Travel

The Capital – SW3

Turnbull & Asser, Holland & Holland, Berry Bros. & Rudd, The Capital. There’s a reason this esteemed collective of British brands is synonymous with a time when honour was held above all else. To maintain integrity, a stiff upper lip, and to stand the test of time and changing traditions – these are surely the marks of an institution deserving of the Royal seal.  I have a fascination with tenacity, a trait which people often tell me I hold in abundance. It could well be a compliment. Or an insult. I can’t quite tell. David Levin MBE opened The Capital on Basil Street, Knightsbridge, in 1971. Having started his tutelage…

The Grace, Mykonos

‘Grace’ derives from the Greek word charis or chairo, meaning to rejoice.  As far back as Homer, it meant sweetness or attractiveness, yet in time, it also came to signify goodwill and loving kindness. Having spent a few cherished days at the beautiful Grace in Mykonos, part of the Grace Collection, this chic boutique hotel, lived up to all of these things. Discreetly located a short drive from Mykonos Town and perched idyllically overlooking the unspoilt Agios Stefanos beach, the pristine hotel offers the most beautiful retreat with breath-taking sea views and a humbling starry sky at night. The hotel makes a single promise: to deliver a simple, elegant grace….

Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza

Ibiza must’ve been made on the sixth day, when all that God had left was a brutish hangover and some clay. The island is architecturally unremarkable, a brown featureless lump, where people don’t come for the history, or the culture, but for the twenty-first century Mecca of clubs, comedowns and sexually-charged coastlines. At least that’s what I thought. We’d spent the first four days in the heart of clubland, Platja d’en Bossa, at a hotel called Ushuaïa, which if you know Ibiza, is a place where the party never stops. Everything about this part of the island is imported junk from university campuses in less-sybaritic parts of Europe. Namely Manchester,…

Kai Matsumoto

Amy McNichol visits Kai Matsumoto in Japan; luxury unlike any she’s ever seen before If you’re heading to Japan, you’ve probably scrawled ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Mount Fuji’ in to your itinerary and circled them excitedly with felt tip pen. You might not have done the same with Matsumoto, a lesser known city in the Nagano Prefecture, surrounded by gob-smackingly beautiful mountains. The mountains that you drive over (and indeed beneath courtesy of some epic scale tunnels) are tummy-turningly high and belly-flippingly bendy at points. I visited in autumn and despite the dazzling sunshine, the leaves on the towering trees were turning that rich red colour you presume is enhanced in the guidebooks….

Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel

Mallorca has always had a sweet spot in my heart, with happy memories of my first ever girls’ holiday, at the tender age of 18, to Magaluf – a major milestone, having survived A-Levels and my first independent holiday. Freedom! Needless to say, that particular trip was packed with more sunburn, alcohol, wardrobe angst and nightlife than should be humanly possible, but very happy memories nonetheless. So, as I returned to this magical place, I was excited to discover the other side of the island, both literally and philosophically. We were headed north-west to Port de Soller, an area noted for its outstanding natural beauty, to stay at the recently-opened…

The Arctic Circle

No children, no partner, no work. But you still have to call and check in, of course, to confirm proof of life, your partner tells you with a certain sardonic tone. You obviously have to read emails too, just in case your office forecasts the apocalypse and you aren’t there to say ‘I knew it, I saw it coming’. The modern holiday has become a Living TV documentary, where you board a low-cost flight and head somewhere ‘warm’ to try and get business-grade drunk. There are only a few differences between business drunk and normal drunk: business drunk means it’s still acceptable to drive. Of course, even if you aren’t…

Asia in the Mediterranean

As someone who is passionate about travel and experiencing all the wonders and riches of the world’s eclectic cultures, cuisines, people and landscapes I am rather embarrassed to say, as yet, I have not visited as much of Asia as I wish to. However, my daily life is enriched with many of the cultural influences that have reached our shores from the incredible food, their historical attitudes to natural health and wellbeing ( I practice yoga, tai chi, meditation and use Asia influences practices like acupuncture for health) , to their Feng Shui design influence and the strong religious philosophies which resonate powerfully with me ( I am sure I…

St. Regis Resort, Mauritius

Mauritius was motherland to the dodo, the dumpy and cumbersome flightless bird endemic to this tropical island lying eastwards of Africa on the tropic of Capricorn. The Theory of Island Biogeography describes the phenomenon of endemic these island species – like the giant Galapagos turtles and the extinct moa of New Zealand – the premise being that sea-locked islands are devoid of higher mammalian predators, thus removing the selection pressure for agility and speed, which rendered organisms oversized and birds flightless. Like the Mauritian dodo, who lives on in its thousands in wooden ornamental form. I have my own Theory of Island Biogeography concerning humans. It strikes me that every…

Walking in my fathers footsteps

My love affair with Machu Picchu started when I was in my mid twenties whilst working with an American airline to promote the richness, diversity and beauty that Central and South America has to offer. Hours of putting brochures and ads together to promote this part of the world meant that the iconic image of Machu Picchu was imprinted on my soul early in my adult life. Even before “bucket lists” were de-rigueur I knew Machu Picchu was on my list. My desire grew in my 40’s when, having just had my son, my amazing 74 year-old Dad announced that he was going to walk The Inca Trail. Something he…

The Arch

Some years ago, when I was seeking my fortune as a publisher, I stumbled across a property in a leafy part of Paddington. Yes, they exist. It was an altogether minimal affair: the entire ground floor of the interconnected, listed townhouses had been flattened to create a Zen-like reception area, complete with people raking sand. When I returned on business, not too long ago, it appeared the owners had decided the property was worth more residentially than commercially, and turned the whole place on its head. Luckily this isn’t the sort of thing that happens at The Arch London, one of the few bastions of what I would call a…

Up amongst the stars at Kozue, Park Hyatt

Amy McNichol My knowledge of Japanese cuisine was only a smidgen above zero when I touched down in Tokyo in October. Despite the popularity of machine-rolled sushi flogged in supermarkets and the flurry of ramen houses that have popped up in recent years, the mass market (me included) is only familiar with a narrow cross section of Japanese cuisine in the UK. With this in mind, I tried to widen my horizons and see what the heck else I could trough during my time there. On my first night in the capital I washed barbecued beef, onions and bean sprouts down with Asahi. That was at a street stall with…

Casa Ceasarea

Israel’s Boutique Bed & Breakfast The storm raged across the golf course, battering hail against the big French windows, but with the A/C humming away, we didn’t care. Casa Caesarea in the thunder and the rain is very cosy. With plenty of books to read, tea to make, films to watch on the huge flat-screen TV, or a bath to take, wrapped up after in the sumptuous towels, we were home from home in this luxury homestay. Ex-New Yorker Anne will welcome you into this unique property, about half-an-hour north of Tel Aviv on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. “I want my guests to feel more than welcome,” she said. “I want…

Collineige

Having just flown back from France two days prior to my first proper ski trip of the season to attend the wedding of fellow correspondents, Drs. Paul and Lucy Farrow, I was all too aware of just how soul destroying budget air travel is. If you have ever flown in Asia or the US you will have noticed that some of the planes operating are far from in their heyday. Flight used to be about prestige, people dressed for the occasion, cigarettes came with mandatory jade holders, champagne flutes would clink and the captain might even come and join you for a toast. Now the ashtrays on planes are welded…

The Ed’s Christmas Stocking

Subscribers have been lucky enough to receive the Christmas Gift Guide, but here The Ed picks his best of the bunch. Launer Luxury Leather Wallet From £307, launer.com A beautifully-crafted leather wallet, made from lizard and black calf leather. Using its trademark traditional handmade technique, Launer ensures that every part of this indulgent yet tasteful wallet has been turned by hand to form its elegant finish, with space for eight credit cards.  1968 saw Launer issued with a Royal Warrant by Queen Elizabeth II, bringing the brand onto the global stage. Almost 50 years later, a piece like this is still fit for royalty.  Monitor Audio MA100 £450, monitoraudio.co.uk Monitor Audio continues to do what it…

The Loftfactory, Paris

Paris is becoming somewhat of a yearly ritual – a place that, from London, is easier to get to than Cornwall or Scotland. A mere hour on the plane, or a couple more by train; time that can be happily whiled away with a few glasses of champagne. For the first time, however, we thought about staying at an apartment between the hotels. Whilst looking at options, I was told there’s only one apartment worth staying in when visiting Paris. You’ll find The Loftfactory on Rue Greneta, a neighbourhood that’s quite the bohemian centre. Think Soho meets Camden, only prettier. You enter through an immodestly large door – what was…

The St. Regis Mauritius Resort.

Mauritius was motherland to the dodo, the dumpy and cumbersome flightless bird endemic to this tropical island lying eastwards of Africa on the tropic of Capricorn. The Theory of Island Biogeography describes the phenomenon of endemic these island species – like the giant Galapagos turtles and the extinct moa of New Zealand – the premise being that sea-locked islands are devoid of higher mammalian predators, thus removing the selection pressure for agility and speed, which rendered organisms oversized and birds flightless. Like the Mauritian dodo, who lives on in its thousands in wooden ornamental form. I have my own Theory of Island Biogeography concerning humans. It strikes me that every…

Marine Magic

In this fast-paced, technologically-bombarded era, we find ourselves switched on from dawn ‘til dusk. It’s becoming even more important to kick-back and unplug regularly to enjoy some clear headspace and remember what it’s like to share precious times with loved ones, connect with our natural world and simply switch off. Add to this the known benefits of taking in the sea air, originally heralded by the Victorians for its health giving properties, and you can head for a coastal retreat that unplugs and recharges you batteries like no other break. The health benefit claims range from improved quality of sleep – due to the sea air, which is charged with…

Wolf Worster Associates

Having worked in the luxury and finance industry for some years now, I’ve worked with a number of property companies. A lot hit the mark and offer you and your companions access to properties in the far-flung reaches of the world. Many, however, are middlemen offering luxury villa bookings as a go-between. The reality is that only a few stars shine brightly. Finding a company that is right for you takes time and will no doubt become your lifelong travel consultant. In our quest to bring you the best of the best, The Review sits down with what we consider to be one of the best luxury property provider and…

Villa Kennedy

As Obama’s tenure withers to a dismal conclusion, his popularity, both locally and globally, lower than the protruding pot-belly of a portly dachsund, I find my mind wandering to the day of his inauguration. Out of the fire and brimstone of the Bush era had emerged a glimmer of hope, a fragment of sanity in a chaotic globe, beaming with all of the optimism of a cherub, but with the steely determination of a man that had conquered adversity and was ready to show the rest of the world how it’s done. He represented everything that was good in a changing world, and finally gave the United States a leader…

45 Park Lane – W1

It isn’t very often that a hotel launches in central London and makes such a Conrad Black-sized dent in the hotel hierarchy. 45 Park Lane opened its doors to the usual pomp and ceremony in September 2011. It collected its awards, welcomed its establishment and glitterati clients, and promptly sat down with a cocktail whilst its fans rallied around clapping and fawning uncontrollably. It is most definitely the heir apparent to the top of the London hotel scene. I have been a quiet fan of 45 Park Lane for sometime now. I have coveted her art deco lines and enviable location like a lion stalking a Cartier encrusted gazelle dragging…