Travel

New York

New York was imprinted on my heart back in the day of my early mad ad career working on a transatlantic airline account. The regular pit-stops gave me unbelievable bragging rights, but as a quick time check, on my last visit I was privileged enough to sit above the clouds drinking cocktails at Windows on The World on top of the North Tower in Downtown Manhattan. Sadly not a vista I can ever re-visit. But as many moons have passed since that view was obliterated and New York’s landscape changed forever, I was super hyped to share this mesmerizing city with my family now in tow and hopeful that NYC…

Kasbah Tamadot

Located at the foothills of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Tamadot, Sir Richard Branson’s luxury retreat and part of the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio, is offering guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in true Berber culture with a newly launched ‘Authentically Berber Experience’. Morocco’s Berber communities are renowned for their kind and noble nature and their culture forms an incredibly important part of Morocco’s rich history. At Kasbah Tamadot, guests are already welcomed with true Berber hospitality as 98% of its staff are from the local Berber communities. Guests now staying at Kasbah Tamadot will have the opportunity to learn about the traditions and culture by immersing themselves in a…

Ten Trinity

When I dwelled in the soot-covered streets of central London, I didn’t really have much need to pay dues to a members’ club. London is hectic, in a way that makes even the most confident and athletic appear grey and lifeless over time. But that wasn’t me, babe. I was living out of a certain hotel on Brook Street circa 2007 and all was gin-soaked and well with the world. Except, quietly, it wasn’t, was it. BNP Paribas was quietly blocking withdrawals from two of its hedge funds. The Dow Jones peaked at 14,164.53 and then started to decline faster than Gordon Gekko’s prison sentence. Shortly after the US bailed its players out to the tune of $800 billion (that we know of), the European ripple was in…

Bowcliffe Hall & The Yorke Arms

As I continue to rack up the years like tree rings laced with gin and bittersweet symphonies, I am constantly reminded of the ever-increasing gap between the young and the no-so-young. This widening fissure between generations presents itself more often in the usage of phrases that my grandparents taught me when I was growing up. After all, the language we use in our formative years becomes our cultural lexicon. So, when I say to you that Jonathan Turner is ‘salt of the earth’, I expect those of you without the knowledge of the term to research it, whether you are scholarly or not. Established in 1919, in Leeds, by a…

Regnum Carya, Antalya, Turkey

500 miles away, our country is at war. You wouldn’t imagine it here though, where despite warnings of terrorist attacks, the only immediate threat is running out of champagne. Antalya’s coastline is a tinny concentration of the photo albums you thumbed through as a child. There’s a sense of nostalgia and familiarity here, one that typifies the great British holiday: that hot-but-not-too-hot, different-but-not-too-different compromise to get on a plane and test our burdening Britishness against cultures that are generally friendlier, happier, less self-loathing, and not half as pretentious. But tourism has changed a lot over the years—as has the world, for that matter—and the simpering irony of sending a luxury-travel writer to this corner of…

Stratton Vermont

will be the first to admit that we are spoilt for choice in Europe when it comes to finding tall mountains to assert dominance from. The Matterhorn, Eiger, Montblanc and Dolomites are all majestic mountain ranges conjuring up images of bearded climbers ascending to untouched peaks with leather bound crampons and supplies of Kendal mint cake.

Hotel Nikko

We arrived in San Francisco a little after 9 pm on a Tuesday. Fuelled by the debauchery of the Grammy Awards the night before, then sundowners on Venice Beach, we were ready for cocktails in the 415. As a former tech marketer during the ‘00s and growing up with the likes of ‘A View to a Kill’, I was intrigued to see what the face of tech-boom San Francisco looked like from the windows of the Nikko Hotel. We rode the monorail or AirTrain for what seemed like days, eventually finding our way to the Fox Rent a Car facility. Note: use a hire car company that drops your vehicle…

Eagle Brae

Teetering along the aptly named River Glass, the glen before us exhibits a complex palette of auburn hues; reflections of the highlands shimmer in the coal-coloured waters. Pulling into the scenic grounds of our stay, my partner – who, by the way, is ever so proudly Scottish (have you ever met a Scot who’s not?) – spots a magnificent red stag standing before us. In a fleeting moment, lengthened by the excitement of witnessing one of Scotland’s most iconic mammals, it pauses and turns, fixing its beady black eyes upon us. I can’t help but deliberate if it somehow knew what we had planned for dinner. I, of course, know…

Big Trouble In Little China

As we coast through a jigsaw of traffic, my guide points out the sights. “On the left, there’s a new office building. On the right, there’s a government office building. Up ahead, that’s one of the city’s first five-star hotels”. For a country so staunchly proud of its politics, China is overtly obsessed with the superficialities of capitalism. Only here could a bland office block be of any interest, yet there is something forgivably earnest about it. I ask the driver to put some music on, and in the spirit of no-nonsense socialism, he produces a CD simply called ‘Disco’. Welcome to China, where irony just shrivels up and dies….

Four Seasons New York

Leaving a hectic JFK airport behind, in the comfort of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, it didn’t take long before I was treated to my first glimpse of the New York City skyline. I might sound like a sycophant but driving into a city always excites me, especially as this is my first visit to Manhattan.

This image shows the Shangri-La Suite

Shangri-La at the Shard 

The first Shangri-La I stayed at was in China, where the hotel looms on the upper floors of Beijing’s World Trade Centre complex. Not exactly subtle. The one in Paris – my favourite – is set in a Napoleonic family mansion, where you can wake up to an eyeful of the Eiffel.

The McCarren Hotel

With a lifetime of friends and family on my shoulders, all nudging me to visit New York City, I finally arrived in Manhattan in late October, by car. I only mention the mode of transport because this was my first time driving in the US, and I had only been in country for a week. Driving in New York allows for the rapid secretion of sweat from the palms. As anyone who’s seen an action movie based in New York, you expect to be the victim of an 80s’ blockbuster scenario, involving a multiple car pile-up. At any minute, I could be holding my hands out of an upside-down vehicle…

La Reserve

If, like me, you’re closed-minded when visiting a city, you want the quintessential, stereotypical experience that goes with it: haggling in a Marrakech souk, drinking espresso on a crisp Autumn morning in Rome, or perhaps a car bomb in Tel Aviv. So, when a trip to Paris is on the cards, I want to crank up the French-ness so far that the tables outside of the cafes shake and the mirrored walls in the bistros begin to distort. Let’s think Serge Gainsbourg, really strong fags, small glasses of red wine, black rollnecks, and cars made of corrugated tin. Need I say more. With my stay booked at La Reserve, I…

Andermatt Aerial

Andermatt

The first thing that struck me on the 90-minute journey from Zurich to Andermatt was the enduring beauty of Lake Lucerne. The temperature was twice that of England and so a quick dip in the mineral-rich lake would have been appreciated, had we not been eager to reach our alpine destination.

The Yacht Week – Montenegro

Given the form it takes today, it’s hard to envision that The Yacht Week once started out as a small collection of university friends, bound by their appetite for adventure. It wasn’t conceived as a commercial venture, but as a means of indulging their love of exploring and desire to unite like-minded individuals through the medium of sailing.

Delphina Hotels 5* Freedom – Sardinian Style

I had once again decided that this was the summer I would finally kick the habit of trying any and, more importantly, all food put before me when Peter (Ed) asked if I fancied popping over to Sardinia. My virtuous resolution at once gave way to voracious temptation and, before long, I was flying to the north of Sardinia in expectation not only of culinary delight, but to experience Sardinia’s renowned coastal beauty, the welcoming hospitality of its people and the longevity-inducing, sense of freedom that this island evokes. Delphina Hotels met these expectations and more. Sardinia, although politically a region of Italy, is ethnologically distinct. This family-owned business, consisting…

A man and his meat

After navigating icy hairpin bends, snow banks and rushing waterfalls, we found our destination concealed in a valley between Lenzerheide and Chur in the Swiss Alps. In hushed tones, we had been told there was to be found a true specialist in the artisan field, who we could not miss visiting whilst we were in the area. The exclusivity of the suggestion was reinforced by the fact we were unlikely to discover his wares outside of the immediate region due to export restrictions. On checking the ‘tip off’ with restaurant and bar staff, we were returned the knowing smiles that experience has shown often lead to culinary excellence. Our interest…

Rome Cavalieri

Rome Cavalieri, part of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Group, is nestled in 15 acres of lush Mediterranean park, sitting on the peak of Monte Mario, known locally as the heart of Rome.

Chalet F’Net

The first chairlift in Europe was built in 1940 in Czechoslovakia, in the Moravian Silesian Beskides mountain range. Before the invention of the modern chairlift, we had the J-bar or cable car. Arguably the main mode of transport up the pistes of Europe was still rope, with mountaineering still favoured by many. With each giant leap forward in mountain technology, small alpine towns were constantly having to cater to larger and larger international footfall. This rapid clash of tradition and modernity often left centuries-old mountain villages looking more like McMountain retreats than classic Montblanc. So, it is deeply refreshing when you arrive in a ‘ski resort’ to find it hasn’t…

Route One – Shelby Mustang GT350R

I got out of my chequered yellow cab and pushed my way past the airport bus queue, headed for the hotel’s reception. After three days sampling New York’s finest destinations, I was ready to leave the Big Apple, get behind the wheel and onto the road. The journey had seemed endless out to JFK airport, as I knew waiting for me was a car not officially available in the UK. I had already christened it out of homage to its predecessor, the feature car in the film ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’, Eleanor. Having collected the keys from the front desk, I returned to the parking lot, but was unable to…