Luxury Travel

Aerial Kudadoo The Review

Elysium: Kudadoo

Was it all a dream? Some sort of abstraction from consciousness? Had delirium set in? It seemed so real. The colours so incredibly vivid, the sealife so lustrous. I felt incredibly lucid sojourning under the luminous morning sun, deep in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The heat instantly envelopes you when you’re a mere 380 miles from the equator. It was a stark contrast from the ashen winter morning that now sat before me. I needed to find the red pill and somehow get back – back to the pure shores of Kudadoo.

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.

Fiji

Bula. A word said so many times that it would lose all meaning by the end of the trip. You see, in Fiji, it’s more than just a word. It’s a sound, an exchange, a feeling that embodies positivity and means almost everything: hello, welcome, ‘sup, health, happiness, love, life, existence, sex, yes, thank you, and pretty much everything in between. Fijians like to philosophise about the subtle abstraction of the word, but there’s nothing subtle or abstract about Fiji or its people. They’re best amongst us: the pure of heart, the good Samaritans, the hopeless inertia of honesty and hard work, the transnational smile, the lazy breeze that cools…

Sensational Soneva – The Maldives

To date, the magic of The Maldives has eluded me regardless of the regular encounters I have with euphoric ambassadors who are willing to preach its virtues the world over. As someone who likes to think they have a strong eco warrior side, I have perhaps a rather misguided ideal that if I avoid these precious islands, I will protect them from the ravages of tourism. The very essence of The Maldives, their purity, rarity and fragility is what has kept me away. In hindsight I have acted as a latter-day conscientious travel objector, I have withstood the pressure to visit in my rather grandiose desire to single-handily protect these…

Postcards From The French Riviera

The glittering coastline of the Côte d’Azur is a region of legend. Famous painters and writers mingled with aristocrats and royalty during winter séjours, the fierce Mistral wind whirls in secluded coves and perched villages with pretty fountains nestled into hillsides, often sprawling with fragrant citrus groves or twisted olive trees. The French Riviera is a destination where tranquil islands turn their back on mass commercialism, where you can find souvenir shops beside haute couture boutiques in Old Town streets and slow travel finds its place on Earth. If you’re looking to recreate your own joie de vivre, here are ‘10 Reasons To Start Your Luxury Journey On The French…

Barton Farm – Luxury Cotswold Rentals

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have just emerged from the Burmese jungle, the beauty of the Cotswolds probably isn’t lost on you. You’ll have been briefed on its sleepy pubs and honeycomb-coloured grand piles, so you won’t need my all-encompassing sales pitch to convince you of its restorative charm. In my experience, though, one does need a good sherpa of sorts: a wise man to guide you through the alpaca fields and the orchards to the decent pubs and eateries. With little time left in the diary late last year, and my significant other spending Christmas with her family overseas, it was the last chance we would…

Lime Wood, New Forest

The idea of a sneaky few days away to a boutique country house hotel in the midst of Autumn with long walks, roaring fires, healthy food and the opportunity to be pampered at the same time is my idea of heaven. Add to this that it’s at Robin Hutson’s Lime Wood Hotel in the heart of the New Forest and I am taken to a different dimension altogether. Forgive me if I sound a bit like a Robin Hutson cheerleader, but quite frankly I am. For me Mr Hutson sits in the realm of hotelier aristocracy and if there is ever a lifelong achievement award as thanks from all of…

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…

The Viceroy Riviera Maya

Having landed in Mexico on our journey back from Belize, the expectation level for our last night was fairly restrained. The Viceroy Riviera Maya was our least-researched resort. I couldn’t tell the team what the accommodation would be like or what to expect in terms of scenery. This is not down to a David Brent-sized lack of professionalism, but more a case of wanting the last night of our trip to have an air of surprise to it. Usually these trips are confirmed, agreed, signed in triplicate, embossed, sent for the royal seal, buried in soft peat for three months, unearthed and filed away somewhere. This trip was no different;…

Ninh Van Bay

Having already visited a Six Senses resort, Zighy Bay in Oman, I thought I had an idea of what to expect from Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam. Boy, was I wrong. Located on the exquisite Vietnamese coast, Ninh Van Bay is a stunning beach property overlooking the South China Sea, tucked above the ashen-sanded beach. Not many resorts can boast this kind of paradisiacal luxury. Ninh Bay is made up of numerous private pool villas and, in keeping with the Six Senses aesthetic, is built to complement the natural environment around it, designed either on the beach, over the water, or into the impressive rock formations. We stayed in one…

‘Nam Flashback

Watching the sunset over the summit of the Victory Monument in Dien Bien Phu, where hoards of Vietnamese people perform their daily exercises, I can reflect upon a country about which I understood so little before I began my journey through it. A country steeped in culture and tradition, but mired by conflict and tragedy. Vietnam is a country where one can go from fine, sandy beaches to mountainous ranges and grass-tipped archipelagos. From the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, where motorbikes adorn even the pavements, to the serenity of Hoi An, where one can take an evening stroll across a lantern-lit riverside and eat fresh seafood…