Travel

Travel articles from The Luxury Channel Magazine.

Jordan – On The Wild Side By Ramy Salameh

The Khamsini – a dry, hot, sandy wind – was building as we entered Wadi Rum. The grand rock formations and their geological layers of colour were beginning to disappear behind a swirling, hazy cloud of dust and sand.

This beautiful and and bewitching place, described by T. E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and godlike,” reminding us that “Rum” (as locals call it) was a wild and hostile environment, to be respected. Before veering off the road and into the desert proper, our 4WD followed the narrow single gauge tracks of the former Hejaz Railway line, until we reached

Escape To The Four Seasons In Florence By Caroline Phillips

There are five-star hotels, and then there are the ones that deserve an entire firmament of stars. Places like the Plaza in New York, Claridge’s in London, and the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. I’ve stayed in the gold list of historical hotels from Mumbai’s Taj Mahal to Raffles in Siem Riep and Le Meurice in Paris too. It’s with this context in mind that I say that the Four Seasons in Florence is a real corker. A hotel so good that I’d like to live there, per favore.

It’s made up of two Renaissance buildings: the 15th century ‘Palazzo

Nicaragua – The Land of Lakes And Volcanoes By Annabel Illingworth

As I creep up to the edge of the Masaya Volcano, my heart is pounding. It’s not the sulphur fumes – although those will hit me later – but the sheer scale of the crater. Only a small wall separates visitors from a thousand-foot drop and as I peer over, pungent smoke swirls and fogs up the depths. Surely this sort of thing is the preserve of scientists, loaded up with more equipment and protective clothing than their body mass?

Humbled and thoroughly overwhelmed, I am transfixed. Then the smoke clears, to reveal a lake of bright orange lava

Escape To Amsterdam By Caroline Phillips

Caroline Phillips stays in Hotel Seven One Seven in Amsterdam, and then ventures out for some sightseeing….

A member of staff wearing a long cream apron opens the front door.

‘May I offer you a glass of wine? A seat in front of the fire?’ asks this cheery Dutchman. We sit down for a cup of tea in the achtersalon (drawing room) midst classical busts. There are antique leather armchairs, comfy sofas, burning candles and a roaring log fire. Plus fresh roses, orchids and daffodils. Even hot off a KLM flight with my 21-year old daughter, it’s easy to set

Donna Coraly Resort – An Oasis of Calm By The Luxury Channel

An hour’s drive from Catania airport in Sicily sits the exquisite Donna Coraly Resort. A hideaway with just five suites, it’s the perfect place to retreat from the hectic pace of life, and is ideal for a group of best friends to book the entire resort and make it home. Run by Lucia Pascarelli, the designer and owner, it is steeped in history with a moat and watchtower dating back to the 14th Century, but of the most historical prominence is that this is where the Armistice was signed in September 1943.

Donna Coraly is truly the

Rula Lenska At Saruni Rhino Camp By Rula Lenska

I have been lucky in my life to travel far and wide….India, Nepal, safari on elephant back, Tibet on a pilgrimage, deepest China writing for a magazine, Peru, the amazing Amazon, the Galápagos Islands, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, white water rafting, hot air ballooning and many other exciting, intrepid and extraordinary adventures. So it was a huge privilege to be invited as the first guest at Saruni Rhino Camp in Samburu, Northern Kenya. I can truthfully say that the rhino tracking experience was the most exciting and adrenaline-coursing experience I have ever had.

The small camp

Niseko – The St. Moritz of Japan By Giles Hoff

If you were asked to picture the best countries around the world to visit on a skiing holiday, the chances are Japan would not turn up on the list. However, one Japanese resort that is earning nothing but praise from its visitors is Niseko – on Japan’s most Northerly island, Hokkaido – and it has become something of a sensation with serious skiers across the world.

A few people were in the know as early as the 1960s, and they nicknamed Niseko “The St. Moritz of the Orient.” More recently, the New York Times chose to adapt this to

In Search of The Perfect Spa In Japan By Giles Hoff

It’s 6.00 am, and while I would normally be just about stirring, a combination of jet lag and excitement mean I have eagerly been awaiting the opening of the Onsen since 5.00 am. I expect to be the only one there as I guess no-one else will be jet-lagged (I am the only foreigner here), and no-one gets up this early when they’re on holiday – surely ?!

My assumptions are correct, for the time being at least. I take my first dip in the steaming waters which are housed in a natural rock pool. First a toe, then

Escape To Ethiopia By Caroline Phillips

Ethiopia, it’s said, is perhaps the most intriguing country in Africa. It’s a place of scale, Biblical beauty, and oodles of historical treasures. It’s a land boasting a colourful, gracious and welcoming people. And somewhere with awesome landscapes, the likes of which are rarely seen outside of good dreams. This is an impressionistic account of its wonders.

Something I’ll never forget is the merkato — Africa’s largest open-air market — in Addis Ababa. There the air was heady with the smell of kocho (fermented banana stem). Women sat cleaning their teeth with twigs, men walked by with six

How To Maximise Wellness Holidays For Less Leave By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel discovers how to maximise 18 days of wellness holidays in 2017 by taking just 9 days off work….

There’s no better time than the New Year to start planning your wellness holidays and, as we discover, it is entirely possible to enjoy 18 days off work by booking just 9 days of leave, thanks to how British bank holidays fall in 2017. Grab your diary, as Health and Fitness Travel (the leading experts in tailor-made wellness holidays worldwide) has created a wellness travel bucket-list to assist you. The secret to maximising your time off means doubling

Find Your Soul In Seoul By Fiona Sanderson

Is it possible to find peace, tranquillity and well-being in a city? Re-energising the body and mind for Seoulites is part of the city’s DNA – and citizens of this trendy Asian capital, home to 25% of Korea’s entire population, are living proof that finding your ‘‘Yin, Yang’’ is an essential part of their everyday life. Seoul has even made it onto Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2017, citing Korea’s capital as ‘‘striving to become a greener, more attractive and user-friendly metropolis.’’

Korea is also a food lover’s destination, a hidden gastronomic gem with its own distinct flavours and centuries

Glimpsing Sardinia’s Inner Beauty By Ramy Salameh

The north east coastline of Sardinia, at one stage in the past, was seen by farmers as useless for grazing their cattle. The real bounty was the mountainous interior that produced more than the fishing line could, and so the coastal land was given to the women folk to continue their crafts and to fish.

Little could these local Sardinians have ever imagined that in the 1960s, Prince Karim Aga Khan IV would turn part of this rugged and idyllic coastline into one of the most exclusive ‘‘go to’’ vacation destinations for the super-rich, albeit in an eco-sensitive

Saruni Rhino Camp Launches First On-Foot Rhino Tracking Experience By Fiona Sanderson

With Africa’s wild animal populations being decimated, it seems unthinkable that the biggest mammals on earth could disappear. Losing such species as elephants and rhinos from Africa is a slow erosion of humanity, leaving an empty world full of people and nothing living wild. Saruni Rhino Camp has subsequently set up the first on-foot black rhino tracking experience, a vision created by conservationists Ian Craig OBE and Riccardo Orizio.

Craig was awarded his OBE for services to conservation and security to communities in Kenya. Raised in Kenya, he converted his family’s 62,000-acre cattle ranch into a rhino sanctuary at

Lewtrenchard Manor – A Little Piece Of Heaven And History Tucked Away In A Secret Valley By Fiona Sanderson

Fiona Sanderson finds the perfect escape for a wedding weekend in Devon….

Arriving at this Jacobean Manor in a secluded valley in Devon, you really feel as though you are stepping back in time. With its staples – stucco ceilings, wood-panelled halls, creaky floors, portrait-lined walls and blazing fires – Lewtrenchard is filled with a colourful history. There are tales of an Admiral of the Fleet, a dead bride, a king’s confidante, an arctic explorer, gun fights, gamblers and hidden tunnels, as well as this being the ancestral home of Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, who was best known for writing

Lamai’s Wild Luxury Soars High Above The Serengeti By Emma Oxley

Nomad Tanzania’s safari lodge takes you one step further into Africa, into the wide beauty of the Serengeti plains, the animal scents and roar of a beast, in high style. In this vast flat wilderness, there is one boulder-strewn hill and along the seam sits Lamai, a discreet eyrie for the traveller who has a sense of the intrepid, is curious about the truly wild and ready to pay for something extraordinary.

I envisage the people behind Lamai as posh Brits brought up in East Africa, lean men, their wives clear-eyed, tousled-haired beauties bathing babies in buckets, spirited

Top Luxury Travel Destinations In A Hunton Yacht By The Luxury Channel

Think of James Bond’s gadgets and it does not come much bigger than a yacht. A luxury yacht is the ultimate style icon, be it from sailing a 54-foot yacht up Venice’s Grand Canal as in the movie remake of Casino Royale, to navigating through the British Virgin Islands or coasting around the Cote d’Azur. The world’s your oyster as far as top destinations go for sailing a coveted luxury yacht to paradise and mooring up.

Yachts from the likes of Hampshire-based British luxury yacht maker Hunton (designed by legendary offshore powerboat racer Jeff Hunton), are not just

Escape To Iran By The Luxury Channel

A hugely fascinating country, Iran’s history and ancient culture has created a magical land with everyday life woven and working with tradition. Visit bustling bazaars, impressive ruins, majestic mosques, oasis gardens and fine art galleries, and witness firsthand the country’s intricate craftsmanship. With BA’s new direct flight between London Heathrow and Tehran, it has never been easier to visit.

Tim Best Direct has arranged one of the most attractive tours of Iran – a 14 night itinerary visiting Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Persepolis, Kerman and Yazd. Join a small group tour departing on 22nd October 2016 or alternatively, request

Escape To The Seychelles By Emma Oxley

Wildly beautiful and naturally private, Emma Oxley escapes to Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles….

I find it difficult to imagine Fregate Island Private existing without me; it seemed to exist only for me when I was there. On this diminutive Galapagos of the Seychelles, delightful people are falling over themselves to make you happy. Sometimes you can’t even see them trying to make you happy. You trip down 100 steps to a secluded beach and there’s an ice box with fresh drinks, rolled up towels on a day bed and a stretch of empty white sand.

Fez Pulsates To A Timeless Rhythm By Ramy Salameh

Fez – the fabled city of the Maghreb and its ancient landmarks – was the perfect stage for The World Sacred Music Festival. Now in its 22nd year, the Festival is intricately interwoven with one of Morocco’s great imperial cities. The cultural cross-pollination of sacred music and artists from around the world continues to engender the original ideals for which the Festival began: peace, harmony and understanding through the language of music.

This year, the theme “Women Founders” paid tribute to Moroccan women who have left their mark on history. Delve into the light and shade of the medina’s maze

HIP Hotels – A Grand Tour of Highly Individual Places By The Luxury Channel

When it comes to travel, we all want to find that unique outpost with character, charm and just a little je ne sais quoi, something that makes a getaway just that little bit extra special. That particular travel nail is hit firmly on the head with HIP Hotels – the “hip” part of the equation standing for Highly Individual Places. So, whether that’s a private villa on a wild Greek island, or a hotel on a par with a 007 film location in Marmaris, you can bet there’s a property in the HIP portfolio that ticks all the right

Seoul Man By Fiona Sanderson

Adrian Slater, General Manager of the Grand Hyatt in South Korea, talks to The Luxury Channel about life in the hotel and living in Seoul….

How long have you been with Hyatt Group?

Almost 30 years – it’s a great company. What it does extremely well is give everyone the opportunity to grow, and I think the hospitality industry is all about creating experiences for people as well as their guests. I have had so many opportunities – I have worked in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and now South Korea. I started working for Hyatt when I

Royal Connections By The Luxury Channel

In anticipation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to India and Bhutan, bespoke tour operator, Ampersand Travel, has created an itinerary to showcase the links between England and the Indian Subcontinent, existing since the days of the Raj. This 24-night all-suite itinerary to Rajasthan and Bhutan suggests palaces and hotels that hold a personal connection for their Royal Highnesses (not least as sources say that William is keen to see a tiger and visit his father’s old friends in Rajasthan).

William and Kate would feel at home arriving at The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, a place

A Winter Wonderland Mardi Gras Awaits In Quebec City By Michael-Ann Rowe

Quebec is a destination known for being a romantic get-away, but the entire family will find fun, frolics and festivities at one of the World’s largest winter Carnivals….

After 62 years, Quebecers are no strangers to embracing the snow. In fact, their famous mascot, Bonhomme, is a 7-foot, 400-pound, walking, talking snowman! Across from Quebec’s iconic Parliament building, the stage is set as Bonhomme’s Ice Palace. It’s called Place de l’Assemblee-Nationale and it’s just one of the locations for outdoor concerts and activities. The palace looks brilliant at night time. From January 29th – February 14th, Quebec City is

The Most Luxurious Road Trip On Earth By The Luxury Channel

Range Rover and Abercrombie & Kent have teamed up to create The Most Luxurious Road Trip on Earth – a road trip like no other that combines the world’s most beautiful locations, hotels and driving routes. This is an unrivalled 21 day trip-of-a-lifetime, taking in five continents, eight countries and nine of the world’s best hotels, with truly off-the-beaten-track driving experiences from behind the wheel of the most luxurious Range Rover ever produced, the SVAutobiography.

“We set out to design a trip worthy of the ultimate luxury SUV and thanks to our partners at Abercrombie & Kent we have

Escape To Fattoria Corleonese By Caroline Phillips

Rolling landscapes, home grown tomatoes and traditional red clay roof tiles. This is Fattoria Corleonese, a gorgeous manor house for holidays in Sicily. It’s in the heart of the country, part of a working farm and in a building that has been in the same family since 1873. It’s set in 92 hectares of beautiful countryside, among cornfields and sheep with clanking bells on their necks. All midst plum trees, cypresses, and ancient walnut trees as far as the eye can see. You’d be hard pushed to find a more pleasant place.

The house is built around an uneven

Escape To Casalnuovo By Caroline Phillips

The sky is streaked pink and purple. There are hills that recede into the distance where the Tyrrhenian Sea twinkles and the magical Aeolian islands stick temptingly out of the water. The villa is surrounded by an organic estate with olive trees, two gamboling dogs and a vegetable garden with sun-blushed tomatoes, beans and squash. Nearby are the Nebrodi mountains with walking trails, lakes, streams and woods.

Welcome to the off-the–beaten-volcanic track. This is Casalnuovo villa in Tindari, Sicily. A charming place where few tourists go.

It sleeps 15 – perfect for families or big groups or

Fifty Years of Chewton Glen By Isabel Donnelly

One of The Luxury Channel’s very favourite “staycation” hotels is Chewton Glen, on the outskirts of the New Forest, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.

Chewton Glen is one of the UK’s top hotels for a reason. Featuring an award-winning restaurant, world-class leisure facilities and luxurious accommodation, Chewton Glen is the perfect destination for romantic escapes, relaxing getaways, corporate events or even for a girl’s getaway, which is what we managed to do on a wintry Hallowe’en day.

Despite its classic heritage and old-world charm, Chewton has always been ahead of the curve. Its founder, Martin

Bohème – A Secret Sanctuary of Style By Caroline Phillips

Bohème. Does the very name conjure up thoughts of Puccini’s opera? Well, think again. Because this Bohème is actually one of the loveliest self-catering houses in Somerset. Say the word, ‘Bohème.’ And imagine now a converted sixteenth century former cider mill turned drop-dead stylish, modern-rustic house. Say ‘Bohème’ and imagine instead a place that was also an erstwhile dairy farm and now blends original features with contemporary dash and comfort.

I’m loath to divulge its whereabouts. It’s one of those places I’d like to keep secret. It’s just so perfect for everything from extended family occasions to hen shindigs and

Escape To The City At St. James’s Hotel – Absolutely Fabulous! By Isabel Donnelly

With its perfect location moments from Mayfair, The Royal Academy, Fortnum & Mason and St. James’s Palace, plus its Michelin starred restaurant, it is easy to understand why people say St. James’s Hotel is one of the most desired addresses in London.

On this occasion, I was lucky to not only spend a day with my girlfriend doing what girls like to do – lunching and shopping – but also to spend an evening at the hotel in one of their superior suites. Upon arrival, we were swept swiftly up by private lift to the St. James’s Suite

Escape To Venice By Fiona Sanderson

“Aman Canal Grande Venice is a hotel, it is a Palazzo, and it is also a home, a very grand one, but still a home…”

Venice is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. Built on water and steeped in history, Venice is a fabled destination with a glorious past. Once a major power and flourishing trade centre in the Mediterranean, Venice today is known for its architecture and its artworks. The city plays host to several internationally-renowned events including the annual Carnival, the Venice Film Festival and the Art and Architectural Biennales.

Marrakech – A Visualisation of The Past And Future By Ramy Salameh

With the Marrakech Museum for Photography and Visual Art (MMPVA) scheduled to open in 2016 and a temporary photographic exhibition housed in El Badi Palace, Marrakech is blossoming as a centre for the arts. Ramy Salameh explores one of the world’s most photogenic destinations through its timeless heritage….

Standing on the roof terrace of Maison de le Photographie and looking out toward the majestic snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains, standing like sentries over the city of Marrakech, I realised that Morocco’s second oldest imperial city has not changed much over the centuries and that there are two levels

Escape To Es Saadi – A Passion For Art And Detail By Fiona Sanderson

“The utmost pleasure of an Art Collector is to share his passion with other Art Lovers and as many people as possible” – Elisabeth Bauchet-Bouhlal, Président Directeur Général, Es Saadi Palace Gardens & Resort, Marrakech, Morocco

The Luxury Channel was delighted to meet Elisabeth and her family, who run the Es Saadi estate and whose exquisite taste has produced something quite unique in the heart of Morocco. We spent time with her to explore her passion for art, and find out why Es Saadi has become such a success….

Situated in the heart of Marrakech, Es Saadi

Les Prés d’ Eugénie By Antonia Peck

Experience gourmet cuisine whilst whittling your waist in the historical spa town of Les Prés d’ Eugénie….

The hotel and spa of Les Prés d’ Eugénie has established itself and taken flight as one of the leading wellness destinations in France under the stewardship of the talented Guérard family. Whether you’re looking for Michelin starred cuisine, great hospitality and spa treatments based on the natural sulphur waters found in the Landes region, there is something here for everyone looking for peaceful rejuvenation.

Family-owned and evidently loved, the chateau and adjacent hotels were originally bought by Christine Guérard’s father,

Sofitel Wine Days In Amsterdam By Harriet O'Grady

Amsterdam sits on the edge of our collective unconscious. We have all heard of its canals, the tall, narrow gabled houses, its innumerable bridges and bicycles, the red light district where the girls sit in windows and the “pot” cafes. Amsterdam, as I discovered on my first visit in early October, is all these things and more. As well as its fabled museums, which house the great collections of Rembrandts and Van Goghs, this is also a 21st Century city with the streamline architecture of The Eye and Renzo Piano’s Nemo that resembles a vast green ship.

I came

Clubbing By The Ocean At A Closing Party To Remember! By Hannah Norman

“There ain’t no party like an Ocean Club party,” said probably no-one ever, but perhaps they ought to. A champagne-infused, black and gold-themed closing party ensured that Marbella’s biggest (and arguably best) night club destination had the season send-off it deserved, before everything shut down ready for re-opening on Friday 29th April next year.

As far as summer party destinations go, Ibiza may have always held sway over everything else, but The Luxury Channel was only too pleased to accept an invitation to Ocean Club’s seasonal spectacular – and boy, are we glad we did! We were comfortably

The Changing Face of Belgrade: The New Cool By Ramy Salameh

Belgradians and Beirutis have a shared characteristic – they love to party, and their legendary nightlife has become part of the fabric of everyday life. The other common factor between the two cities is that they both went through devastating and destructive civil wars that remain in their recent history and psyche. The latter encouraged the former; when citizens of both cities lived through the daily threat of bombardment, the local nightlife industry boomed, taking clubbing to an art form. When the sound of battle subsided, the sound of DJs became louder, allowing a hedonistic social scene to get the

Balearic Bliss By Scott Manson

48 hours in Ibiza is perfect, provided you’re travelling by private jet, says Scott Manson….

Full disclosure. This is not my first time on the White Isle. Nor is it my second. Or my third. I have been to this party island no fewer than 47 times, most of that in a previous life working for Ministry of Sound – the global clubbing brand.

Back then, life was lived in a fog of Marlboro smoke and Red Bull, with little chance of luxury, save for the occasional free glass of champagne in club VIP areas. This trip would address all

Krimml Waterfalls – Austria’s Force of Nature Proves Healthy Ramy Salameh

It was as long ago as 500 years that the famous Austrian Doctor Paracelsus expressed the view that ‘‘each country is given its own illnesses, but for each of these illnesses they have been granted their own ancient medicines and remedies.’’

Standing below the thunderous and cascading Krimml Waterfalls – the fifth highest in the world, located in Hohe Tauern National Park in Salzburgerland – the doctor’s sentiments seem to make more sense. Krimml Waterfalls have been scientifically proven by the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg to have healing properties. The fine spray that covered my face in

It’s A Pet’s Life At Pera Palace By The Luxury Channel

For those who can’t bear to leave their four-legged friends at home, Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah is the perfect destination. Istanbul’s most iconic hotel (whose impressive list of guests has included Greta Garbo, Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock) has launched a new pet-friendly service to ensure pampered pooches experience the same impeccable service as their owners. A new in-room dining menu has been specially developed for pets with veterinary approval to ensure guests’ four-legged friends can enjoy delicious and nutritious food in the hotel’s iconic surroundings. From poached fillet of salmon to chopped fillet of beef, all meals are prepared

La Belle France By Harriet O'Grady

If bling is what gets you going or if you are in search of instant thrills, then the Dordogne and the Lot departments in South West France are not for you. But, if you enjoy the finer things in life such as history, good food, fine wines, or simply countryside, rivers and landscapes that leave you with a sense of wonder, then this is, indeed, the place to go.

This is, after all, a part of France steeped in the most romantic of French and English medieval history. The Dordogne was part of the land of the beautiful

Dive Into Egypt’s Soma Bay By Hannah Norman

I’m staring out across a calm sapphire sea, barely distinguishable from the sky, with a glass of something sweet, syrupy and strawberry-flavoured in my hand. The sun is blazing and all I can hear is the gentle sound of the waves lapping at the shore. This could be the Caribbean. This could even be the Maldives. But it’s not – it’s nowhere near. I’m actually just five hours away from London. Welcome to Soma Bay, a peninsular in eastern Egypt that dips invitingly into the crystal-clear Red Sea.

This serene – and surprisingly quiet – finger of

The Luxury Channel’s Guide To Florence By The Lex Chapter

As I stepped out onto the cobbled streets and looked up at the terracotta tiled rooftops against the vivid blue skies, I just knew two days here wasn’t going to be enough. The reason? Despite the city of Florence being a world heritage site, it is as busy and vibrant now as it was when it was the beating heart of the Renaissance. There’s so much to do here that planning your itinerary can seem overwhelming, so my advice would be to concentrate on key sights and indulge in some lazy lunches. If the three hour queue for the

Maggie And Rose’s Going Out Guide By Antonia Peck

From restaurants to museums, we discover where the founders of private family club Maggie & Rose go to keep their little ones entertained (as well as the best places for ‘‘date’’ night!)

Best Restaurants For Families

Maggie: We both love the Soho House Group – The Electric and Shoreditch House especially. My kids love going to Shoreditch House and it’s cool for them to go east. You can swim in the morning, have breakfast and then wander around.

Rose: Soho House gives the times that it is okay to bring your children, so you know that you are okay!

Redonda Bay’s Aqua Wellness Resort By Caroline Phillips

Aqua Wellness Resort in Redonda Bay, Nicaragua, is for the zen seeker who wants marshmallows on the campfire after her yoga session. Or a pizza night after her papaya body scrub.

It comprises 28 tree houses set in a tropical forest chokka with cacti, iguanas and howler monkeys – and overlooking an ooh-ah bay with sweeping beach, the Pacific and diving-for-fish pelicans. Not to mention the beautiful Giant’s Foot rock formation.

The tree houses are jungle chic with mahogany, Brazilian cherry and teak – think open-plan bedroom with wooden shower in the corner and a top-notch kitchen

Monaci Delle Terre Nere – An Earthly Paradise In Italy By Caroline Phillips

It’s an earthly paradise. Mt Etna fumes theatrically behind, red molten lava slipping dramatically down its slopes, and the Ionian sea sparkles in front. Welcome to Monaci delle Terre Nere – the boutique hotel that’s pulling all the awards.

The gods were smiling the day Guido Coffa (an erstwhile automotive engineer) fell in love with this 19th century putty-pink aristocratic villa – a piano nobile turned winery then organic farm. It’s now a small and discreet hideaway – 19 bedrooms/suites, some dotted on the estate – that’s set in a 40-acre private organic property that’s being planted

Escape To Andalucia By The Luxury Channel

Tim Best Direct is organising an exciting trip to Andalucia….

Following keen interest in the Flamenco Biennale in October last year, Tim Best Direct has put together a week in Andalucia, staying in three delightful discreet properties. If you can be tempted out of the country in May, this is an ideal short spring break.

Comprising a week visiting some of the highlights, at a relaxed pace, the itinerary culminates in Jerez de la Frontera at the Feria de Caballos, a fair that dates back centuries.

Designed for a small, easy-going group of like-minded people, or for a

A Glorious Weekend At Badrutt’s Palace Hotel By Roz Kempner

The grandiose Badrutt’s Palace Hotel has to be the Grande Dame of the Swiss mountains. With pride of place by the lake, the interior is as impressive as the exterior. Expensive cars, including the hotel’s Rolls Royce, adorn the forecourt.

Within, the stately Grand Hall has dark wood panelling and furniture reminiscent of the 50s. The vast dining room even has a harpist playing during breakfast, and the hotel retains an element of an era gone by. It is indeed the most polished of hotels. Staff are of the “old school,” immaculately uniformed and truly professional.

Dive Into Iceland By Rosalind Milani Gallieni

An intrepid journey into the core of Iceland, to discover the inner sense of adventure….

As we land on a white runway at Reykjavik Airport, the weather front is starting to draw in. This is clearly going to be a true adventure – or at the very least, similar to something we usually watch from the comfort of our homes when we sit down to the Bond movie Die Another Day. The landscapes on the screen at the briefing in the airport recall the iconic ice-chase driving scenes on the Jokulsarion Glacier Lagoon, the largest lagoon in Europe, which

48 Hours In Reykjavik By Fiona Sanderson

If you are lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in Iceland on a clear evening, it’s probably one of the most spectacular sights on earth.

If you are going to Iceland for the first time, like me, it’s well worth allowing Icelandair introduce you to this spectacle. They have just launched the Hekla Aurora, a northern lights themed plane (the iconic lights are painted onto the exterior), whilst delivering the ethereal and elusive magic of the Aurora Borealis to it passengers.

The Hekla Aurora plane flies trans-atlantically from London to destination cities in the US and Canada

Escape To Morgan’s Rock By Caroline Phillips

Morgan’s Rock really rocks. The Ecolodge is set on one of Nicaragua’s most gobsmackingly gorgeous and deserted, private beaches….a bay of sugar-fine sand and gently lapping Pacific waves. Gallop along the mile-long stretch of beach on horseback – “giddy up Pirata” – or saunter along it to watch sea turtles laying their eggs. The Ecolodge itself comprises 15 wood and thatched bungalows – so eco they’re enough to make anyone weep recycled tears of joy – with simple local furnishings, almond tree floors and the grooviest of upcycled copper taps and shower fittings. There’s no air-conditioning – just the

Escape To Tiger Territory In India By The Luxury Channel

As India celebrates a 30% increase in tiger numbers, enjoy the finest safari experience at The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore….

With the news revealed by the latest tiger census that India now has a third more tigers than it did four years ago, comes all the more reason to stay at The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore. Situated just ten minutes’ drive from Ranthambhore National Park, the hotel offers guests the opportunity to see Royal Bengal Tigers in their natural habitat.

India is home to around 70% (or 2,226) of the world’s tigers; approximately 60 of which inhabit Ranthambhore National Park

Escape To Nira Montana By Rosalind Milani Gallieni

It is at this time of year, when the schools are back on track and the slopes are less crowded and fresh New Year snow has finally laid its mantle, that it’s time to get some tranquility out of a long weekend in the mountains.

There is a new thrill in the village of La Thuile, in north west Italy. The village itself is full of local character: the church bells chime on the hour and the sound of rushing water from the icy blue River Dora, which runs through the village, is a constant reminder of the

Escape To A Zambian Water Retreat By The Luxury Channel

Zambia’s Royal Livingstone Hotel, perched on the forested banks of the Zambezi River and just a few metres upstream from the mighty Victoria Falls, has created bespoke Water Retreat Experiences for health conscious luxury travellers looking for an alternative wellbeing break combined with lifelong memories. With your own personal butler, you can experience sophistication and sheer opulence as well as the elegance and luxury of an earlier bygone era.

Water defines The Royal Livingstone. You arrive at the 5* retreat by water taxi – the only hotel in Africa to offer this exclusive transfer, where the journey

Escape To The Victoria Jungfrau Hotel By Isabel Donnelly

I decided to return on New Year’s Eve to the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Spa Hotel for their New Year package, which I last did eight years ago. My memories were of sheer elegance, 7 star service and outstanding facilities at this 224 room hotel, situated in picturesque Interlaken in the heart of central Switzerland.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the incredibly efficient concierges, Dracken and Jose, whom I have known for many years. It is always a delight to arrive back here. Check-in was smooth and swift, and I was shown to a junior suite with

The Most Wonderful Time of Year At Gleneagles By The Luxury Channel

Christmas is the perfect time to visit Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland – just an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. A haven of luxury British heritage set in 850 acres of beautiful countryside, the world-famous, 5 star hotel has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland. From Christmas Day festivities to a traditional Boxing Day Ceilidh (not to mention a custom-built ice rink!), it will provide a joyful mix of relaxation and festive indulgence, with roaring log fires surrounded by beautifully decorated Christmas trees.

Christmas Cracker Break

From 24th – 26th December, guests booking this three night package will

Escape From The City At Chewton Glen By Bella Chalmer

November is a strange month. Not close enough to indulge in Christmas celebrations and yet the late summer evenings are a faint memory. In need of something to look forward to before the New Year, I decided to book a night at the renowned, 5 star boutique hotel – Chewton Glen. A luxury country house hotel and spa set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest, Chewton Glen is also just a few minutes’ walk from the sea.

A lot has been said about this award-winning hotel – I’ve read it’s the

The Born Free Safari By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel is delighted to announce our new partnership with Tim Best Direct. Dedicated conservationist Tim Best is a well-known and respected personality in the travel world, who has been organising safaris and holidays for families, honeymooners and small private parties of friends for more than two decades. Having sold his business a few years ago, he now arranges travel worldwide on a personal basis, bringing into play his unparalleled network of top field operators, and owners of camps and lodges, to make the best arrangements for each individual itinerary. The below is a taster of the type

The Girls’ Guide To Geneva By Hannah Norman

When was the last time you went to Geneva, and more to the point, why were you there? Business? To head up to the mountains to ski? Or as a stopover before departing off elsewhere? Such a shame, as this city has so much to offer.

Courtesy of a total re-brand by Tourism Genève, we were invited to the Swiss city for the launch of The Girls’ Guide To Geneva. The brainchild of Tourism Genève’s PR Manager Pascal Buchs, this package has been put together to encourage more weekend breaks in a city that gets its fair share

On The Jetty Spa Trail At The Gilpin Lake House By Antonia Peck

Antonia Peck escapes to the Lake District to try a luxurious massage room and spa set high in the tree canopy, and discovers a romantic getaway with a difference….

With fur-lined wellington boots on and hoods up, guests walk happily across to The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House (part of the Relais & Châteaux group but owned by the Cunliffe family since 1919). The Gilpin provides the most serene, bucolic weekend retreat, with a deserved reputation for homely hospitality and luxury detailing. There are six characterful suites at the Lake House, each interior designed in a palette of earthy,

There’s Something Special About Sicily By Caroline Phillips

There’s something special about Sicily. As Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman has written, ‘Oranges are more orange in Sicily.’ And as Goethe wrote, ‘The key to Italy is Sicily.’ Whichever way you look at it, this once-rich island, the biggest in the Med, is magical. It’s famed for its Baroque, Byzantine and Corinthian architecture, cliff-top villages, beautiful beaches, stylish hotels and superb cuisine. I experienced first the luxury of tranquillity and life in the slowest of slow lanes in agroturismo Il Vignale (a week in a way-off-the-beaten-track north coast villa), before taking to the road for a further week to round

A Weekend Away At Matfen Hall By Ainslie Foster

The thought of escaping from one’s busy life – even for just one night of pampered luxury – was just too tempting to resist. But such getaways, so hotly anticipated, can often be fraught with disappointment if the hotel doesn’t live up to the promise of its website or brochures. Luckily for me, on arriving at the impressive, 19th century country house hotel, Matfen Hall, I knew I’d found just what I’d been hoping for. Set in 300 acres of some of Northumberland’s finest landscaped parkland, it’s a favourite spot for weddings, with a newly refurbished spa guaranteed to

On The Edge of Wildness At Nihiwatu By The Luxury Channel

For the past 26 years and perhaps longer, surfing aficionados from all over the world have been making the journey to the Indonesian island of Sumba to experience the left-hand wave at Nihiwatu, a magnificent surfing paradise. It was in 1988 that Claude and Petra Graves first arrived and painstakingly set about building a small resort with eleven keys. They continued to attract surfers, limiting the number to ten per day, giving the resort almost cult status and building a successful business that has garnered more than its fair share of awards from leading publications around the world.

The Luxury Channel’s Guide To Paris By Antonia Peck

STAY – EAT – EXPLORE

Paris is a city of incomparable beauty and history, shaped by a tumultuous and glorious past reflected in its boulevards, palaces and the savoir-faire attitude of its inhabitants. Whether as a centre of education and culture, or the epicentre of fashion and gourmet decadence, Paris has something for everyone. The Luxury Channel (with a little help from the travel gurus at Parnassus Luxury Travel) explores the myriad of possibilities and reveals their essential high-end city guide to Paris:

WHERE TO STAY

Mandarin Oriental, Paris

You can’t beat the level of service (the staff

Puglia’s Borgo Egnazia: Bang-On Perfect! Words and images by Rosalind Milani Gallieni

Summer destinations of peace and quiet and away from the madding crowds are always a gem to find, and after a forty minute drive from Bari airport on the smooth new motorways which cut the sun-drenched landscape, we are greeted by a handsome smiling doorman, who emerges from his designer cream stone gatehouse to welcome us. Dressed in a crisp white polo shirt and pressed chinos, he hands us a bottle of local chilled water, and the gates behind us glide shut, in absolute silence.

An imposing cream stone courtyard, entirely built from soft tufo stone typical of Puglia,

La Dolce Vita At Villa Sant’Andrea And Hotel Timeo – The Good Life! By Fiona Sanderson

All eyes are on Sicily this week during one of Italy’s most historic and glamorous festivals, Taormina. At the festival’s opening on Saturday was Claudia Cardinale, the unforgettable actress who starred in The Leopard, filmed on Sicilian soil. Also arriving at the festival were Bo Derek, Melanie Griffith, Eva Longoria, Pamela Anderson and Paz Vega.

The Taormina Film Festival has been hosted over the years by many stars of international cinema, including Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Sophia Loren, Cary Grant, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Tom Cruise, amongst others.

I was lucky

A Luxurious Tour With An Italian Touch By David Corke

Italy is a place with much history, rich culture, and some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. I couldn’t wait for the chance to see all of its beauty. The Baglioni Hotels Collection, known for having the unforgettable Italian touch, has much prestige and an undeniable reputation for all things luxury. I knew I’d be in great hands for what I knew would be a memorable trip.

As I travelled from the Regina Hotel Baglioni in Rome to my final stay at the Carlton Hotel Baglioni in Milan, there was a clear sense of genuine Italian hospitality that

Sunborn Gibraltar – A 5 Star Super Yacht Hotel By Isabel Donnelly

Having lived near Gibraltar for some years, it was a delight to hear that a ship has been docked in the harbour where you can eat gourmet food and drink cocktails on the top deck (Gibraltar has many restaurants, but none that are Michelin standard).

The Sunborn Gibraltar is a 147 metre long floating luxury yacht hotel – a first for Gibraltar, and a totally new concept. Spread over seven decks, the ship has been designed in a very modern, minimalist style. The owners are from Finland and this is portrayed in the design throughout the ship.

Cliveden – A Luxury Country House Hotel By Caroline Phillips

After years of being so-so, Cliveden – the stateliest of stately home hotels – now deserves a trillion regal curtsies. Prepare ye for a (rare) eulogy – because the hotel’s new leaseholders, the Livingstone brothers, have been making changes with oodles of fairy dust, cash and sophisticated taste, and they have pulled not so much a rabbit out of a hat as a voluptuous grande dame dressed in fashionable finery.

The newly refurbished East Wing – the first stage of restoration of the principal bedrooms – has just opened (in April). It’s gaspingly gorgeous in a silk and

Art Hotels By The Luxury Channel

From Paris to Beijing, we luxuriate with the best art at the best art hotels….

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York

This landmark New York Hotel is a modern take on a traditional grand hotel, with its custom-designed, handcrafted furnishings and rotating collection of 20th century artwork, including masterpieces from Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Every room in the hotel features unique luxury amenities, such as imported Italian linens and exquisite artwork. Gramercy Park Hotel offers a rare opportunity to experience museum-quality art in an intimate environment. In its lobby, guest rooms, event spaces and bars, guests will find masterpieces by

Home From Home – The Luxury Channel Meets Jim Pickell By Mário de Castro

Don’t worry about hotels anymore – the latest travel trend is to just embrace La Dolce Vita of home exchanging. We spoke to HomeExchange.com‘s new Chief Operating Officer, Jim Pickell, for some advice.

From Sony to OpenEnglish and now HomeExchange – what made you leave a major, universally known company to become an entrepreneur?

I’ve always thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I left Sony in 2007, after seven years. I was ultimately responsible for the digital distribution of film, music and eBooks. This was an exciting time as the traditional means of distributing physical products was being fundamentally

Marrakech – An Instant Fix Words and images by Rosalind Milani Gallieni

A warm, balmy weekend away can quickly fix your spirits and lift the winter mood. Marrakech is the destination where spring and summer come to mind all year round, and knowing these prospects are under four hours’ flight from London is like knowing you are going to be given your favourite treat as a child.

Arriving in the main square of Jemaa el Fna, you realise that too much is still not enough! A fully-fledged expanse of people, animals and activities stretch out before you, and as once upon a time, it all still creates an incredible tapestry of

Your Guide To NYC This Christmas By Saira Malhotra

Headed to the insomniac side of the pond? Sure, this city offers bright lights and vibrant noises – lots of them! But that’s New York for the outsiders. Be in the ‘‘inner circle’’ this Christmas. How? We’ve got you covered….

Where To Stay

The Gramercy Park Hotel 2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY ‎ (212) 920-3300 www.gramercyparkhotel.com

Yes, this hotel pulls in a local crowd with its sexy bar and noteworthy Italian restaurant, Il Maialino. Danny Myers’ spot-on representation of a hearty Roman spot offers nothing less than sheer convivio. Hang by the beckoning fireplace with a good holiday read

A Romantic Retreat To The Caribbean By Fiona Sanderson

Fiona Sanderson escaped to the Caribbean to stay in two hotels and experience a little romance….

RendezVous

An invitation to escape the grey English skies in the depths of Winter and fly to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to stay at the Rendezvous Resort was an invitation not to be turned down! I was also intrigued to see whether the world’s first couples-only, all-inclusive boutique resort in the Caribbean really lived up to its name as “the ultimate setting for romance – a place to re-discover life’s pleasures together in an intimate and elegant beach-front setting.” As a

Home Exchange – It’s Another Life…. By Jonny Beardsall

This calls for some scene-setting.  High above the beaches of Malibu, we unsaddle our horses and return them to a corral.  It is just behind the ravishing holiday home my wife found on HomeExchange.com, a home-swapping website.  Ironically, we ride every day 6,000 miles away from here in the Yorkshire Dales but on an exotic break in California – traded for a week in Wensleydale – it is a delight, not a chore.

For an extra-special holiday without breaking the budget, swapping your home, car and fridge contents – and maybe even your horse! – with someone else’s somewhere glitzy

Angkor And Beyond: Banteay Chhmar And The Great Temples of The Khmer Empire By Global Heritage Fund

Global Heritage Fund is a not-for-profit organisation, whose mission is to protect, preserve and sustain the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world. Through forming new alliances, establishing partnerships and building a network of conservation and development leaders, Global Heritage Fund is providing projects with new ideas, resources and supporters that will exponentially benefit these sites and build momentum for our global campaign to save vanishing heritage sites in developing regions. Global Heritage Fund is organising a tour to Cambodia in November, the details of which are below:

NOVEMBER 9TH: ARRIVAL IN PHNOM PENH

Arrival

Inkaterra – Creating History Through Biodiversity Interview by Fiona Sanderson and words by Hannah Norman

“Squatters’ rights!” laughs Jose Koechlin when describing how he came to acquire the land for his hotels in Peru. “When we started out, local government didn’t exist. When we finally got recognition from the government, we were the first company to receive a concession to have a national park.” Koechlin is the founder of Inkaterra, a Peruvian eco-tourism company that aims to sustain and conserve the rainforest of the Amazon basin in Peru. “All this is possible because of tourism,” Koechlin says of the on-going research into protecting the flora and animal species that Inkaterra has assumed responsibility for.

Bernard Magrez – Luxury Wine Tourism By Hannah Norman

Is there really anything better than being chauffeur driven in a Bentley once owned by Ian Fleming, before being given the keys to your own castle, all the while being plied with hearty French food and Merlot? Well, perhaps just one thing – being flown by helicopter from chateau to chateau to UNESCO world heritage site, all whilst sampling some of the finest wines to have come out of Bordeaux.

But before I get entirely carried away with the sheer degree of deliciousness, let’s remind ourselves of why I was here….I was in the heart of south west France’s wine-growing

Bhutan – A Circuit Through The Land of The Thunder Dragon Words and images by Rosalind Milani Gallieni

The itinerary for our 8 days in Bhutan gets to us two weeks before departure, listing a hot-stone bath in a local farm-house, horse-treks up to the Tigers’ Nest, visits to musically named Dzongs, temples and monasteries, walks high-up at 3800mt on the Dochu La and even an audience with Doctor Karma Phuntso about the principles of Buddhism and meditation. Will it all get ticked off?

Marina, my cultural attachée, gets set on this most unique trip and reading up on our material provided by Choki of Blue Poppy, we realise it is only since the 1970s that

The Paw Seasons – Luxury Holidays For Dogs By Hannah Norman

A picturesque walk along the beach followed by a surfing lesson, before being whisked off in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce Corniche convertible for a half-day pampering session at Harrods, to then return to sink into a sumptuous bed by a warming, wood-burning stove – sounds like the perfect holiday, right? This, however, is not for humans, but for our four-legged friends, courtesy of The Paw Seasons.

A five star “hotel” for dogs run by the lovely Jenny Hytner-Marriott, The Paw Seasons is a kennel-free retreat, allowing your dog plenty of fresh air, exercise (watch this video!)….and no end

Escape To New York’s Mohonk Mountain House By Saira Malhotra

When the heat dials up and gets trapped by NYC’s skyscrapers, there is a charming place to seek refuge: Mohonk Mountain House, a national Historic Landmark, which lies deep between the peaks and troughs of the Hudson Valley.

Once there, you can check your sweaty, tired self at the door and prepare for Mohonk Mountain house to pamper, rejuvenate and feed you well. Being rated as being the Number One Resort Spa in the United States and within the top ten for Green Spas around the world, one is offered all kinds of treatments from Mohonk Red Massage

The Peligoni Club Gets Grown Up By The Luxury Channel

Following on from its success last year, the Peligoni Club has announced the return of the September Club, inviting guests to treat themselves to an indulgent break and the chance to soak up some late summer sun on the stunning Greek island of Zakynthos. The September Club is an adult-only, week-long, child-free break – perfect for socialising, water-sports and relaxation.

This follows the success of the first ever September Club in 2012, and even if you’re not able to commit to a full week, then long weekend options are available too.

The September Club has been carefully planned to

The Opening of The Oberoi, Dubai – The Finest Level of Contemporary Luxury In The Heart of Dubai By The Luxury Channel

The Oberoi Group has announced the opening of The Oberoi, Dubai – the Group’s first property in the United Arab Emirates. The hotel overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa and each of the 252 rooms and suites has floor to ceiling windows, which afford spectacular views of the city’s skyline. The Oberoi, Dubai also boasts the city’s first ever 24 hour Spa. The hotel enjoys a central location and is a few minutes drive from downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall. Legendary service delivered by attentive and caring team members will make The Oberoi, Dubai the preferred choice for discerning

The Adamson Trail By The Luxury Channel

Journey through Kenya with Exceptional Travel, escorted by John Rendall, co-author of A Lion Called Christian, the best selling story of the lion Christian, whom he bought from Harrods in London, with fellow Australian Ace Bourke.

Christian lived with John and Ace on the Kings Road in Chelsea but when Christian ‘out grew’ his surroundings, George Adamson (of Born Free fame), accepted the challenge of rehabilitating him back into the wild. Christian was successfully rehabilitated in Kora National Park in Kenya, with George describing it as a “monument to a mischievous and brave little lion from England.”

After successful safaris

How Dasha Kapustina Is Putting Andorra Back On The Map By Hannah Norman

“Flying at speed on snow-mobiles across freshly-deposited powder in the dark is an experience unlike any other, with just the roar of the engines and the beam of the headlights to guide us.”

Once upon a time, a destination holiday was all about how far you could travel, and how exotic your destination vacation was. Times have changed however, and the trend today is not so much how far you can go, but what you can experience once you’re there. Hidden high up in the Pyrénées between the borders of France and Spain lies the tiny country of Andorra.

Über Cool Bulgaria And A Quite Unique Property By Rosalind Milani Gallieni

Curious to explore new destinations in Eastern Europe, for winter sports and summer holidays, we head to Bulgaria to get a sense of the history and status quo of this beautiful country, and by creating a mixed itinerary, we get a glimpse of the real life in town and how luxury is “done” up in the hills.

Once out of Sofia airport, we drive through the large sprawling town, which is a mix of buildings dating back to the communist era, creating a dull horizon of concrete apartment blocks, with row upon row of balconies boasting TV satellite

India Bespoke By Gillian Kitching

Gillian Kitching, from Inspiration Events, is used to taking luxury beyond the generic five star experience, giving guests the chance to encounter travel as a piece of theatre, not just observing but also interacting with the places they visit and the people they meet in the most authentic and joyful way – cinematic moments to cherish for all time. Gillian shares with us her diary of a visit she arranged in February for the alumni group from Harvard Business School….

Friday and Saturday – Mumbai

Our guests arrive in Mumbai. Fast and frenetic, the city is India’s beating heart

The Backwaters of Kerala – God’s Own Country By Fiona Sanderson

Fiona Sanderson traveled to the Backwaters in Kerala to check out the best hotels the region can offer….

1) Vivanta By Taj – Malabar, Cochin www.vivantabytaj.com

After a long flight from Europe, The Vivanta By Taj Malabar Hotel in Cochin is the perfect starting point to introduce your senses to the sights and sounds of India. Situated on Willingdon Island with a view across Cochin Harbour, it is situated at the ‘gateway’ to the Southern State of Kerala – ‘God’s Own Country,’ as it is called. A blend of old-world opulence with all the latest, modern amenities and a

Mumbai And Cartier Concours By Rob Scorah

A brief visit to Mumbai to attend Cartier’s Travel With Style Classic Car Concours, and some time spent in the city itself, rekindled that deep and often romanticized notion of the intermingling of Western (ostensibly British) and Indian cultures.

Predictably, many of the cars displayed around the grounds of the Taj Land’s End Hotel bore that iconic mascot; the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy, while a number of heavy-shouldered (and very long) Buicks and Packards signalled the demise of the Raj and British influence, and India’s turning elsewhere for its more luxurious needs.

Some of the cars wouldn’t

India Exposed By Clive Limpkin

Award-winning photojournalist Clive Limpkin shares some extracts and photos from his book, India Exposed….

For most first-time visitors to India, it’s a gamble whether this overloaded, overpopulated, over-cooked, overlooked, anarchistic madhouse will have you vowing never to go near again, or booking the next trip — no matter what the cost. When friends ask for one good reason to visit, I offer them a billion — it’s the people. Whether because of the Hindu belief in karma, or due to acceptance of caste lot, nowhere else do you get so many disarming smiles or waves in warm greeting. These salutations

An Opulent Interlude At The ITC Maratha In Mumbai By Alexandra Chalmer

Mumbai airport offers little amusement between the hours of a flight change, so for those who have a lengthy stop over, respite from the perils of transit doldrums comes in the majestic form of the ITC Maratha. Ten minutes from the International Terminal, the ITC Maratha exudes a unique and authentic Indian charm with a sense of sophistication that exceeds the standard so many of its kind fall short of.

Enter the grand lobby, and you arrive in a world where jet-setting businessmen convene over gin-and-tonics, where you are greeted with a smile of sincerity and grace at every corner

Sri Lanka – Nothing Can Quite Prepare You! By Rosalind Milani Gallieni

Sri Lanka’s enduring appeal for visitors stems from a seductive combination of superb beaches, tropical sunshine, a very warm welcome and a quite unique puzzle of cultures epitomised by the extraordinary relics and temples recalling the power and dignity of their ancient, lost empires. Despite the turbulence and tragic recent history of 30 years of civil strife, this bustling island has now dusted itself down and got back on its feet, making it a truly desirable holiday destination.

Sharing both close ties to India’s oldest cultures, and a colonial history of European occupation, it is an island with a legacy

Top Ten Winter Escapes – Make 2013 the year of the great escape… By Hannah Norman

A holiday should be about creating an experience of a lifetime. With this in mind, The Luxury Channel brings you ten of the best…

1) Lux* Le Morne, Mauritius

Lying off the east coast of Madagascar, basking in the warmth of the African sun, is Mauritius. Protected by a mountain that bears the same name, Lux* Le Morne offers a slice of tropical paradise, with a snow-white beach, four swimming pools – and the chance to swim with dolphins. But if swimming’s not really your thing and you still want to test your sea legs, the resort offers its guests

Malta – The Setting For The Rolex Middle Sea Race By Fiona Sanderson

What better way to escape the wind and dark afternoons of London and Northern Europe when you can sit overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with beautiful sunshine and temperatures of around 60 degrees? Just off the coast of Sicily, Malta is a perfect haven to escape the winter blues, as well as being a sailing enthusiast’s dream.

The Luxury Channel was there to see the start of what many Brits and worldwide sailors say is one of Europe’s most popular and respected offshore races. The racecourse proves both exciting and challenging due to the currents in the Messina Strait and the

Amarrass Desert Music Festival By The Luxury Channel

The second edition of the Amarrass Desert Music Festival is back with traditional music from deserts around the world. The festival boasts of an awesome line-up, which includes Bombino (the Hendrix of Niger), BaBa ZuLa (the creators of Istanbul Psychedelia), the redoubtable Sakar Khan, Padma Shri Awardee (who seldom performs in public), and Barmer Boys, among others. The vast openness of desert, be it India’s Thar Desert or Sahel – Sahara in Western Africa will be captured in the venue at Zorba that creates a festival atmosphere with its amphitheatre, green lawns, food and drinks. The two-day music festival

So Worth It! By Suzanne Aaronson

Suzanne Aaronson, founder of www.whatsworthit.com, shares her top reviews of escapes in the USA with The Luxury Channel….

Dunton Hot Springs – Dolores, Colorado

www.whatsworthit.com

“I went to Dunton with a group of fun, sporty friends and my boyfriend – we mixed up our time between hikes, fly-fishing, horseback riding and plenty of reading and chilling out in the property’s hot springs. Think Wild West with a BIG difference. Built on the site of an old mining town, this charming resort combines the rugged outdoors with beautifully decorated log cabins dotted around the central lodge. Romantic enough to suit

A Weekend In Luanda By Claudio Silva

Claudio Silva, founder of the leading hospitality blog, Luanda Caipirinha Lounge, shares his top tips for a weekend in Luanda with Angola-Today.com and The Luxury Channel.

You wake up to quiet streets and the absence of the usual clamor; you cannot hear the incessant honking of the ubiquitous candongueiros, and even the colorful and boisterous zungueiras seemed to have receded into the city’s fabric. And the traffic… well, the traffic is completely gone. Welcome to Luanda on the weekend.

Affluent residents of Luanda like to dedicate the weekend to friends, family, and the few leisure activities one can do in the city. Most of these leisure activities

The Top of Europe – Winter Sports Under The Jungfrau By Rosalind Milani Gallieni

Even after 20 years visiting this breathtaking region of the Swiss Alps, there is still the same content of apprehension and wonderment from an excursion to the Jungfraujoch, which towers above you at 3454mt above sea level. To top it all, this year also celebrates 100 years since the Jungfrau railway was completed – an engineering feat that took 16 years to complete, and which today takes passengers to the highest station in Europe.

Following the rails of the Jungfraubahn, which take you to this highest point, you come to the final railway station at the end of the

The Seychelles – That Land That Time Forgot By Scott Manson

About ten years ago, a well-known travel company ran a tube poster advert which read, ‘Your life is meaningless and you will die having achieved comparatively little. You need a holiday.’ It was accompanied by a photo of a paradise beach.

Leaving aside the questionable marketing tactic of insulting your target audience, it made a solid point. In terms of life-affirming moments, there are few things to beat a really great holiday. And nowhere is this affirmation more apparent than when you’re winging your way to a tropical holiday destination by helicopter.

The pilot, a mustachioed wing commander type

Cuban Cool By Rosalind Milani Gallieni

Cuba – a Caribbean Island blessed with palm trees, sultry temperatures, hip-swiveling rhythms, pristine beaches, and an excess of rum! Not forgetting the world’s finest hand rolled cigars…and socially apt sharks.

Starting with a 5-hour boat trip from Jucaro to Jardines de la Reina, a speck in the deep blue seas, which can officially be called the middle of nowhere – floats an oil rig platform, beautifully transformed into Italian design and style by its Italian owner from Como. Fish was exquisitely fresh straight from the sea and the lobsters from the mangroves, scattered all around us. Served twice

The Luxury Channel’s Top Spa Guide By Antonia Peck and Eadaoin Kelly

Transform your body and your sense of self, as The Luxury Channel guides you through four of the world’s top spas….

SHA Wellness Centre

When I returned from SHA Wellness Centre, telling all who would listen about the delights of macro-biotic cooking and my amazing experience at the spa, many skeptics seemed hell-bent on curbing my enthusiasm. Even the man in Waterstones mocked me for enquiring about a book on macrobiotics which was ‘‘trendy over ten years ago,’’ leaving me shuffling around in the vegetarian cookbook aisle.

So I logged on to Amazon, read (admittedly old) articles about

The New Andermatt By Fiona Sanderson

How about having your own ski butler in the heart of the Swiss Alps? The quaint and traditional village of Andermatt – with a population of only 1,300 – is being transformed and, as a guest of the Andermatt Swiss Alps Company, I took a trip to the Gotthard region, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, to find out why.

This charming village has been quietly forgotten since its heyday in the 20s and 30s, when its clientele included local aristocrats and European royalty. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert chose it as their alpine hideaway and The Grand

The Luxury Channel’s Guide To Miami By Eadaoin Kelly

Miami really does have it all – the weather, the glittering white beaches, the contrasting art deco and modern architecture brimming full of designer and vintage shops, a wonderful array of restaurants and other cool hangouts. The only negative? Well, the locals also “have it all,” leaving us girls feeling rather pasty and tired in comparison!

Where To Stay

If we were in Miami to compete with the bronzed babes, then we booked the right place. Our hotel, Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa gets people healthy and glowing fast! With residential options and 150 luxurious guest suites available, this is

The Island of Nevis – Queen of The Caribees By Fiona Sanderson

Fiona Sanderson explores this perfect Winter escape….

Arriving by water taxi from the airport, I realized why they call the island of Nevis, “Queen of the Caribees.” Green and lush, I was struck by the magnificence of the clear water and its 3,232-foot Nevis Volcano. There’s something about this small, island that immediately puts you at ease – a real sense of tranquility and a “time gone by.” With its old churches, windmills, and architecture, this little island of only seven miles long seduced me on first sight.

Four Seasons

Arriving at the Four Seasons Hotel, I was

Escape To Florence And Milan By Antonia Peck and Lauren Steventon

Antonia Peck and Lauren Steventon review three top hotels in Florence and Milan….

Villa La Massa

Nestled in the Tuscan hills, twenty miles from the centre of Florence, at the gateway to the Chianti wine region, is the beautiful Villa La Massa. This 16th century villa is the Villa ‘d Este’s sister hotel. They both pride themselves on their welcoming and engaging staff, sumptuous interiors and an ability to cater to the ultra high net worth customer – be it requests for the private villa overlooking the Arno River or for a high profile marriage celebration in the villa’s

Escape To The Maldives By The Luxury Channel

The Maldives, a honeymooners’ haven, are a utopian enigma, a symbol of paradise, no matter what race, creed or class its visitors are. There are few places on earth that conjure up the sentiments of peaceful relaxation, pristine beauty and complete exclusivity. Perhaps the Seychelles or a few Pacific islands could draw comparisons but the archipelago of the Maldives, just south of Sri Lanka, are a unique prospect due to the variety and size of the islands on offer. The exotic appeal is clear, and the visible liberation from urban life is the cornerstone of this unique holiday experience.

Hope House In Woodstock By Antonia Peck

Antonia Peck reviews a 17th Century boutique Bed & Breakfast with serious style credentials….

Hope House in Woodstock, Oxfordshire is a 17th century boutique Bed & Breakfast with serious style credentials. It has recently been invited to join Condé Nast Johansens – celebrating the best luxury hotels, spas and venues.

Why Stay?

Despite its status as the ancestral home of the Money family (whose job it was to collect monies to build Blenheim Palace circa 1708) – Hope House is a beacon of contemporary hospitality in the pretty town of Woodstock.

The owner, operator and maître d’par excellence

Escape To Rome By Antonia Peck

Antonia Peck reviews the best hotels in the Eternal City – Rome….

The Hotel de Russie

The Hotel de Russie has a reputation for excellence. It is the preferred destination for the international and local jet set, situated between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo on Via del Babuino. You could not ask for a location more prestigious, more Roman and more decadent.

We were in Rome for a wedding and were scheduled to stay at the Russie for one night. The wedding’s “recovery lunch” was to be hosted in the hotel’s beautiful peach and white courtyard.

Escape To Lake Como By Antonia Peck

Antonia Peck escapes to Lake Como and stays at the world-famous Villa d’Este….

Your heart will break when it is time for you to leave the Villa d’Este, Cernobbio – such is the rare beauty and stillness of the place. For some, the source of enchantment is the ornate architecture of the villas and gardens, for others it is the serenity of the lake. For female guests, perhaps it is the knowledge that George Clooney roams nearby. Whatever the inspiration, the villa has had a feel for grandeur since it became a hotel in 1873, and I doubt its

The Stay-Cation By The Luxury Channel

We review the Four Seasons, Hampshire and enjoy the ultimate stay-cation….

Take the risk out of the stay-cation and any fears of Fawlty Towers-style histrionics and check-in at the Four Seasons, Hampshire. If you want perfect service, probably the most comfortable bed in the world, an internationally-renowned spa and a hotel that will welcome your lover and/or your brood of children – then this is the place to stay! The hotel is only 45 minutes from Heathrow Airport and surrounded by the scenic countryside of Dogmersfield Parkland. The long drive leading up to the hotel anticipates the building’s 18th

Four Seasons Santa Barbara By Suzanne Aaronson

Suzanne Aaronson, founder of whatsworthit.com, reviews the Four Seasons Santa Barbara in California….

How often do you find a stunning architectural structure, facing the ocean, with a jaw-dropping 50 meter pool/restaurant club, an intimate spa, pretty tennis courts, good food, top service, 5 minute walk to a cute village and biking/boating/vineyards at your doorstep? Tough one! This Santa Barbara institution, located directly in front of a pretty beach cove in Montecito, is one of the best Four Seasons in the US, from the grounds (20 acres of established manicured gardens) to the fabulous views and the special Spanish colonial

Tanya Rose – The Voice of Luxury Travel By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel meets Tanya Rose, author of Travel Secrets for some insider tips….

How did you become the voice of luxury travel?

Word of mouth amongst the clientele of Mason Rose and their friends. It’s hard to find trusted advice these days, and like many other professional services – like doctors, financial advisors, mechanics, hairdressers – when you find the right one, they are GOLD! I believe in honest advice and sharing travel secrets that make destinations come alive. The most important thing in luxury travel is to know the place and match the person to the destination,

JK Place In Capri By Suzanne Aaronson

Suzanne Aaronson, founder of whatsworthit.com, reviews JK Place in Capri, Italy….

One of Italy’s best hotels and the only hotel in Capri that actually sits on the sea front. Quiet enough to escape the ‘scene’ (or be at the very epicenter — you choose). Feels like a private home, perched on the cliff and filled with art, antiques and fresh flowers: the perfect mix of style, energy and relaxation. I designed my bedroom after their living room!” – Suzanne

Need To Know

Great For: A stylish stay that doesn’t forget where it is — a pretty island off the

South Africa’s Birkenhead House By Suzanne Aaronson

Suzanne Aaronson, founder of whatsworthit.com, reviews Birkenhead House in Hermanus, South Africa….

This is one of my favourite lesser-known properties in the world – absolutely love it, and feel so at home here. During whale season is when it must be experienced – you’ll just not believe how many and how close! Atmosphere is one of an extensive private home: nothing is too much trouble for the super friendly and efficient staff, and the setting: wow, wow and wow! The property perches on cliffs overlooking Walker Bay and is so close that you feel as if you practically are

W London By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel meets Eva Ziegler, global brand leader at Le Meridien and W Hotels….

From Times Square to Leicester Square, stepping into a W Hotel transports you into a world of “WOW!” Global Brand Leader Eva Ziegler tells us how this flirty, chic atmosphere is perfect for the modern honeymoon.

With their slick design, bright colours and seductive lighting, W Hotels hook in the world’s cool crowds, and that includes honeymooners wanting to begin their life together at the sharp end of chic.

W London opened it’s doors on Valentine’s Day 2011, which, as Eva tells us,

Honeymoon Hideaways By Quintessentially Travel

Honeymoon Hideaways from the masters of travel couture – Quintessentially Travel.

Fascinating France

For the Francophile, here is the chance to indulge in the most chic of cities, Paris, before heading into the stunningly beautiful and calming countryside of Beaujolais and the Chateau de Bagnols.

We suggest Paris first with 3 nights spent at the luxury Le Meurice, set opposite and with wonderful views of the Tuillerie Gardens, and between the Place de la Concord, Musee de Louvre and the Rur Saint-Honore. Le Meurice is the perfect place to start your romantic honeymoon, a fabulous setting, fine dining, and

Romantic Getaways By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel brings you the top hot spots for two.

Bombay Dreaming

JW Marriott Hotel, Mumbai

Positioned on one of the city’s busiest streets, Juhu Tara Road, the JW Marriott (affectionately known by many locals as the J-Dub) makes a tranquil respite from the chaos that is Mumbai. Once through the high level security (a must for all the high profile guests and Bollywood stars that visit), check out the superior rooms, which overlook the impressive swimming pool and Juhu. Be spoilt for choice at every meal with a diverse selection of world cuisines from the hotel’s

Jade Mountain By Lauren Steventon

The Luxury Channel chats to Karolin Troubetzkoy, owner of Jade Mountain in St Lucia, to find out what it takes to create the perfect wedding abroad.

Why do people choose Jade Mountain as a wedding destination?

It was created for the celebration of life and love – there could not be a more scenic location to tie in with these most memorable of occasions!

What are your top tips for organising a destination wedding?

Ask the resort how many weddings a day they arrange, as you don’t want to wait in a queue!

Keep it tropical and work with

Destination: Wedding By Lauren Steventon

There are a plethora of incredible destinations across the world for your wedding, and Lauren Steventon picks some of the best….

Caribbean

Parrot Cay Turks And Caicos

Fancy getting married on your own private island? Well, luckily, you don’t need to sign the deeds beforehand….Parrot Cay is one of the prettiest private islands in the north Caribbean. 1000 unspoilt acres of tropical vegetation and a mile-long beach, punctuated by sumptuously stylish buildings and private villas. Hold a small ceremony in a tiki hut on the powder-white sand, or in the spa cottage overlooking the wetlands and their wildlife. The

Arcanum Retreat By The Luxury Channel

One day you’re glowing, unable to chisel the grin from your face and basking in a deluge of post-engagement congratulations. The next, the stressful reality of actually planning a wedding sets in. Whether you’re dreaming of a classic country wedding or a luxurious beachfront getaway, one key element resonates loudly; a bride wants to look and feel her most beautiful on her wedding day, and get her body back to its former glory.

Yet, it can seem impossible to find the time for self-indulgence, when so many logistical questions and queries relating to the wedding are coming your way.

The Pierre In New York By Antonia Peck

Antonia Peck enjoys an opulent stay in one of the city’s grandest hotels.

You could stay in trendier parts of New York and a hotel more suited to women in their mid-twenties, but it was my friend’s first time in New York and I wanted her to experience the city at its most elegant. The hotel experience needed to be a treat and not a trend-led hotel that however ‘cool’ could have been anywhere in the world. So we decided to stay near Park Avenue (for her love of shopping) and near Central Park (for a bit of inner-city

The New York Palace By Antonia Peck

Expect royal treatment at The New York Palace and their restaurant, GILT.

Can you ask your New York taxi driver to ‘take me to The Palace?’ In short, no, but I had expected him to know this glamorous hotel of choice for so many smart and international travellers. My taxi driver looked at me as if I had lost my mind and had serious illusions of grandeur. I tried correcting my instructions with reference to other nearby New York landmarks: ‘opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral or near Burberry’s headquarters,’ until we finally arrived on the corner of 50th Street and Madison

The Four Seasons New York By Antonia Peck

In keeping with The Luxury Channel’s exploration of New York’s classic hotels, Antonia Peck checks in at one of its best.

Piers Morgan and his wife, Celia Walden, were photographed at the Four Seasons in Manhattan for Tatler in an article entitled, The Comeback King. They posed in the lift and their suite on the 48th floor (with incredible views including the Empire State building, majestic in the background). The message being – come to New York, stay at the Four Seasons and you’ve made it.

The Four Season’s brand power shows little signs of waning. Stars attract stars

New York City Guide By Antonia Peck

The Luxury Channel’s guide to where to go, what to do and what to see in New York’s most stylish neighbourhoods.

The Upper East Side: Where New York’s finest live and lunch

Sleep: Despite being a New York legend, the Plaza Athénée has the feel of an intimate European chateau, with an exotic, Oriental-style bar.

www.plaza-athenee.com

Eat: Smart and tasty French cuisine at Daniel, from Daniel Boulud.

www.danielnyc.com

Drink: Cocktails and jazz at Café Carlyle.

www.thecarlyle.com

Shop: At the new Lanvin store on Madison Avenue.

www.lanvin.com

Spa: Wine detox? Oh yes – at the Caudalie Vinotherapy spa, anyway.

White Magic And Romance In Austria By Eadaoin Kelly

White sports, blissful spa tratments, gourmet experiences and Winter wonderlands – what better way to spend a romantic few days than a long weekend in Austria?

We flew directly to Salzburg airport and were swiftly transported, by taxi, through the winding mountain roads. The journey lasted approximately 1.5 hours and cost €140 and reached a cool -17 degrees on route to Hotel Rosengarten in Kirchberg, Tyrol, an a equally chilly -12 degrees.

Hotel Rosengarten

After being warmly greeted by the hotel owner, we were shown to a suite known as ‘Burgundy.’ Each of the 26 rooms and suites in

Future Luxe – Global Golfing Experiences By Melloney Roffe and Cara Dattani

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, Sicily and PGA Catalunya, Spain.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa

By Melloney Roffe

I had always promised myself I was going to learn to play golf – so when the opportunity came for me to visit a golf course in a warm climate with a Spa too, I had no choice but to go!

As I stepped off the aircraft, it was uplifting to feel the warm air of Sicily upon my face after the cold, temperate climate of London. The time had come to treat myself to a short break: relax, rejuvenate and

New Collections By Lauren Steventon

Lauren Steventon explores the new fashion suites at Sofitel Fauborg Saint Honore and takes a peek at two more designer destinations.

Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, Paris

Hidden just off one of the most fashionable streets in Paris is the terribly chic Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg.

Just a short walk from the Place de la Concorde, the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and the main department stores, this is the place to stay if you have some serious shopping in mind. Perhaps surprisingly, given its central location, the hotel is a haven of tranquility – just the place to sit back

Grand Hotel Kempinski By Eadaoin Kelly

The Grand Hotel Kempinski introduces its new Le Spa and celebrates with a spectacular Dior fashion show.

After an effortless early morning flight, a 5 km taxi ride from Geneva airport and a manic afternoon full of meetings – I was finally able to take some time to absorb the breath-taking views overlooking Lake Geneva, from my hotel-room balcony. The Grand Hotel Kempinski hosts over 400 elegant and comfortable rooms (including a number of warm and luscious presidential suites). The hotel is modern, chic and extremely welcoming.

However, I had not flown to Geneva to enjoy the views. The

The Perfect Respite In The New Forest By Eadaoin Kelly

Eadaoin Kelly books into Chewton Glen in Hampshire to recover after holidaying with the extended family.

With several demanding family events ahead of us, my better half had decided that there was only one way that we were going to get through the week – with the promise of pure indulgence firmly installed as the light at the end of the tunnel. It was with determination that we therefore arose at 6am, after a grueling few days of screaming children (someone else’s) and forced fun on the packed beaches of Penzance, we made a dash for what promised to

The Emerald Coast By Effie Kanyua

The Luxury Channel went to Sardinia – the place to be seen – to experience one of the most glamorous events in the sailing calendar. Nestled on the pristine coastline of the Costa Smeralda, the exclusive resort of Porto Cervo offers some of the best views of the Mediterranean. Rolex hosts two international yacht races here each year, attracting super-yachts and stylish people from across the globe. However, away from the port and glitterati, Effie Kanyua found some hidden treasures.

Where to visit

To discover the best beaches and most authentic Italian hillside restaurants, you’ll need to hire a

Wild Adventures By The Luxury Channel

Ticked off the big five? There are plenty of other animals around the world to fascinate adventurous travellers.

Polar Bears in Churchill

With his huge size, thick white coat and almost magical appearance, the polar bear is the undisputed king of the snow. Every Autumn, hundreds of the big white bears descend on the Canadian town of Churchill, preparing for their migration north, deep into the ice and snow. Wildlife Adventures have a range of polar bear watching trips, for all levels of enthusiast. Combine your time bear spotting on the ice with cultural tours of the town, or

Kurland Hotel By Antonia Peck

Antonia Peck experiences both relaxation and exhilaration amidst the mountains and the roses.

There is a charming simplicity as day breaks beyond the mountains and the polo ponies gradually begin to graze on some of Kurland’s 700 green hectares. Established as a boutique hotel in 2000, Kurland Hotel is made up of a series of Cape Dutch style buildings nestled at the southernmost tip of the African continent. Guests are enveloped by the smoky Outeniqua Mountains and Kurland’s famous dusky roses upon arrival.

Dotted throughout the grounds are the twelve individually themed suites, designed by Baroness Dianne Behr. The

The Amber Spa By The Luxury Channel

The Amber Spa in Latvia has developed around a tradition of wellness. Originally just an authentic Russian bania, it has grown to incorporate a wellness centre, and, most recently, a boutique spa hotel, a place where visitors can come to either relax or explore the surrounding scenery. Latvia might not seem like your usual spa destination, but Jurmala is no stranger to health tourism.

Situated on the Latvian coast, with almost 33km of wide, fine sandy beaches, Jurmala has been a wellbeing destination for over a century. During the Soviet era, it was a favourite destination of high-ranking Communists

Israel’s Healing Waters By Alanna Lynott

Dip your toes into the magical Dead Sea for a truly revitalising experience.

For thousands of years, travellers to the shores of the Dead Sea have delighted in the medicinal powers of this magical place. To the early explorer, these turquoise waters must have appeared as an oasis nestled in between the earthy red mountains of Israel and the hazy blue mounds of Jordan, which are visible just across the water. If it were life-giving water these explorers were hoping for, they must have been sorely disappointed: the water here is nine times saltier than the ocean and nothing

Momentum Adventure By Antonia Peck

The Luxury Channel speaks to Matthew Robertson from Momentum Adventure and finds out what dramatic experiences they have to offer.

Does a person create the journey or does the journey create the person?

I would say that the way we create any journey is really coming from what excites us about the wilderness and the wild. I am a big believer in if there is a will there is a way. If a client wants to give it a go, then Momentum Adventure are going to make it happen for them. So back to your original question, does the

Three Nights In Paris With Princess Fiona By The Luxury Channel

It is not all that often that one spends the night with a couple of Ogres, which was what happened to me when I checked into my room at Mama Shelter, which is all about presentation with a unique twist. The Ogres in question were Shrek and Princess Fiona; they were the bedside lights in my room. This quirkiness did not stop at masked bedside lights at this hotel in the Saint Blaise Quarter of Paris; with a quotation-filled lift and syringes drawn on the bar ceiling, this was not a conventional hotel. A collaborative design between architect Roland

Iconic Hotels For Iconic Stars By The Luxury Channel

There are certain places in the world, tucked away on anonymous city streets or in far-flung climes, where the belles and beaus of the silver screen take shelter away from the long lenses of the paparazzi, the adoring eyes of fans and the demands of a life lived in front of the camera.

Hotel Lancaster

Hidden right in the heart of Paris, the Hotel Lancaster once provided refuge for Marlene Dietrich, who lived here during the 1930s. Originally a 19th century mansion, it still has the feeling of an elegant private residence. Guests can slip into the world of

Take In Shopping And Style In Malaysia’s Capital By Emily Payne

The energetic city of Kuala Lumpur has high-end brands and couture, and a heady mix of natural beauty and retail therapy await the international traveller. KL offers one of the most unique shopping experiences in the world: a tropic Eastern backdrop, lined with malls filled with high-end brands and trinkets tailored to your every whim – from tiny boutiques and bazaars touting hand-drawn fabrics to shoes dripping in Swarovski crystals.

As night falls, the glittering lights of the Petronas Twin Towers finally tire. A day of East Asian charm turns to a night of heady expectation: a rooftop bar,

Following In The Footsteps of Hollywood Stars By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel visits some of the world’s most extraordinary film locations.

Lust, betrayal and fear bubble just below the surface in the film adaptation of Grahame Green’s The Quiet American, made all the more potent when set against the stunningly exotic background of Vietnam. You can retrace the steps of Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser and Do Thi Hai Yen by making your way to Hanoi, a hugely colourful city caught in between the ancient and the modern, the rich and the poor. Make your way to Hoan Kiem Lake for a romantic evening stroll, grab a cocktail and

The Happy Exile By Matthew Phillips

Matthew Phillips walks in the footsteps of China’s historical pariahs and discovers that life wasn’t so bad for them after all….

Once upon a time, the island province of Hainan was the barbarous backwater of the Chinese empire. During the Song and Ming dynasties, political exiles and garrulous poets were interred here alongside criminals and undesirables. It must have seemed odd to these outcasts that, as they arrived on the shores of Hainan, banishment turned out to be a tropical paradise.

Hainan’s international reputation has altered somewhat during the last millennia. The forgotten outpost of China’s southern territories

To The Precipice And Beyond By The Luxury Channel

Momentum Adventure, the exploratory travel company, help their clients evolve into confident adventurers in the spirit of a bygone age, by offering the latest in bespoke adventure travel.

If experience is the mark of a man and adventure a test of physical prowess and cunning: then we best unfold from our desks and get back to nature. In the days of ‘wily Odysseus,’ the adventurer felt the wrath of the elements and the whims of fate. Today, those wishing to embark on such a quest need look no further than the exploratory travel company, Momentum Adventure.

Tailored,

The Jet-Set Magpie Finds The Jewels By Alanna Lynott

Alanna Lynott goes in search of the world’s most magnificent jewellery, sampling some of the finest hospitality and cuisine along the way.

Jaipur, India

The Gem Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan is a world-renowned jewellery market. However, those in the know go straight to the Muslim quarter of Pahar Ganj, where the stones are cut and polished.

Stay at: Samode Palace to sample the decadent India of old. www.samode.com

Eat at: Castle Mandawa for a candle lit dinner in the courtyard. www.mandawahotels.com

Beijing, China

You can find strands of freshwater pearls at the Pearl Market for as little

Villa Bella By The Luxury Channel

We review five villas to rent and fall in love with this Summer.

Villa Giuseppina, Lake Como, Italy

This luxury mansion is situated on the western shores of Lake Como, set in its own private landscaped grounds with stunning views across the water to the ancient town of Bellagio. The mansion, which sleeps 14, has a private spa, gym, large heated infinity pool, wine cellar, lakeside terrace with a private boat dock and helipad. It comes fully staffed with a chauffeur, daily housekeeping and a concierge service. Staff have been trained to hotel and restaurant standards by Silvano Giraldin,

Urban Renewal By Sofia Celeste

Sofia Celeste visits a new W Hotel that’s set to open near the World Trade Center site in May 2010.

Revival is the theme for the W Hotel New York Downtown, which is just two months away from opening its doors next to one of the most venerated sites in the world: the World Trade Center. The Luxury Channel put on a hard hat and got a VIP tour of the unfinished 58-story metropolitan marvel with panoramic views that stretch from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building.

Inside, snake skin tiles and layered lamella lights

Beat The Jet Lag By Alanna Lynott

Alana Lynott helps you beat the London to New York transatlantic blues with the latest recovery treatments.

Whether it’s a few hours in the Big Apple on business or a few days shopping in London, you’ll want to look and feel your best.

The Clearing Factor

The spa at the Mandarin Oriental is generally considered to be the finest luxury hotel spa in New York and you can see why. Located on the 35th floor of the Time Warner centre, you feel as if you’re floating above Central Park. A Zen-like atmosphere pervades and just stepping through the

The Coolest Job In The World? By Lauren Steventon

Lauren Steventon caught up with Amanda Ross, the new Fashion Director of W Hotels.

Summer 2010’s Fashion Week might be over, but fashion lives on in every aspect of our lives. No one understands this better than W hotels, who have recently appointed their first Global Fashion Director, Amanda Ross.

With a career spanning fashion magazines, film and television work, consultation for the biggest names in the biz and celebrity styling, Ross is perfectly placed for helping W find what’s ‘latest, newest, hippest and coolest’ in the world of fashion. Lauren Felicity Steventon caught up with her at the

Sleep Like A Duchess At Duke’s By Lauren Steventon

Lauren Steventon checks in to check out the newly redesigned rooms at Duke’s that are aimed at the solo female traveller.

St James’ is London at its most traditional: suited gents heading to their clubs whilst bespoke dealerships line the streets. However, the new female General Manager at Duke’s wants to make it more welcoming for travelers of both sexes.

Dukes’ hotel, set in a quiet cul-de-sac (St. James’ Place), is an elegant English townhouse, minutes away from Mayfair and Buckingham Palace and located in the centre of London’s old-world and male orientated club-land. The hotel has been

5 Unique Hotels In Mexico By Alanna Lynott

Mexico has offered travelers excitement, romance and breathtaking beauty since it became popular in the roaring 1920s. Today, due to Mexico’s popularity, there are numerous hotels and resorts to choose from. The Luxury Channel’s Alanna Lynott recommends five unique hotels to meet your every need.

One & Only Palmilla

The One & Only Palmilla combines distinctive Mexican artistry with glamorous five-star luxury. Nestled in a lush oasis on the tip of the Baja peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the sea of Cortez, Palmilla offers the ultimate escape. Rooms are gorgeous with finely woven fabrics and delicately patterned

New Zealand Idyll By The Luxury Channel

Escape to Kauri Cliffs for the perfect retreat.

Enlightened entrepreneurs have long since recognised New Zealand’s potential as a haven for those in search of the perfect getaway.

One such pioneer, Julian Robinson, has arguably founded the most palatial of these establishments at Kauri Cliffs. Situated to the north of Auckland on New Zealand’s Matauri Bay, this majestic hotel has already been showered with awards. The result is a central lodge of colonial design accompanied by a progeny of designer suites. Each of the 22 guest suites incorporates a private porch, walk-in wardrobe and open fire place. Such homely

L’Albergo Della Regina Isabella By Antonia Pearce

Antonia Pearce booked a stay at the famous hotel and spa in an attempt to find her inner-goddess.

The Regina Isabella, on the island of Ischia, is a beautiful, old world hotel. Wooden antique furniture, marble floors and seaside views make for a glamorous impact.

Ischia is famous for its mineral rich springs and therapeutic thermal waters. In its 1960’s heyday, Elizabeth Taylor and Clark Gable (the former on the island to film Cleopatra) set the tone by sunbathing in white swimsuits and evoking the spirit of la dolce vita. So it came to pass that generations of

Can You Feel The Love? By Lauren Steventon

Lauren Steventon picks up cupid’s bow to pinpoint some of the most romantic escapes from around the world….

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no avoiding it….St. Valentines Day is fast approaching. If you haven’t thought about a romantic getaway yet, our choice below will leave you with no excuses.

Hôtel Pavillon de la Reine, Paris, France

You can’t talk about Valentine’s Day without mentioning Paris, City of Love. Fear not, there’s still a way to enjoy that old-fashioned French amor while avoiding cliché. Le Pavillon de la Reine is tucked away in Le Marais,

The Datai On Langkawi In Malaysia By Antonia Pearce

Antonia Pearce samples eco-luxury at its most divine, with a percentage of your room fee going towards saving the rainforest.

The Datai Hotel, on the island of Langkawi, has all the hallmarks of an imperial residence. For over fifteen years, the hotel has been a beacon of luxury, a jewel off the Malay coast that counted Baroness Thatcher as a fan. Away from the dynamic yet increasingly western magnetism of Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi is an island with a gentle almost mythical appeal. Few locations in the world can boast such an exotic mix of virgin rain forest and tranquil

Copenhagen, The Christmas City By The Luxury Channel

The small, but chic, capital of Denmark holds a myriad of stylish surprises.

While politicians gather in the Bella Center for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, this fairy-tale city is getting ready for what it does best – putting on a magical display of lights and events to welcome in the holiday season.

An often overlooked luxury destination the small, but chic, capital of Denmark hides a myriad of stylish surprises.

Centering your trip around Kongens Nytorv, the largest square in the city, puts you in the perfect location for sugarplum fairies and shopping for Fendis. Max

Hotels With A Difference By The Luxury Channel

These unusual resorts all share a common trait – serious luxury with an environmental twist.

Seeing Sense

Six Senses is strengthening its environmental stance, having recently announced that it plans to stop importing bottled water to its resorts. Instead each of the brand’s 20 properties will provide still and sparkling water that has been treated at the resort or from a local source close to the property. Six Senses says it is undertaking the initiative in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and to build closer partnerships with local communities.

Hotel das Cataratas

Having acquired Hotel das Cataratas

Maharajah Majesty By Sunshine Flint

Staying at these five spectacular palace hotels in Rajasthan will make you feel like a king or queen.

India is a land of legends, an exotic cornucopia of manmade and natural beauty. The most sweepingly romantic corner of the country is Rajasthan, the Land of Kings. Home to fairy-tale stories of Rajput princes and Mughal emperors, famed cities of pink sandstone and fabulous desert forts and palaces, Rajasthan never stops being a feast for the senses. See The Luxury Channel’s program in Rajasthan on the Gems of India.

Rajvilas

Built in the style of a Rajasthani fort, entering Rajvilas

Jewel On The Lake By The Luxury Channel

Leels’s first palace hotel opens in Udaipur, offering ultimate luxury in a romantic heritage city.

A palace fit for a Maharaja recently had its soft opening in Udaipur, in India’s Rajasthan. Set on the banks of beautiful Lake Pichola, The Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur has 80 luxurious rooms and suites and captivating views of this romantic heritage city and the surrounding majestic Aravili Mountains.

Renowned architect Bill Bensley and interior designer Jeffrey Wilkes have created a modern palace recalling the grandeur of Udaipur’s historic past. Huge domes crown the roof of The Leela as overhanging wood balconies, or jharokhas,

Good Night Bright Lights By The Luxury Channel

Four of New York’s downtown neighborhoods are home to some of the city’s best new places to stay, with stunning views, hot restaurants and plenty of cool to spare. Here’s why when you’re next in town, you’ll probably be checking into one of them.

Thompson Les

Rising above the Lower East Side, this concrete-and-glass, 18-story monolith can be seen from blocks around, but its height does mean that the 141 rooms have fantastic views of the city, from lower Manhattan to midtown and beyond. The concrete grey, black and metal décor of the rooms ensure industrial chic throughout,

Missoni Home From Home By The Luxury Channel

This month Missoni is to open its second hotel. The location is Edinburgh in Scotland, where the brand has renovated a collection of historic buildings in the Old Town area to create a 136-room boutique hotel.

The hotel has been created in partnership with The Rezidor Hotel Group and has been designed by Rosita Missoni, co-founder of Missoni, who now oversees the Missoni Home division. As well as featuring Missoni’s trademark prints, the hotel will have works by Rosita Missoni’s favourite designers, including Marcel Wanders, Hans J Wegner, Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobson, some of which have previously

Time+Space Cadaques By The Luxury Channel

The Luxury Channel goes for a gastronomic holiday experience in Catalonia.

Time+Space Cadaques is a unique holiday experience, where a privileged few get the chance to spend a weekend in a stunning modernist villa experiencing the best food, wine and culture that Catalonia has to offer.

The Ses Vistes villa, from which the Time+Space weekends are based, is a stone’s throw from the house near Cadaques where Salvador Dali lived and worked. To reflect his influence on the Cap de Creus area, Time +Space Cadaques take their guests on expertly curated tours to explore the Casa Dali, Dali Theatre-Museum

Peace And Quiet In Morocco’s Atlas Mountains By Emily Payne

Not far from the chaos of Marrakech is a world of calm and peace. Emily Payne has some time out in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.

It’s easy to forget where I am when it’s this silent. Particularly after Marrakech, where I danced through days of screeching hawkers, belly dancers and sizzling, hot tagines. But I left the swirling souks and chaos this morning, in search of coolness and calm in the Atlas Mountains.

Africa’s second-largest peaks separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. The rocks are warm terracotta and the higher we go, the closer we

Metropolitan Pampering By The Luxury Channel

Two new hotel spas open in New York and London.

Sense Spa at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, New York

The foxed mirrors and gray and silver tones give the new Sense, A Rosewood Spa at The Carlyle an air of urban sophistication, with the Art Deco touches that echo this Upper East Side landmark hotel’s style and history. The two-level spa with chandelier-lit, vaulted staircase was designed by Mark Zeff of Zeffdesign, and the five treatment rooms, relaxation room and men’s and women’s changing rooms exude New York élan, as well as the feel of an urban oasis.

Tuscan Harvest By Gavin Bell

Keep your Tusan sun, it’s Autumn’s mellow mists that produce the gastronomic and bucolic treasures that give the region its spectacular glory. Gavin Bell cycles through it.

With the searing heat of summer faded, Tuscany is quiet. The grape leaves have turned from gold to russet. September is Vendemmia in Tuscany, the month of the grape harvest and a cultural event celebrated with gusto by winegrowers as an excuse to meet, eat and taste wines, and wager whose is best. One gastro treat of this month that is not in liquid form is schiacciata con uva, focaccia with leftover