykjavík, your first stop

is ‘Iceland in miniature’, the Snæfellsnes

Peninsula, which packs some of

the country’s highlights — rugged

coastlines and panoramic mountain

trails — into a 90km stretch. Roads

are even emptier as you go north along

fjords where surf fizzes on black-sand

shores, trolls lurk in crevices and fishing

villages revel in nostalgia. Then, over

on the east coast, mighty waterfalls

and iceberg-strewn lagoons conjure

end-of-the-Earth drama. Here’s how to

distil the best bits into a 10-day drive.

DAYS 1-2

Snow and sand: Snæfellsnes

Leaving Reykjavík, mountains grow

taller and waterfalls crash harder as

you head north along Route 1, turning

west onto the 54 at Borgarnes and

continuing to Snæfellsnes. The two-anda-half-hour

drive is an arthouse movie

epic: mossy, mineral-studded lava

fields sparkle with lurid colours, and

lone houses are spotlit by sunrays

blasting through the clouds.

A backbone of snow-streaked peaks

stretches along the peninsula, ending in

the dome of Snæfellsjökull, a dormant

volcano and glacier. Although it is possible

to summit on a guided tour, be prepared

for a 7-12-hour scramble, armed with an

ice axe. Instead, admire the view from







the romantically remote Hótel Búðir.

Replicate Jules Verne’s Journey to the

Centre of the Earth (it was set in this

volcano) by descending 200 metres into

Vatnshellir Cave, an 8,000-year-old

lava tunnel easily accessed by a spiral

staircase (visits only with summitguides.

is). Highlights of the 45-minute tour are

two coiling rock towers created by an

expulsion of gas — and a huge phallic

stalactite guaranteed to cause sniggers.

Go for a hike following trails along the

coastline. From fishing village Arnarstapi,

a key trading port in the 18th century, walk

down to the immense stone sculpture

of guardian troll Bárður Snæfellsás, and

take a right-hand path to Hellnar (2.5km

each way). Photograph volcanic monoliths

jutting from the surf, then refuel on

Icelandic cod ’n’ chips at Arnarbaer

Restaurant. Further west, black-pebbled

beaches Djúpalónssandur and Dritvík also

demand to be snapped. Strewn pieces

of rusted metal are the eerie remains of

the Epine trawler, wrecked in 1948, and

a collection of granite boulders recalls

days when burly fishermen measured

their might by lifting the stones.

It looks solid, but Iceland’s landscape

rocks and rolls with life forms, and folk

artist Lúðvík can reveal where the ‘hidden

people’ of local folklore hide. His studio,

Liston, in Grundarfjörður, is full of stones

crafted by their ‘inner spirits’ — and even

if the art leaves you cold, a chat with the


earded boho will spark a smile. Meet

more offbeat local characters at nearby

slow-food restaurant Bjargarsteinn

House of Food, where witty chef Gunnar

Gardarsson and his wife, Selma, can

explain how their 110-year-old wooden

house was transported 140km intact

to the waterside on wheels. Brave the

sour fizz of fermented shark from their

drying shed — or play safe with blue

mussels harvested in May and June.


Hiking heaven: Húsafell

Vikings plundered most of Iceland’s

forests, but there are still swathes of

wind-stunted birch trees in Húsafell, an

outdoor playground of hiking, biking,

horse-riding and running routes around

forests, canyons and crystal-clear rivers.

To get there, drive back along the 54, join

Route 1 at Borgarnes and head inland

for about 50 minutes on the 50 and

518, where valleys of golden hair grass

gaze up at big skies. Signposted, selfguided

trails start at the visitor centre,

ranging from a 45-minute ramble amid

the remains of ancient settlements to a

challenging seven-hour glacier ascent.

A 10-minute drive away, Hraunfossar’s

impressive wall of waterfalls stretches for

a kilometre as they crash into the Hvíta

river, with platforms set at key spots.

Stroll for a few minutes in the opposite

direction, however, and you’ll find a

steep, muddy path to the base — perfect

for those wide-angle shots. Even more

dramatic is Barnafoss, a narrow channel

further along the river, where fast-flowing

water has carved tunnels and bridges.

But that’s nothing compared to the 180

litres of boiling H2O spurting every

second from Deildartunguhver, the

most productive hot spring in the world.

Skip the scorching source and take a

civilised, scenic dip at sleek geothermal

bath and restaurant Krauma, moving

between pools cooled with glacial

water, ranging from 37°C to 42°C.


Northern exposure: SkagafjÖrður

The northwest is still far enough off the

tourist radar to feel like a new discovery.

Here, you’ll find easily accessible

waterfalls and geological oddities just as

nature made them — without a safety

rope or platform in sight. Leave Húsafell

and, after reconnecting with Route 1, drive

north for 90 minutes through mounds

of volcanic rubble, heading inland

along gravel road 715 for 10 minutes to

Kolufoss. It’s the waterfall that explorers

dream of: raw, rugged and mostly

people-free. Cross a bridge straddling the

zigzagging Kolugljúfur gorge, then climb

down rocks to sit in spraying distance

of rainbow-generating cascades.

Further north along the Vatnsnes

Peninsula, via a 30-minute drive on Route

1 and the 716, is Borgarvirki, a volcanic

outcrop with head-spinning views of silky

lakes and rust-red valleys sloping to the

sea. Wooden steps lead to the fortified

basalt walls, which may once have served

as a fortress. You can delve deeper into

the past at 1238 The Battle of Iceland, a

new interactive museum in Sauðárkrókur

on the neighbouring fjord. Based on the

script of the Sturlunga Saga, it recounts

one of the area’s bloodiest battles, with a

VR room to indulge Game of Thrones-type

fantasies. War weary? Only sweet dreams

are in store at cosy 19th-century Hótel

Tindastóll, one of Iceland’s oldest wooden

houses, with a spring-water-filled hot tub.


DAYS 5-6

History and humpbacks: HÚsavÍk

Looping around fjords, hugging clifftops

and diving into tunnels, this stretch of the

route is a rollercoaster ride. Take the 76

towards Hofsós and continue past turfroofed

houses to Siglufjörður, once the

heart of Iceland’s herring industry. Housed

in reclaimed wooden buildings filled with

artefacts and ‘climb-aboard’ fishing boats,

the excellent Herring Era Museum takes

a rose-tinted look at the blood, sweat and

fish scales shed until the late ’60s. Luckily,

any unpleasant odours have been replaced

by the smell of coffee from harbourside

bistro Hannes Boy; rev your engine with

a caffeine shot and catch of the day.

One of the largest towns in the north,

Akureyri will seem like a metropolis, the

novelty of traffic lights exaggerated by

their heart-shaped stop signals. For an

urban fix, explore the bright facades and

artistic graffiti along Hafnarstræti, and

continue east along Route 1 for 35 minutes

to Goðafoss — ‘waterfall of the Gods’. A

stairwell leads to the base, but hop across

the bridge instead: the view is better, and

you won’t get wet. Continue north on the

845 and 85 to Húsavík (40 minutes), book

into the Fosshotel Húsavík for two nights

and explore the area — it’s magical.

Humpback sightings are a cert

during peak season from May to

September and you may even spy

their flukes from Geosea’s infinity

pools. This clifftop super-spring uses

seawater heated by volcanic rocks —

the bathing is said to be good for skin

conditions, and being immersed in

nature is sensational for your soul. 47


DAYS 7-10

Diamonds and ice: east coast

The south may have its Golden Circle,

but there are precious routes in these

parts, too. Taking the 85 and 87 south

from Húsavík, drive to Lake Mývatn (50

minutes), part of the Diamond Circle, to

pick through a landscape of craters and

fizzing vents. Returning to Route 1, head

20 minutes east to reach Hverir, a plateau

of bubbling mud pools, and if the stench

of rotten eggs (from the sulphur) gets

too much, climb Námafjall mountain for

breath-reviving views. While you’re in the

area, scale the perfectly circular Hverfjall

crater and peer into an ashy abyss.

Rejoining Route 1, take the 864

north an hour to hear the thunder of

Europe’s most powerful falls, Dettifoss.

Explore both sides, each a 15-minute

hike from the car park — east is lower

and less busy, but only open from May.

Then drive two hours east on Route

1 to lake-view Hotel 1001 Nott.

Make a 30-minute detour to harbour

town Seyðisfjörður to see its garish crazy

paving, then loop back and take the 953 to

reach Klifbrekkufossar, a tier of waterfalls

plunging into the remote fjord — the best

views are from the car. Cross back over

Route 1 for a phenomenon rare in Iceland:

a forest with tall trees. Hike through the

towering birches of Hallormsstaðaskógur,

Iceland’s largest forest, and continue

across Lagarfljót lake to Hengifoss, a

128-metre cascade of water in a stratified

rust-red canyon, reached via a one-hour

hike. Soak up cliff views on the three-hour

drive to Höfn, ready for your final day.

A graveyard of baby icebergs bobbing in

a blue-green lagoon, Jökulsárlón is a filmlocation

favourite. Arrive at dawn for the

best light (allow an hour’s drive) and hop

over the road to Diamond Beach to admire

icy jewels sparkling on onyx-dark sand.

The road skirts Vatnajökull National Park;

it’s 50 minutes to Svartifoss, where water

pummels over volcanic columns, and a

further hour and 45 minutes to blacksand

Reynisfjara beach. Stop at Skógafoss

(it’s on the way back to Reykjavík)

for one last splash, ducking behind

rainbows and a wall of water where,

legend has it, trolls and treasures lie...

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

800 DNATA or visit

Credit: The Sunday Times Travel Magazine/ News Licensing



Previous pages, from left to

right: Reynisfjara, a worldfamous

black-sand beach; a

lone house in the tiny fishing

village of Arnarstapi

These pages: The geothermal

area of Krafla 49



Across five thousand acres of undeveloped bush in the

heart of Zululand, Natal, Thula Thula offers a heart-warming

adventure with the wildlife that freely roams through it 51


s the low winter sun glints on the

bonnet of our Land Rover, there is

a tangible thrill of electricity in the

air. It’s not just because Francoise

Malby-Anthony, the formidable

ex-Parisian now at the helm of the

game reserve, is sitting in front of

us for an on-camera interview. Yes,

the striking blonde is a commanding

presence and a force to be reckoned

with, but something else is afoot.

Indeed, as Francoise regales us with

stories about Thula Thula, which means

“peace and tranquillity,” impetuous

rescue rhino Thabo suddenly appears

and heads towards us. The sturdy

grey tank of a beast means business.

As Thabo – determined to be part

of the action – picks up the pace to

close ranks, the usually unflappable

Francoise appears visibly flustered as

she tells head ranger Siya to “DRIVE!”

Thabo is neither malicious, nor

vicious. He just loves hanging out with

humans. “I think he sometimes believes

he is a person,” Francoise tells us later

in the boma over a braai (barbecued

meats). He may have gotten wind of

the fact that we were filming and was

hellbent on claiming a starring role,

I counter. But Francoise is having

none of it. “If you’ve experienced some

difficult situations in the past you

become more wary,” she reasons.

Which is clearly why my wide-eyed

kids – both safari novices – seem to

handle the situation unfolding before

them with remarkable sangfroid. Then

again, they’d already encountered

Thabo the day before, with my fiveyear-old

daughter nonchalantly

patting his tough, bristly-haired

hide as he inquisitively sidled up to

her as she sat calmly in the 4X4.

“Thabo is still our problem child,”

says Siya. “He has been known to attack

vehicles and turn them upside down,”

he continues, as the colour starts to

drain from my face. In order to make

Thabo feel more settled they’ve been

trying to get him to mate with Ntombi,

one of the other rhino residents,

but Thabo is playing hard to get.

You can’t really blame the “little”

one-tonne guy (fully grown rhinos

can weigh 2,500kg), whose traumatic

introduction to this world saw the

fragile new-born, still with umbilical

cord dragging below him, stumbling

around in confusion after his mother

was tragically shot by poachers.

Having spent the informative stages

of his life around humans, Thabo feels

a kinship with them, but his ambition

to scale the unscalable heights of

humankind are not being indulged;

he is, after all, a wild animal and must

accordingly behave like one. So while

his earlier antics were met with a

benign smile – including the time he

decided to pay a visit to an American

couple’s tent, giving them the fright

of their lives before being chased away

with a hairdryer – now that he is 10, he

is expected to obey the laws of the bush.

Everyone who visits Thula Thula

will be enraptured by stories such as

Thabo’s. Because every animal at Thula

Thula has a name and each named

creature comes with its own personality

and unique tale. There’s Mabula the

show-off pachyderm whose party trick

is performing yoga asanas; Frankie, the

feisty matriarch of the elephant clan;









Opening pages, from left: An

African elephant eyes the lens; a

white rhino and her baby head for

home after a long day of grazing

These pages, clockwise from this

image: Capturing photos from a

four-wheel-drive; a cheetah takes

a backwards glance; Mabula and

companion walking in step at

Thula Thula

loved-up hippopotamuses Romeo and

Juliet with their charismatic offspring

Chomp and Chocolaat; and jaunty

Jacob, the leader of the impalas whose

harem never stray too far from him.

This is not a commercial reserve

where dozens of khaki-clad, cameratoting

tourists are squeezed into an

assembly of vehicles to hurtle into

the wilderness to tick off as many of

the Big Five as possible from their

lists. You come to Thula Thula for a

spiritual adventure; a metaphysical

experience that draws you closer to

nature – and all who reside within it.

“Our guests always say it’s magical,”

beams Francoise. “The experience

they have here with our wildlife –

especially our elephants and our

rhinos – is something beyond what

they encounter in other places. To

begin with, all our animals have

names; we even have an elephant

family tree,” Francoise says proudly.

Francoise’s story is as fascinating

as many of the animals’ themselves,

having first moved to this region 32

years ago after meeting “mad South

African” bush lover and conservationist

Lawrence Antony in a taxi queue in

rainy London. The pair bought land

on the Nseleni River in tropical Natal,

built seven luxury chalets under the

acacia and tambotie trees and opened

the lodge in 2000. It would be all too

glib to add ‘and the rest, as they say, 53

A family tent at Thula Thula









Words: Lyndsey Steven

is history,’ because the journey has

been far from smooth sailing, not

least with Francoise having to cope

with the shocking demise of her

beloved husband Lawrence who, in

2013, suffered a heart attack aged 61.

“Everyone kept asking me after

Lawrence passed away how I could

carry on without him. I do it because

of the animals. There is a love and

passion that stays with you forever.

The elephants come back to see me

every year on the anniversary of

Lawrence’s death to tell me: “You

are not on your own, we are here.”

Her faithful, fervent team at

Thula Thula also give her the

courage to continue. “Working

together as a real unit has made

Thula Thula what it is today.”

Everybody has a say, and everyone has

to be in agreement, there’s no room for

autocracy, she tells us. “I am applying

the system used by the matriarch

elephant of working for the interest

of all, with everyone working in unity

on the reserve and our conservation

projects, and taking decisions together.

We share the same vision and passion:

this is what makes Thula Thula.”

The vision includes the re-opening

of the rehabilitation centre which has

suffered several setbacks, as well as

the volunteer academy, which draws

in recruits from across the globe. With

Thula Thula’s active involvement with

its local community, the academy always

invites a person from one of the local

villages to also get involved. As Siya

explains: “Thula Thula is surrounded by

five villages with five chiefs, so for each

session we chose someone who has been

put forward by one of the chiefs. When

that individual comes here, he or she is

educated about nature and conservation,

so that they are able to take vital,

potentially life-saving learnings back to

the village with them. Education is key.”

There is a proposal in place to

introduce cheetahs to the reserve,

along with ambitious expansion plans.

On August 25 this year Thula Thula

celebrated the 20 th anniversary of a

very special heard of seven “rogue and

problem elephants arriving. Today there

are 29 elephants and they are at full

capacity. With long-term goals solely

focused on the wildlife and developing

and promoting an environmental

consciousness, it’s reassuring to learn

that the reserve’s wonderful feeling of

intimacy and privacy will be kept intact.

Boutique in the true sense of the

word in that it really is one-of-a-kind,

it is also delightfully small with just

20 luxury tents in the tented camp,

and 14 upscale rooms in the adjacent

lodge. For an authentic, primal taste

of the bush, the stylishly-furnished

tents with en-suite bathrooms –

complete with a clawfoot bathtub

and separate shower – are the place

to be. Your private, tree-shaded deck

overlooks an open plain regularly

frequented by doe-eyed nyalas. Meals

at the tented camp are based around

hearty, homecooked, African-inspired

dishes, while the lodge embraces

fine French cuisine. But, while the

accommodation is thoughtfully

presented and the food is delicious, it

is the whispers of the wilderness that

keep guests coming – and returning.

We remain optimistic that Francoise’s

matchmaking dreams will come alive

and that the next time we visit we

are introduced to a spirited Thabo

Junior, watched over judiciously by

a somewhat mellowed Thabo.

Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call

800 DNATA or visit 55



Staycations and short-haul escapes


Looking for a last-minute half-term break

with the kids? Choose a resort that balances

lots of opportunities for family bonding with

a dedicated line-up of kids' activities and

entertainment, so you can factor in a healthy

dose of relaxation. We rate the new Kids

Buddy programme at One&Only Reethi

Rah in the Maldives (for ages 6 months to

12 years), which provides your little ones

with one-on-one supervision and a bespoke

itinerary, giving you all the chance to thrive. 57


Is this London’s

best-kept secret?

Next time you’re planning a long weekend in the

Big Smoke, consider this suite spot

The hustle and bustle of Oxford

Street is barely a five-minute

walk away, but it feels a whole

world apart from the pretty streets

of Marylebone and its wonderful

mix of independent boutiques

and speciality stores (beautiful

bookshop Daunt; London’s finest

cheesemonger, La Fromagerie; and

Kabri, stockist of out-of-the-ordinary

jewellery designs).

It’s here, on one of the area’s

side streets, that you’ll find The

Marylebone, an in-the-know gem

of a hotel that contains what we’re

happy to hail as the city’s best

Signature Suites – no mean feat

considering the fierce competition

at more storied hotels throughout

London. Impeccably styled inside to

look every bit like an upscale lived-in

apartment, the homely feel spreads

to the outside, where a striking

terrace with views over Marylebone’s

rooftops (bringing Mary Poppins

to mind) acts as an extended living

room. The Scandi-style sofas, TV and

fireplace aside, the finest feature of

these terraces is their retractable

roofs and blinds, which allows for

year-round, all-weather use.

While the Signature Suites (three in

all, headed by The Marylebone Suite)

are the headline act, the supporting

cast at The Marylebone make for

a property every bit as good as its

much-heralded sister hotel, The

Bloomsbury. It’s a cast comprised

of the brilliant, beloved-by-locals

108 Brasserie, which has a buzzing,

heated, Parisian-style terrace hotel

on the cobbles of Marylebone Lane;

the on-site Third Space, one of

London’s premium members-only

health clubs, to which hotel guests

have complimentary access to its

facilities (myriad classes included);

a unisex spa, and all 18-metres of

the city’s largest indoor pool – after

all, the one thing The Marylebone

can’t guarantee beyond a thoroughly

enjoyable stay is a rain-free weekend.











Book at

call 800 DNATA (36282) or

speak to us in-store

Download our app

| Follow us on





Why this tropical island city-state,

bursting with lush greenery, is a

breath of fresh air



From sleepy fishing village to strategic

trading hub to cosmopolitan melting pot,

Singapore’s transformation is a fascinating

tale filled with twists and turns. Many

slices of the country’s multicultural,

colonial and wartime past have been

carefully preserved, making it a top spot

for history and culture buffs. What’s more,

the Garden City more than lives up to its

modern-day moniker, with an abundance

of tranquil green spaces including the

Singapore Botanic Gardens, which earned

its UNESCO stripes in 2015. Even the airport

(frequently voted the world’s best) is an

experience in itself, with its brand-new

Jewel Changi complex home to a lush forest

trail. Hit the road in a taxi and make the

30-minute journey towards the distinctive

city skyline to discover why this small

country always leaves a big impression.

It’s time to toss some

peanut shells on the floor

(it's a tradition for patrons

of the famous Long Bar),

as the storied Raffles

Singapore has reopened

after an extensive

restoration that’s brought

a fresh appeal to this

national treasure. Book

yourself into one of the

Residence, Promenade

or Studio Suites (the

latest additions to the

hotel’s plush room

line-up) and soak up

the history. There’s

luxury shopping and


mouthwatering culinary

collaborations with top

talent (including with Chef

Anne-Sophie Pic of the

three-Michelin-star Maison

Pic in France), thrown

in for good measure.

Meet and mingle with

fellow travellers and

get plugged into local

community happenings

at the millennial-friendly

lyf Funan Singapore.

Situated within Funan Mall

in the Central Business

District, this newly opened

co-living property offers a

hip apartment-style stay.

Opposite: Southern Ridges forest walk,

photo © Singapore Tourism Board

This page, from this image: Merlion Park,

with a view towards Marina Bay Sands

Below left: Presidential Suite, Raffles

Singapore Below right: Bugis Street Market,

photo © Singapore Tourism Board

Swap socialising with

the youngsters for a

luxurious beachfront

escape at Shangri-La’s

Rasa Sentosa Resort &

Spa on Sentosa Island.

Just 15 minutes from the

city, you'll get the best

of both worlds here.

Bliss out to serene views

of the South China Sea

– we say splash out on

a Sentosa Suite on the

upper floor of the resort’s

east wing. Get back to

nature by tagging along

on a garden tour with the

resort’s resident gardener.


the malls

Singapore is a luxury seeker’s

paradise and while the shiny

mega malls beckon, there’s

also a rich local style scene to

discover. At the

flagship TANGS



store on Tang

Plaza, you

can shop a

curated selection of Asian

brands while, for the very

best Singaporean design

talent under one roof, Design

Orchard (

is your go-to. The incubator

for established and emerging

creatives is a hub for over

60 homegrown designers,

including indie womenswear

label Ginlee Studio and leather

accessories experts Gnome &

Bow. Next, roll up your sleeves

and get involved in some street

shopping. The bustling Bugis

Street Market (3 New Bugis

Street) is one of the best, with

over 600 stores across three

levels selling everything from

novel keepsakes to printed

totes, with entertainment and

alfresco dining spots aplenty. 61

Know your


See how far Singapore

has come since its

independence in 1965 with

a whistle-stop tour of the

country’s most significant

historical sites. Aside from

visiting the NATIONAL


( – the

ultimate way to immerse

yourself in history and

culture – a fun way to get

an overview is to take a


( You’ll

sail around Boat Quay,

Clarke Quay and Marina

Bay, spotting all the major

landmarks as you go, from

the very place that Sir

Thomas Stamford Raffles

(who helped to establish

Singapore as a British

trading port) first set foot

here in 1819, to the majestic

Merlion statue and the

architecturally stunning

Marina Bay Sands resort.

Delve deeper into the

local culture by exploring


neighbourhood, which has

an abundance of cool cafés,

independent boutiques,

small art galleries and

bookstores to browse. Stop

by Curated Records, a holein-the-wall

treasure trove for

vinyl, before photographing

the eye-catching wall murals

that enhance the area’s

creative flair.




For a first-night meal

to remember, head

straight to the buzzing

Clarke Quay for chilli

crab – simply rock up

and explore the rows

of restaurants on foot

before taking a seat at

the one that wins you

over. It’s a must-have

Hit the roof

Singapore’s not shy of rooftop venues.

Perhaps the most famous is the Skypark at

Marina Bay Sands, which is home to five such

elevated spots, including Cé La Vie – go at

the weekend for chilled DJ sets. An equally

impressive choice for an evening tipple is

Smoke & Mirrors (

at National Gallery Singapore. Kick back and

admire the panoramic view of the twinkling

skyline while sipping on one of its trademark

classic drinks with a twist. And if you feel like

partying the night away, loop back to Marquee

at The Shoppes – a grown-ups’ playground

complete with indoor Ferris wheel and slide.

foodie experience for any

visitor. Next, get a taste

of the street food culture

with a visit to Newton

Food Centre, a popular

alfresco dining spot

serving authentic hawker

fare. Home to almost

100 stalls, the choice

is immense. A popular

dish is the barbecued

sambal stingray (grilled

on a banana leaf in

spicy homemade chilli

paste), as featured in the

film Crazy Rich Asians.

Otherwise, the satay is

always a solid choice.

Get your hands on

mooncakes outside

of the festival times

at traditional bakeries

such as Tai Chong Kok


which has been making

them from scratch since

1935. Watch them being

shaken free from their

wooden moulds and bite

into the warm pastry to

release the sweet bean

paste inside.

If you need an excuse

to get all dressed up,

head to the newly

minted Michelin-starred

restaurant Jiang-Nan

Chun, at Four Seasons

Hotel Singapore. Led

by Executive Chinese

Chef Tim Lam, it’s the

place to go for authentic

Cantonese cuisine,

with signature dishes

including the mesquite

wood-roasted Peking

duck served with caviar,

double-boiled soups and

handmade dim sum.



Opposite, from top: Dishes from

the summer delights seasonal

menu at Jiang-Nan Chun; Cé La

Vie at sunset; a mural in the Tiong

Bahru neighbourhood, photo

© Singapore Tourism Board

This page from top: Orangutans

at Singapore Zoo, photo by Afur

Wong via Singapore Tourism

Board; Gardens By The Bay, photo

© Singapore Tourism Board


If you’re travelling with tots in tow, or are simply

a big kid at heart, you’ll be won over by the city's

playful attractions

Thrillseekers can rush to Universal Studios

Singapore (, which has 24 rides,

shows and attractions spread across seven themed

zones. Book the VIP Experience for a personal

escort though the park, and priority access to

the rides and shows, including the tallest duelling

roller coasters on the planet. Another big-ticket

attraction, Adventure Cove Waterpark is a sure-fire

hit with water babies. It’s bursting with rides and

slides, such as a giant wave pool, lazy river and a

snorkelling reef brimming with 20,000 vibrant fish.

More of an animal lover? Hear the tigers roar

on a Night Safari ( of Singapore's

sprawling nocturnal wildlife park and view Malayan

tigers, Asian elephants, Asian lions and more on an

experience that will deepen your appreciation of

wildlife conservation. Or, you can visit Singapore

Zoo in the early hours for a Jungle Breakfast with

Wildlife, during which you can tuck into dim sum

while being eyed by an audience of orangutans,

cotton-top tamarins and slithering snakes.

Words: Faye Bartle

insider tips

Jenard Ng,

marketing manager

at design agency


leads us to the

hidden gems…

“Singapore’s unique

combination of cultures has resulted in

an extraordinary variety of food. Local

delights include: Li Xin Teochew Fishball

Noodles at Ion Orchard’s Food Opera;

Wee Nam Kee for Hainese chicken rice;

Katong Laksa for noodles in a spicy

curry soup made of coconut milk; and

Candlenut, a one-star Michelin restaurant

that specialises in Peranakan food.

“Singapore is full of malls but the

best one, in my opinion, is Ion Orchard

( It has everything you

need, from luxury brands to first-rate food

outlets. For a more edgy retail scene,

check out the newly refurbished Funan

Mall near City Hall (

“On Friday and Saturday nights, visit the

vibrant Haji Lane, which unleashes its true

colours with live acoustic performances."


No trip to the Garden

City would be complete

without taking a

closer look at the lush

green attractions that

characterise the island

state. Replete with rare

flowers, vertical gardens,

and intriguing sculptures

from around the world,


BAY (gardensbythebay. is a stunning

showcase. Explore the

mist shrouded Cloud

Forest (a 35-metre

tall mountain covered

in tropical plant life

and surrounded by

a waterfall) before

taking a stroll along

the 22-metre-high


your journey at dusk

and you'll see the

surrounding 'supertrees'

come alive with

mesmerising light and

sound shows.

The UNESCO-listed



sg) is another green

gem, home to the

beautiful Swan Lake

– so called due to the

pair of graceful swans

from Amsterdam that

have settled there.

Ramp up your

activity levels

with a hike along


a 10-kilometre stretch

of connecting trails

that guide you through

some of Singapore’s

most popular parks

and gardens. 63



Island hopping

Acquaint yourself with the UAE capital’s lesser-known isles


The historical one

Delma Island pays

homage to the UAE's

rich history, and fittingly so.

It's one of the oldest known

permanent settlements in

the emirates, and once an

important hub for pearl

trading. Today, the island's

Al-heerat sites are popular

among dive enthusiasts in

search of precious gems. Visit

Bayt Al Muraykhi for a history

lesson at Delma Museum.


The wild one

One of the largest

islands in the UAE,

Sir Bani Yas Island is

home to a vast man-made

nature reserve. Once a

barren dry land, it is now a

thriving habitat for some

13,000 animals, including

giraffes, cheetahs and the

endangered Arabian oryx.

And if you want to stay the

night, Anantara has three

luxury resorts there.


The fun one

A 10-minute speedboat

ride from Saadiyat

Island, Zaya Nurai Island

is the ideal spot for a

glamorous day trip. White

sands and crystal-clear

waters attract a beach loving

crowd to this private island

resort. We say go for an

exclusive Friday brunch at

Frangipani restaurant. Day

passes cover beach and pool

access, plus boat transfers.

Photo: Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort







InterContinental Muscat

Enjoy a slice of natural serenity in the heart of the city


A room with a view is the premise here,

with each of the recently-refurbished

guestrooms showcasing the stunning

natural landscape. Wake up to ocean,

garden or mountain views observed

through large windows, and enjoy

quiet moments on your private balcony.

Upgrade to an Executive Room and

enjoy a private check-in, complimentary

breakfast and pre-dinner drinks.


A foodie's delight, the hotel's dining

venues each bring a different flavour to

the table. Japanese restaurant Takara

offers a delicate selection of fresh sushi

and sashimi, with added drama courtesy

of the dedicated teppanyaki area. For

casual bites, Al Ghazal Pub’s traditional

British atmosphere is brought to life by

classic dishes such as fish and chips and

sticky toffee pudding.


Top attractions on the doorstep include

Royal Opera House Muscat, with its

impressive line-up of opera, ballet

and music performances, and Mutrah

Souq, where you can barter for artisan

keepsakes. The nearby Sultan Qaboos

Grand Mosque provides a fantastic

opportunity to deepen your knowledge of

the spirit of Islam. Back at the hotel, cool

off in the Olympic-sized pool.

To find out more, call +968 2468 0000 or visit




Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Escape the city in favour of a luxurious desert break


Traditional Arabian design meets

modern luxury at this spa resort,

creating an enchanting balance in each

of the 115 spacious yet cosy rooms and

suites. With either desert, garden or pool

vistas to wake up to, being surrounded

by natural beauty is guaranteed. We

say book a Deluxe Suite for some

alfresco relaxation on the terrace with

accompanying dune views.


Foodies can embark on a culinary

journey around the world, starting at

Al Hadheerah for its authentic Middle

Eastern cuisine and entertainment. The

next evening, head to Masala for a true

taste of India complete with a traditional

live band. Lastly, stop by Le Dune for tasty

Italian fare – and don’t miss watching the

sun set over mezze and grills at Al Sarab

Rooftop Lounge.


As the weather cools down, make the

most of the abundance of outdoor

activities available here, including horse

and camel riding, biking and falconry.

Thrillseekers will rush to take part in

the Desert Drive, an open-top 4x4 tour

that traverses the dunes, giving you the

chance to spot wildlife as you go. Those

with a sensitive disposition, however, can

decamp to Satori Spa for a back massage.

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



Nestled among the rolling dunes of Dubai, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is a haven of rustic charm,

luxurious Arabian hospitality, benchmark-setting facilities and a captivating desert environment.

This oasis of pure indulgence offers guests an array of sumptuous dining experiences

from Italy to India and the Middle East, desert activities including falconry,

camel riding and archery, rejuvenating therapies at the award-winning Satori Spa

as well as facilities designed to ensure that every moment is one to be cherished for years to come.

/babalshamshotel /babalshamshotel /babalshamshotel




Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Prepare for a royally relaxing holiday at this brilliantly British property in Dubai


Boasting a coveted Palm Jumeirah

address, Dukes The Palm has earned its

stripes as a top spot for a relaxing break.

Check in to one of the decadent rooms

or exclusive suites for a true taste of

British hospitality. If you’re planning on

staying a while, consider booking into

a one-bedroom apartment for spacious

accommodation, access to the Executive

Lounge, and lots of added extras.


A draw card for foodies, there’s a solid

line-up of impressive restaurants here.

The stylish Great British Restaurant

serves a themed buffet dinner every

evening along with an à la carte menu

featuring British classics. For pretty

views and delectable cuts, head to West

14th Steakhouse, while fans of traditional

Indian cuisine shouldn't miss the

authentic flavours of Khyber.


If your goal is to stay active, you’ll love

the array of watersports on offer here,

as well as the state-of-the-art fitness

studio. Those who prefer to chill can grab

a rubber ring and set sail along the lazy

river. Last but not least, the infinity pool

and private beach, both with panoramic

views of Palm Jumeirah, are the ultimate

spots for relaxing sunset sessions with a

chilled drink in hand.

To find out more, call +971 4 455 1111 or




Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites

For a longer stay, make yourself at home in a stylish suite overlooking Dubai Marina


If you're planning on staying in Dubai

for a while, or simply appreciate the

convenience of having your own kitchen,

the stylish suites at this four-star

property in Dubai Marina are just the

ticket. There are one-, two- and threebedroom

suites available, each featuring

a modern kitchen and a sleek marble

bathroom with an oversized tub. Room

service is available around the clock.


Jump-start you day with a cup of coffee

and a pastry at Counter Culture Café,

which, like all the apartments, offers

free Wi-Fi so you can stay well connected

to the wider world. For hearty British

fare with a twist, The Croft is the place

to go. On the 52nd floor, Observatory

Bar & Grill is where you should head for

classic dishes and crafted drinks, with

panoramic views of the waterfront.


Your fitness regime needn't suffer, as all

guests enjoy access to the fitness centre.

When you want to unwind, head to Saray

Spa, which offers a range of pampering

treatments, such as the signature Saray

Arabic Coffee Awakener, which includes

a body scrub, mask and massage. Get out

and explore Dubai, including Jumeirah

Beach Residence and Dubai Media City,

which are just a short stroll away.

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






Standing tall in the heart of

Dubai Marina, featuring

incomparable panoramic views

of the city, combine the best

of all worlds with luxurious

accommodation, three

contemporary dining

destinations and a blissful

caravanserai-inspired, Saray Spa.





Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites




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Offer: Save 40% on your stay.

Valid from: Now until 31

October 2019.




3 nights starting from

USD320 per person

Includes: Stay 3 nights in a Premier

Room with breakfast and a one-time

The Samaya Bali Seminyak

Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa

entrance ticket to Sunway Lagoon

Theme Park.

Offer: Complimentary access to

Sunway Lagoon theme park.

Valid from: Now until 31 October 2019.



3 nights starting from

USD245 per person

Includes: Spend 3 nights in a

Standard Room with breakfast.

Offer: Save 15% on your stay.

Valid from: Now until 26

December 2019. 75





house beverages for Dhs99.


Valid from: Now until

1 night starting from

31 October 2019.

USD105 per person

Includes: Stay 1 night in a Deluxe


Room with breakfast.


Offer: Special dnata Travel rate.


Valid from: Now until

23 November 2019.

1 night starting from

USD65 per person

Grand Hyatt Muscat

Includes: Spend 1 night in a


Deluxe Balcony Room

1 night starting from

with breakfast.

USD55 per person

Offer: Save 45% on your stay.

Includes: Spend 1 night in an

Valid from: Now until

Aloft Room with breakfast.

31 October 2019.

Offer: Save 15% on your stay.

Valid from: Now until


30 October 2019.

1 night starting from


1 night starting from

USD128 per person

Includes: Enjoy 1 night in a

Classic Room with a theme park

Le Méredien

Dubai Hotel &

Conference Centre

USD155 per person

Includes: Enjoy 1 night in a

Fabulous Room with breakfast

ticket and breakfast thrown in.

Offer: Complimentary access to

1 park of your choice: Yas Water

Waldorf Astoria

Dubai International

Financial Centre

and dinner.

World, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Offer: Save 60% on your stay,

or Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.

complimentary upgrade from

Valid from: Now until 31

bed and breakfast to signature

October 2019.

half board (includes Akira Back

and Torno Subito by Massimo

Bottura and more), and

guaranteed upgrade




from Wonderful Room to

2 nights starting from

Fabulous Room.

USD75 per person

Valid from: Now until

3 December 2019.

Includes: Stay 2 nights in a

Standard Room with breakfast.

Yas Island Rotana

Offer: Save 25% on your stay.


Valid from: Now until


31 October 2019.


1 night starting from


USD178 per person

2 nights starting from

Includes: Stay 1 night in a Deluxe

USD300 per person

Room with breakfast.

Includes: Spend 2 nights in

Offer: Late check-out until

a Grand Standard Room

3pm (any day of the week) and

with breakfast.

during the weekends (Friday &

Offer: Save 30% on your stay.

Saturday), late breakfast until

Valid from: Now until

2pm with the option of adding 3

31 October 2019.

How to book

By calling dnata on


By stepping into a dnata outlet

or by visiting

On the website you can also sign up to the dnata

newsletter and receive more offers direct to your

inbox. T&Cs apply.




Cappadocia, Turkey

"This region of Central Turkey has

been on my bucket list ever since

I first saw a photo of the magical

hot air balloons that take to the

sky there, so I felt incredibly

grateful to finally have the chance

to visit. When the morning rides

were cancelled for the second

time in a row due to weather

conditions, however, I wasn’t

feeling too optimistic about my

chances of seeing them. When

I woke up at 5am on my final

morning, to this incredible sight,

I had to pinch myself to make

sure I wasn’t dreaming. If you’re

planning a trip to Cappadocia,

which you definitely should, be

sure to spend at least a few days

there to boost your chances of

experiencing the same."

Travel and photography fan

Kelsey Dennison loves to

travel because: "It allows me to

constantly learn and grow."

Follow her at @kvdenn,



in high-res jpeg format, along

with the stories behind them to and you

may end up being featured

on this page


Now win!




Stay up-to-date with all that’s

happening on our social channels

and join in the conversation by

sharing your experiences. Here’s

where you can find us…


Double tap our dreamy

destination shots and tag

us in your images for a chance to

feature on our wall.


Stay up to date with travel

stories as we post them.


Make the most of your

280-character allowance

by sharing your best travel

moments with us.


A three-night stay at Anantara

Kalutara Resort in Sri Lanka

Set on a secluded slice of beachfront on Sri Lanka's picturesque southwest

coast, this luxury resort teams tropical beauty with delicious dining and the

power of Ayurveda for a revitalising break away. We've teamed up with Anantara

Kalutara Resort to offer one lucky reader a three-night stay in a Premier Garden

View Room, inclusive of breakfast for two. To find out more and to enter, visit (Subject to availability, valid until 29 July 2020.

Terms & conditions apply). Follow @anantarakalutara on Instagram


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

inspire your next trip…

1The Knowledge.

Read our handy

how-tos, from

getting to grips with

travel insurance to

helping kids beat jet

lag, and more.


Take a peek

inside these top

hotels and resorts on

your doorstep, and

then book your next

mini break.

3Insider guides.

Check out our


travel edits of some

of the most popular

holiday destinations

on our radar. 79

Suite dreams

Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a suite

that has a character and style all of its own


The Silo, Cape Town

Stylishly fragmenting the view of the mountains, the multifaceted windows are a talking point

of this luxury hotel that sits atop the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Get an insider's

perspective on the distinctive design from within this vibrant and eclectic Liz Biden designed

suite (one of six of its of its type, showcasing picturesque mountain or harbour vistas), and

watch the world go by from the mezzanine-level bedroom or the cosy balcony.


Inspiration. Expertly crafted.

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting Spaces.

JW Marriott® Marquis® Hotel Dubai

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

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