Sie sind auf Seite 1von 84

THE MIDDLE EASTS BIGGEST TRAVEL MAGAZINE

JANuARy 2011

Pyramid Selling
Enchanting Egypt still offers much to discover

Produced in International Media Production Zone

Indian Ocean
total guide

A weekend in Pasadena shows a city emerging from LAs large shadow

2 days in the Valley

Blissful beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning scenery; welcome to the worlds most beautiful islands

space oddities

The weirdest rooms youll ever stay in Win a stay at Shangri-La Bar Al Jissha

Polish force

Why Krakw is now one of Europes coolest cities

Sample the delights of true local culture, sunny beaches and a fabulous shopping experience at Madinat Jumeirahs traditional Arabian Souk. As a Middle East resident you can enjoy up to 50% off at the luxurious Talise Spa and up to 10% off our best available room rate (from AED 1,395*) which includes many exclusive complimentary benefits: Buffet Breakfast Sinbads Kids Club Complimentary Internet Wild Wadi Waterpark Exclusive Beach Access

For reservations, contact your preferred travel partner or call +971 4 364 7555

jumeirah.com/winterbreaksme
Terms and Conditions apply*

Life is simply brighter when you add a bit of sparkle to it. Sprinkle some sparkle onto your holiday this winter with Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort of Dubai.

CONTENTS
Travel biTes
07 AgendA
All the latest need-to-know travel news.

Kanoo World Traveller JAnuAry 2011

feaTures
74city guide: krAkw
Discover a winter wonderland in Polands royal city.

25 essentiAl selection
We round-up the oddest hotels in Europe.

16drive time
Take to the open road on the salt plains of Bolivia.

76city guide: cAsAblAncA


Laura Binder explores a very cosmopolitan Casa.

38pAsAdenA
Bruce Schoenfeld finds another side to California.

18Ask the expert


From flight-friendly snacks to rejuvenating retreats.

78the detAils
All the info you need to book your next trip.

43 totAl guide: indiAn oceAn


Guilt-free inactivity, stop-and-stare vistas and an abundance of meals and thrills all come as standard in the stunning Seychelles, Maldives and Mauritius.

20picture this
Catch your breath at Japans coolest sight.

79competition
Win a two-night stay at the Shangri-La in Muscat.

73 thirty-second concierge
Head down under to Ozs brilliant bush resort.

80suite dreAms
Delve into the most decadent of rooms in Vienna.

66 egypt
An adventure in the land of the pharaohs.

76
THE MIDDLE EASTS BIGGEST TRAVEL MAGAZINE JANuARy 2011

25
Pyramid Selling
Enchanting Egypt still offers much to discover

49
Features Editor: Laura Binder

68
laura@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 364 2877 Art Editor: Jenni Dennis jenni@hotmediapublishing.com

58
Designer: Matthew McBriar Production manager: Haneef Abdul Sales Manager: Cat Steele cat@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 446 1558

38

Produced in International Media Production Zone

Indian Ocean
total guide

A weekend in Pasadena shows a city emerging from LAs large shadow

2 days in the Valley

Blissful beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning scenery; welcome to the worlds most beautiful islands

On the cover: Fisherman in the lagoon of the island of Mahe Seychelles.

Managing Director: Victoria Hazell-Thatcher Publishing Director: John Thatcher Advertisement Director: Chris Capstick chris@hotmediapublishing.com +971 4 369 0917

space oddities

The weirdest rooms youll ever stay in Win a stay at Shangri-La Bar Al Jissha

Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. All prices mentioned are correct at time of press but may change. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in Kanoo World Traveller. Total Guide: Indian Ocean is reprinted with the permission of Sunday Times Travel magazine.

Jan-June 2010 22,620 BPA Consumer Audit Produced by: HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC

Polish force

Why Krakw is now one of Europes coolest cities

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 5

Making a splash.

Live the moment.

Now welcoming guests, One&Only The Palm, Dubais most intimate new beach resort. Discover the exquisite low-rise mansions and beach-front villas, where Moorish-Andalusian influences meet chic, contemporary living for a blend of elegance and refinement. For restaurant reservations at three of Dubais latest dining venues, please call + 971 4 440 10 30 or for room reservations and further information, please call + 971 4 440 10 10. oneandonlythepalm.com

AGENDA
Be informed, be inspired, be there

Images: Copyright 2010 of CZP Chalet Zermatt Peak AG & Paul Bowyer 2010.

chAlEt chic

ZermaTT PeaK, sWiTZerland

With ski season upon us, the opening of Zermatt Peak in Switzerland could not have been better timed. At a little over $65,000 for a seven night stay, this may not be the cheapest chalet available but you wont find anything quite as spectacular. Were talking a master suite that occupies its own floor (after all, you do need space for an outsized Jacuzzi)l, two cinema screens, a gym and a spa. On hand will be a butler, chef, concierge, ski instructor and a personal masseuse. www.chaletzermattpeak.com

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 7

In the heart of Dubais historic and most culturally diverse quarter, Mvenpick Hotel Deira is ideal for guests wanting to explore Deiras vibrant winding streets. With stylish and comfortable suites, superior rooms and themed restaurants offering delectable Asian flavours, the new Mvenpick Hotel Deira is where youll discover the real Dubai. For information or reservations, please contact us on +971 4 444 01 11 or e-mail reservations.deira@moevenpick.com. *Terms and conditions apply.

www.moevenpick-hotels.com

Stay for three nights and pay for only two.*

agenda | news

war art

Hang up

still life through a lens


The city that never sleeps caught snoozing on camera
Above: Highlights of Christopher Thomas London exhibition.

If youre on the lookout for a cool souvenir of your holiday in India thats if Taj Mahal alarm clocks arent your cup of tea why not hang this font-driven poster on your wall? Its inspired by UK governmentissued literature during WWII that encouraged citizens to keep calm and carry on during the daily German bombing raids. www.etsy.com

Londons The Wapping Project Bankside will showcase a much talked-of photography exhibition titled New York Sleeps from Jan 12th. On display will be the work of German snapper Christopher Thomas, who used a custom-made large format camera to capture New Yorks landmarks in the still of the night and devoid of people. Or, as the artist himself puts it, the photos carry an air of 19th century tranquility while hinting at a cryptic, apocalyptic ending. The exhibition runs till Feb 26th. www.thewappingprojectbankside.com

Capital cuisine
Gourmet Abu Dhabi kicks off 16 days of top-notch culinary events on Feb 3rd when celebrity chef James Martin cooks up a feast of traditional British fare for 250 guests. Tickets cost $204 from info@gourmetabudhabi.ae

ONE-MINUTE MASTERCLASS: gAELIC Where do I go to enjoy good craic? C rachaidh m chun ceol agus craic a fhil? Id like a bowl of stew Ba mhaith liom stobhach gaelach le do thoil Do you know any U2? An bhfuil aithne agat ar aon U2?
January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 9

Pack it in

New book chronicles history of trunk design Louis Vuitton is a name long synonymous with travel and down the years the French fashion house has crafted some of the most beautiful vessels ever to be packed. This tome picks the 100 best trunks to adorn the famous brand name. www.amazon.com

all in good taste

tUcK in

Forget January diets and carry on the spirit of indulgence at one of the worlds top hotel restaurants. Which will you book?

BEEN EvERyWHERE BUT THE fINAL fRONTIER? Flick to page 26 and well tell you how you can book a trip to the edge of space which youll visit while strapped in to a Russian fighter jet...

The Waterside Inn, United Kingdom


location Bray, Berkshire. lowdown An unashamedly French restaurant thats been passed down through the Roux family since 1972 and now sits on the grassy banks of the River Thames in a quaint English 16th century village. decor Simple yet elegant. Pristine white linens are cast over tables that offer a riverside view thanks to its chic, floor-to-ceiling glass frontage. HigHligHt Summertime: end your meal by heading to the terrace for evening aperitifs. details Mains from $82. www.waterside-inn.co.uk

Nahm, Metropolitan Bangkok, Thailand


location Bangkok, Thailand. lowdown The first eatery in Bangkok to be opened by top chef David Thompson (his London-based Nahm achieved Michelin-star status), this most modern of haunts serves up beautiful Thai cuisine. decor Cutting edge cool. Slick, square lines are offset with low-level lighting and black marble floors, while outside a terrace overlooks the hotel pool. HigHligHt Its rare Thai ingredients; the jungle curry uses pla chorn; a freshwater fish. details Mains from $70. www.metropolitan.bangkok.como.bz

Disney all at sea

The first of two new Disney cruiseliners sets sail this month, as Mickey & Co hit the high seas in style. Of all the family-themed entertainments onboard, were particularly intrigued by the AquaDuck, a fusion of a rollercoaster and a water slide that runs half the length of the ship. www. disneycruise.disney.go.com

10

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

agenda | news

splash out
Add a bit of colour to your life with one of these eye-grabbing protective cases. New for 2011, they fit snuggly over iPhones and iPads and come in the full range of Pantone colours. Choose a bright one and youll never misplace your phone again. www.case-scenario.com

GLoBAL GoURMET
What to know where the food experts eat in the UK? Stuart Sage, Executive Chef at Nineteen, The Address Montgomerie Dubai, reveals his top tables in his home country
When I go back home to the UK my first stop will be The Fat Duck in Bray, a pretty little village thats a short train ride from central London. Its a three Michelinstar restaurant owned by Heston Blumenthal. While there Id order a now famous dish called Sound of the Sea which is served with an iPod so you can hear the sea while you eat its uniqueness really intrigues me. While in the UK Id also head north to a place called Anthonys Restaurant in Leeds, owned by a really great chef called Anthony Flynn he used to work at El Bulli in Spain, the worlds number one restaurant. Order the tasting menu here and youll be in for something very special indeed.

Join us for the worlds most exciting Chinese New Year Celebrations to welcome the Year of the Rabbit. Enjoy the thrills of the International Night Parade with spectacular floats and performers from around the world plus the harbourside fireworks display. Get lucky at the Chinese New Year Races and visit the traditional Flower Markets. Dine and shop to your hearts content with great offers and share the happy spirit of a celebration like no other in Hong Kong Asias world city. DiscoverHongKong.com

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 11

agenda | news

Financial gain
The Ritz Carlton opens its second Dubai property on January 12th, this time in the heart of the city at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The 341-room hotel will house a spa and a handful of restaurants, including a steakhouse, French brasserie and signature Thai. www.ritzcarlton.com

This months hot offers from Kanoo Travel and american express Vacations

Enter the dragon

If the app fits...

three of the best travel apps available to download


TAxI

INTERCONTINENTAL gRAND STANfORD, HONg KONg: 4 DAyS/3 NIgHTS fOR $443 with the Chinese new Year falling in February its the perfect time to enjoy the neon lights of Hong Kong. Make the 5 star InterContinental grand stanford your base and youll be at the heart of the celebrations. Price is per person on a twin sharing basis. CROWNE PLAzA, ISTANBUL: 4 DAyS/3 NIgHTS fOR $526 The culturally-rich city of Istanbul is one of europes most fascinating. explore its unique charms over four days and enjoy the comfort of the five star Crowne Plaza. Price is per person on a twin sharing basis. MARRIOTT AMMAN, jORDAN: 5 DAyS/4 NIgHTS fOR $696 Five days in Jordan gives you ample time to see its stunning sights dont miss Petra. Youll also experience the luxurious Marriott amman. Price is per person on a twin sharing basis.
Images: Shutterstock, The Waterside Inn image courtesy of www.relaischateaux.com

1. RAMA CITy TOURS


Apps offering ideas for how best to enjoy a city may be two a penny already, which is what makes this one so unique. It offers archived news stories and period photos of major cities (mostly in the US but more wordwide this year) so you can get a sense of how things were in a particular locale while exploring it.

2. TAKE A TAxI
If youve ever struggled to flag a taxi while on your travels, this handy tool will be just what you need. It lists the telephone numbers of taxi companies in a large number of cities worldwide plus there are more to be added this year. Use it before your flight takes off and you can ensure a ride awaits at your destination.

3. AROUND ME
As its name suggests, this app tells you exactly whats around you, which means its an easy way to locate anything from the closest restaurant serving Cantonese food to the nearest ATM machine. It then uses GPS to map your way to where you want to go. The perfect antidote to driving around aimlessly.

12

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates


Your shopping hotel in Dubai
Be connected to the Mall of the Emirates with over 500 shops. Discover 481 rooms and suites featuring trendy amenities. Get closer with chic dining experiences and spa treatments. Experience successful functions with our Co-Meeting promise.

New attitude hotels for business travelers.


Your loyalty program**

www.pullmanhotels.com

For further information, please contact us: +971 4 702 8000

agenda | calendar

JanUary
a shopping storm in dubai and a sporting classic in Manchester kick off the year in style...

Jan 20Feb 20
dUbai shopping festival dubai, Uae The first of Dubais two annual events for shopaholics kicks off this month, with all of the citys many malls offering events, entertainment and those allimportant discounts. Such is the events popularity that consumer spend across its 32 days always registers in the billions, so be sure to hit the stores early to bag the best of the bargains. www.mydsf.com
Right: Fashion Dome at Mall of the Emirates.

Manchester United v liverpool Manchester, england The third round of The FA Cup is arguably the most romantic event in footballs calendar. It throws up real David v Goliath fixtures, with teams (professional or not) pitched against one another. But this year fate has pitted Englands two most successful teams together in a Clash of the Titans encounter. Get a ticket if you can. www.thefa.com

14

kite flying festival delhi, india Kite flying is something of a national obsession in India and come January, thousands flock to Delhi to take part in its annual festival of this much-loved pastime. For one day, the blue skies above the citys Connaught Place are pierced by the colour from hundreds of kites in all shapes and sizes, which makes for a quite stunning spectacle.

11-15

rio fashion week rio de Janeiro, brazil A full cast from the weird and wonderful world of fashion will be in Brazils carnival capital this month, where the catwalks will showcase whats in store for Autumn/Winter. But the real action takes place away from the runways, with events attended by both celebs and mere mortals held across the city during seven days of non-stop partying.

23

gold coasts big day oUt gold coast, australia What started as a (fairly) small gathering of Australias finest musical acts has now morphed into the countrys biggest music festival bar none, taking in five cities in Oz and, from this year, Auckland in New Zealand. The best of the bunch takes place in the Gold Coast, where some of the worlds biggest bands get to rock out. www.bigdayout.com

27-30

volvo golf chaMpions bahrain The winners of golfs European Tour events descend on Bahrains Royal Golf Club this month to play whats billed as the tournament of champions the first event of its kind. Joining the field of big-hitting winners will be victorious Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, wholl be playing the course that bears his name. www. volvogolfchampions.com

14

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

2011 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix March 11th,12th & 13th

ENJOY THE RACE OF A LIFETIME FOR JUST BD100 ONWARDS


(Includes accommodation and race ticket)
TWin shArinG sinGle Hotel catergory CosT inCludes All prices are per person in Bahraini Dinars 2 sTAr properTy 3 sTAr properTy 4 sTAr properTy 5 sTAr properTy 100 128 178 751 134 189 278 1303 Two nights with breakfast and Race ticket. Two nights with breakfast and Race ticket. Two nights with breakfast and Race ticket. Four nights (10 to 13 March, 2011) with breakfast and Race ticket.

To add a Gulf Air flight to these packages, please contact your nearest Kanoo Travel office.
Terms and conditions: Rates are based on minimum nights stay as specified and weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun; 11 to 13th Mar, 2011) Race ticket for a specific category (Victory Grandstand 1) which is included in the cost. Other categories of tickets are also available to be combined with the package. Extra night rate is on request. No refund under any circumstances possible. Hotel and category of ticket requested depends on availability. All prices are subject to change without prior notice. Kanoo Holidays terms and conditions apply to all bookings. For more information call any of our Kanoo Travel or Kanoo Holidays offices.
August 2010 Kanoo World Traveller 13

AgendA | RoAd tRip AgendA RoAd tRip

Drive time: Salar de UyUni, bolivia


TAke To The wheel for A minD-BlowinG Spin ACroSS one of moTher nATUreS fineST wonDerS. JUST DonT forGeT To hAve yoUr CAmerA AT The reADy on The pASSenGer SeAT.
Should you ever grow weary of the traffic that clogs up the GCCs roads and long for the open road, theres nowhere quite as spacious as Salar de Uyuni, a vast, perfectly flat salt plain at the tip of southern Bolivia. This blinding-white desert spans an incredible 11,000 square kilometers and was thought to have formed when a giant prehistoric lake dried to salt. Driving across it tops the to-do list of many a visitor to South America, not only for the experience of travelling on the unusual terrain, but for what you can see while you do so: startling rock formations that look eerily alien, fiery-hot geysers which spurt high into the crystal-clear sky, and incredible red and green lakes all make for some of the worlds most incredible natural wonders.
Image: Photolibrary

16

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

Reopened. Resplendent.
THE TAJ MAHAL PALACE, MUMBAI

Taj. Forever seductive, forever trusted, forever enchanting. The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai is magnificently restored and joyfully reopened to once again welcome world travelers and corporate chieftains. Experience award-winning dining, splendid suites, priceless art, jubilant celebrations, and a histor y of outstanding ser vice. Discover the Taj difference at over 85 hotels around the world. For our celebrator y offers visit tajhotels.com, call 00.800.4588.1825, email reser vations@tajhotels.com or contact your travel consultant.
India

N e w Yo r k

Boston

San Francisco

London

Dubai

C a p e To w n

Zambia

Maldives

Sri Lanka

Langkawi

Bhutan

Sydney

AgendA | trAvel q&A

Where to go for a rejuvinating experience and how to make fussy eaters happy on flights...

Ask the expert

The panel
Jessica hudson cofounded The Chic Collections travel advisory and is tasked with sampling endless luxury hotels. tim Woods the go-to man for all things green, is an international project leader for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Rachel hamilton is a full-time writer and the mother of two young children whom she travels frequently with.

Q. As always, my New Years resoultion is to get healthy (for real this time). Can you recommend any fabulous health or yoga retreats for me to visit? A: If youre looking for a health M.O.T. check into
Como Shambala Estate (www.cse.como.bz) in Balis breathtakingly beautiful cultural heartland, Ubud. This luxurious holistic health retreat is the perfect place to get away from it all and to kick start you into action. Youll receive a complimentary consultation on arrival and a nutritional analysis if you want to fine-tune your diet. You can also try your hand at martial arts or take a hike, bike or rock climb in the jungle. There are lap and hydrotherapy pools too, as well as tennis courts and a gym to make sure you leave toned and in tip-top condition. This really is one of the most picturesque places on earth, surrounded by 23 acres of lush jungle, with stunning views overlooking the paddy fields and River Ayung below from your private Balinese residence. If youre all about the beach, look no further than The Majlis on Manda Island (www.themajlisresorts.com), just off Kenyas Northern coast. This privately-owned beach hotel offers yoga retreats, personal training, Ayurvedic treatments and a whole host of watersports. The food is simply sensational, too, serving up locally-sourced seasonal produce. Plus, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were recent guests there. Jessica Hudson

Q. My kids are very fussy eaters and wont touch airline food. Do you have any good tips for easy snacks to give them on flights? A: Snacks are wonderful things they work as food and
entertainment, and have the added benefit of soothing sore ears at take-off and landing. Processed snacks are easiest to find and most efficiently packed for travel, but theyre usually full of sugar. If you dont want to be stuck in a confined space with a sticky, hyperactive child, I suggest making your own veggie snack packs of crunchy carrot and cucumber sticks or fruit bags stuffed with grapes and apples. Other possibilities include cheese sticks, small crackers, pretzels, muesli bars and dried fruit. My own personal fussy eater, Dylan, loves a mix of dried cereal. Why not let your kids help decide what healthy snacks to bring? If they have an input, theyre more likely to eat whats offered. A variety of snacks works best because you often need to offer a few options before fussy eaters will choose any of them. Bring along a lunch bag-sized cooler to keep snacks chilled and in one convenient place, and include a couple of plastic food containers, so if you grab a favourite meal at the airport and your child only eats a bite or two you can take the rest on the plane. Dont forget that liquids arent allowed past security. The same may apply to yoghurts and other borderline liquid foods, so find out in advance from the relevant airport before packing these. Rachel Hamilton

Image: COMO Shambhala Estate

18

Kanoo World Traveller November 2010

Life is simply brighter when you add a bit of sparkle to it. Sprinkle some sparkle onto your holiday this winter with a fabulous getaway to Dubai and stay at the ideal family destination of Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Relax and unwind on our sun-drenched beaches, indulge in local traditions or partake in exciting water sports whilst enjoying your stay in total luxury. As a Middle East resident you will receive 10% off our best available rate (from AED 1,260*) which includes many exclusive complimentary benefits:

Buffet Breakfast Sinbads Kids Club Complimentary Internet jumeirah.com/winterbreaksme


Terms and Conditions apply*

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Exclusive Beach Access

For reservations, contact your preferred travel partner or call +971 4 364 7555

Picture this

sapporo snow festival


Hokkaido, japan
Head to northern Japan during February and youll see a region shrouded in a blanket of snow and ice. But far from this signalling a retreat to their fireplaces, the artistically-minded among the locals turn the outdoors into a gallery of stunning snow and ice sculptures, some of which, like that pictured, are ice-palace like and big enough to walk in. Their annual creation sparks a series of festivals in the area, with the city of Sapporo staging the biggest it draws over two million visitors to whats now a week-long event backed by music and parties. Image: Photolibrary

Picture this

roraima
SoutH america
The most mystical of surrounds can be found at a sky-skimming level of 2,810 meters, atop Roraima the worlds highest tepui (or flat-topped mountain) shrouded by clouds in the clamy climes of Venezuela. This stand-and-stare sight offers a glimpse of a seemingly Lost World (it was chronicled in a book by that name, based on accounts from the first explorers to set foot on it in 1884). But, in reality, anyone can experience its elevated delights up close: whats considered to be one of the oldest geological formations on planet Earth, is now a favoured trekking spot of modern day climbers. Were game if you are... Image: Photolibrary

EssEntial sElEction | railway journEys EssEntial sElEction | unusual HotEls

Europes oddest Hotels


swanky suites in five star hotels are so 2010. this year, its all about going quirky. Paul James tracks down the most unusual rooms youre ever likely to hold a key for.
The one ThaTs a year-round igloo
Ice hotels disappear during the warmer months, to be built again when the land freezes over, but not so Finlands Hotel Kakslauttanen & Igloo Village. It offers all-glass igloos that are open all year-round; giving guests a quite amazing view of the sky above from the comfort of their fur-lined beds. Should you wish to venture outdoors you can partake of ice-swimming, ice-fishing or a snow safari where youll be pulled across the ice by huskies. But, given that you may well catch sight of the Northern Lights from your bed, chances are youll be doing a lot of sleeping. www.kakslauttanen.fi Where is it? Lapland, Finland. how much does it cost? From $200 per person, per night.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 25

Join the 13 mile high club

Fly to the edge of space


room and suit up. Youll be carefully briefed in how everything works, from the helmet visor to the oxygen mask. Then you will be off for your adventure to the edge of the earth. Experience what 60,000 feet above the earth feels like in a MiG-31 Jet Fighter. Let the adrenaline rush over you, while seeing the earth in a whole other universe. When you finally descend back to earth, youll tour the Sokol Air Museum and learn more about the factorys 76 year history. Then youll head out to explore the city with our guide and driver. Nizhny (formerly known as Gorky) is located at the intersection of the Volga and Oka rivers and offers some unique scenery. Our guide will take you to lunch and wont leave your side until youre ready to board your commercial flight back to Moscow.

If you want to confirm that the Earth really is a sphere we offer you a chance to have a breathtaking flight at speed faster than the soundbarrier in a Russian MiG-31 jet fighter. You will see the Earth from the planes maximum altitude between 21 and 23 km. You will see the sharp boundary between stark black space the beautiful blue sky and feel the adrenaline in your blood as you reach the Edge of Space at supersonic speeds! In the past, only astronauts and military pilots had the opportunity of looking at the Earth from the stratosphere, but, nowadays, anyone, who has enough money, can reach the edge of space. According our clients experiences, we are sure that the view of limitless space, the striking brilliance of the Sun and cool-looking blue Earth will affect you for the rest of your life! it is definitely the Edge of Space!

Day 4 This is a just in case day. If for any reason you cant fly on
the previous day, this gives you another day to complete your flight. If its not needed for flying, you will be on a commercial airline flight back to Moscow where you can do an optional activity like the Monino Air Museum.

Day 1 Arrive in Moscow. Youll be met at the airport by one of our


wonderful Moscow team members and escorted to the Metropol, a classic hotel chosen for its excellent location next to Red Square and the Kremlin.

Day 5 Depart Moscow How high will you fly?


Youll fly to a virtual no mans land, where few aircraft are capable of flying. Youll need to wear a pressure suit and youll see the curvature of the earth. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics refers to the altitude as near space. Its nearly 2.5 times the height of Mount Everest and over 55 times the height of New Yorks Empire State Building. Your pilot will be one of Russias finest top guns and youll have the best seat in the house for an unforgettable view of Earth!

Day 2 After breakfast in the hotel, youll be met in the lobby by our
guide. Together, youll spend several hours touring Moscow. Youll have time to visit Old Arbat for a little souvenir shopping or tour the Kremlin and Red Square. Our guide will make sure you have lunch and get you back in your room in time to pack a small bag for the trip to Nizhny Novgorod.

Day 3 After breakfast you will be bound for the Sokol Airbase. Youll
start by meeting your pilot and going over your flight plan. With the help of maps and jet models, hell demonstrate what youll experience and where youll fly. Youll meet the base doctor and have your blood pressure checked. Once youre cleared to fly, youll head for the locker

Contact your nearest Kanoo Travel or Kanoo Holidays office for cost and reservation details.

12

Kanoo World Traveller September 2010

EssEntial sElEction | railway journEys

The one Where youll see sTars


9,000 feet up the Hautes Pyrenees youll find the Pic du Midi Observatory, where you can spend the night with the stars. You get here just before sunset via a thrilling cable car ride that suspends you over stunning show-capped mountains, which you can also ski should the mood take you. Once at the top, youll enjoy a post-dinner gaze at the sky before wrapping up warm for bed. Set your alarm to wake early and youll be privy to one of the most incredible sunrises youll ever see. www.picdumidi.com Where is it? Hautes Pyrenees, France. how much does it cost? From $306 per night in a single room.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 27

EssEntial sElEction | amazing stays

The one in a railWay sTaTion


Theres something inherently romantic about railways so the idea of lodging at a former working station that has stood for over a century should warm the heart of any traveller. Here, the stationmasters cottage has been refurbished as an upmarket selfcatering holiday home that accommodates six people. It stands on one of the most picturesque lines in England, which runs from Settle to Carlisle, so the views over rolling countryside arent half bad either. www.dentstation.co.uk Where is it? Cumbria, England. how much does it cost? Prices start at $700 for a weeks lodging.
Clockwise from top left: The converted stationmasters cottage at Dent station in northern England; The artistic Blow Up Hall 5050; Treetop chic in Norway.

youll answer a series of questions to determine which room you stay in


The one ThaTs in The Trees
Hidden away in the tall trees of a Norwegian forest are a few wooden huts. Theyre winter-insulated, sleep up to six and pack in a small kitchen, bathroom (of sorts) and cosy fireplace. What they dont offer is absolute isolation: look to the skies and youll see golden eagles; look to the ground and youll see reindeer and moose stepping quietly across the snow. www.tretoppytter.no Where is it? Ringsaker, Norway. how much does it cost? From $172 per night.

The one Where youll be a piece of arT


This may well be the oddest hotel in the world. Here youre not simply a guest; youre part of an on-going art show. How does that work? Well, for a start, thanks to a series of craftily-hidden cameras (none in your room, youll be pleased to hear) your face will form part of a real-time video collage thats permanently broadcast in the hotels lobby. Youll also find that your room pretty much chooses you, as opposed to you choosing it: when you check-in online youll answer a series of questions that help define your personality and determine the room that you stay in. Best hope you dont match up with the most expensive suite. www.blowuphall5050.com Where is it? Poznan, Poland. how much does it cost? From $258 per night.

28

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

EssEntial sElEction | amazing stays

The one ThaT floaTs alone


Noisy neighbours can be a curse at hotels as much as homes, so if its guaranteed peace and quiet that youre after, you can always sleep with the fishes? Head to Lake Malaren in Sweden and slap bang in its centre youll see Utter Inn, a tiny cottage that floats alone. Its the creation of Swedish artist Mikael Genberg and one of its bedrooms is designed to float beneath the water, so you can count fish to drift off to sleep. www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/utterin Where is it? Stockholm, Sweden. how much does it cost? From $316 per night.

30

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

ExpEriEncE suitE momEnts this Dubai shopping fEstival at rafflEs Dubai


Stay in one of Raffles Dubais stunning suites during Dubai Shopping Festival with our Raffles Suite Moments package and not only will you be at the heart of the citys best shopping district but you will also receive a 60 minute facial at Raffles Spa, drinks on the terrace at RED Lounge, dinner at Fire & Ice and breakfast at Azur. Every moment is suite at Raffles Dubai. Connected to WAFI Mall 10 minutes from Festival Centre, The Dubai Mall and BurJuman Legendary Raffles Butler service available round-the-clock for guests in suites: airport transfers, in-room breakfast, upgraded room amenities, in-room espresso machine and 24-hour check in and check out Access to Raffles Club lounge 7 unique dining concepts Raffles Amrita Spa, 6 treatment rooms, outdoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi

For reservations, please call 8008971403 or email: bookus.dubai@raffles.com. www.raffles.com/dubai

EssEntial sElEction | amazing stays

The one ThaT conquered Troy


Heres a novelty: a hotel designed to make you feel like youre on the moon. Or amidst a troll forest. Or at the helm of a pirate ship. Theyre just some of the themed rooms you can opt to stay in at Le Balade Des Gnomes near the city of Liege in Belgium. But our favourite room is undoubtedly the Trojan Horse. Instead of hiding war-hungry Greek, this all-wood stallion has a room for two, a lovely free-standing bath and even a separate TV room. Safe to say that if the Greeks had the same amenities in their horse, they wouldnt have wanted to escape it once inside Troy. www.labaladedesgnomes.be Where is it? Liege, Belgium. how much does it cost? From $182 per night.

32

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

EssEntial sElEction | amazing stays

The one ThaTs in a royal abode


Hampton Court Palace is one of the most historically significant in England. It was built to serve as a country retreat at the behest of Cardinal Wolsey, whose extravagant lifestyle was fueled and funded by virtue of him being close to King Henry VIII. But as Wolsey fell from grace, chiefly for not being able to provide Henry with the divorce he so desired, his collection of ostentatious possessions, Hampton Court included, were stripped from his grasp. The palace would then play a prominent role in the lives of King Henrys famous wives: it was here that Henry honeymooned after three of his weddings; where he would marry his sixth and final wife and where he also learned of Kathryn Howards infidelity her ghost is said to haunt the building till this very day. You can stay here in a beautiful 8-bedroom Georgian house in the manicured grounds of the palace, which dates back to 1719. www.landmarktrust.org.uk Where is it? Surrey, England. how much does it cost? From $1,020 for four nights.

34

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

WIN! The ulTImaTe WeekeNd aT The 2011 Gulf aIr BahraIN GraNd PrIx march 11th,12th & 13th
Last years Formula One championship was the most thrilling in the history of the competition, with four drivers still in with a chance of securing the championship crown at the season-ending race. Come the waving of the chequered flag it was speedy German Sebastian Vettel who took the title and, in the process, became the youngest driver to ever do so. The 2011 season promises to be every bit as exciting, and it gets off to a flying start at the fabulous Bahrain International Circuit on March 11th with a weekend of motorsport that culminates in the season-opening Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on March 13th. Tickets for this star-studded event are much soughtafter, but weve got 2 to give away to one lucky reader

a) b) c)

Which driver won last seasons Formula One championship? Lewis hamilton Jenson Button Sebastian Vettel

The Prize
In addition to receiving to 2 tickets to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, youll also enjoy a 2-night stay for 2 people (including breakfast) at the brand new The K Hotel Bahrain, where youll enjoy a panoramic view of the Mina Salman, superb restaurants and a great location close to the main shopping areas. To stand a chance of winning this fantastic prize, simply email your answer to the following question to easywin@hotmediapublishing. com before January 31st.

August 2010 Kanoo World Traveller 13

EssEntial sElEction | amazing stays

The one ThaTs liKe a TenT


If the idea of camping conjures up painful memories of freezing cold nights spent huddling under rain-soaked canvas, then this place might just make for a sweeter experience. This yurt (or tent) sleeps up to four and offers a similar amount of room to a standard hotel room. The only difference being that when it comes to taking a hot shower, your bathroom isnt en-suite but al fresco. But being outdoors is no bad thing the yurt is pitched in the mountains of central Portugal and there are some fantastic lakes for swimming nearby. www.yurtholidayportugal.com Where is it? Arganil, Portugal. how much does it cost? From $103 for two people per night, including breakfast.
Clockwise from top left: The homely yurt in Portugal; The beam-roofed windmill; Movie time at San Sebastians Astoria.

The one ThaT used To be a Windmill


Unless youve realised a childhood dream to become a miller, chances are you havent slept inside a windmill. But you can do so by heading to Bradford on Avon in England and seeking out what looks a lot like a large stump the windmills blades have long since been removed. Inside, youll find period style dcor in each of the four rooms aside, that is, from the water bed in the Damsel Suite. If you come here with the kids, book the room called Fantail. While you sleep in a Gothic iron bed, your children will snuggle up in the gallery level above you, toe-to-toe in a curtained-off area replete with books and cuddly toys. www.bradfordoldwindmill.co.uk Where is it? Bradford on Avon, England. how much does it cost? Rooms cost $170 for a minimum two night stay.

The one ThaTs a cinema


If you truly love the movies, what better way to spend your holiday than cooped up in a private cinema? The famous Astoria in San Sebastian has been rebuilt to house a stylish hotel, with each of its rooms dedicated to a particular movie star. The one and only suite bears the name Alfred Hitchcock. www.astoria7hotel.com Where is it? San Sebastian, Spain. how much does it cost? Double rooms start at $133 per night.

36

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

Images: Bradford Old Windmill by Chris Stanbury; Hampton Court Palace coutesy of HRP Image Library; Utter Inn courtesy of www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com.

Each room at Astoria is dedicated to a particular movie star

Californias Soul

A former dormitory town, Pasadena has become a destination in its own right, says Bruce Schoenfeld.

38

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

paSadena | California

asadena was doing fine until the cars came. Tucked into the San Gabriel Mountains nine miles from Los Angeles, its weather noticeably warmer than the coast, it served as a winter destination for tycoons such as Henry Ford and Leland Stanford. Railway lines sent Pullman cars toward its 2,000 hotel rooms, spread over seven resorts, and a fastgrowing city that felt cultured, urban, modern. But the 1940 construction of the Arroyo Seco Freeway, the first highway in the American West, not only linked Pasadena to Los Angeles, it proved its ruination. With remarkable rapidity, Pasadena was transformed into a dormitory town filled with transplanted Midwesterners. By the time Jan and Dean recorded the 1964 hit The Little Old Lady From Pasadena, the city had become a clich of uppermiddle-class conformity, the least likely place anyone would look to find someone who might possibly be hip. Thats still the reaction I get when I tell my LA friends that Im coming out to spend a weekend in Pasadena. Noone can fathom why Id fly to California and stay so far from the water. I last visited 15 years ago but Ive been hearing that, over the past few years, Pasadena has quietly become a destination for those seeking substance with their style. The burgeoning dining scene alone sounded worth the visit, along with the Norton Simon art museum, and a chance to soak up sunshine and that pleasant California vibe without the conspicuous consumption of Beverly Hills or the narcissism of the beach towns. For my first meal in town, at an intimate restaurant called Tre Venezie one block off Colorado, I eat bigoli alluovo with sea urchin followed by tripe alla Vicentina: rarefied stuff for an erstwhile backwater. It turns out that Tre Venezie was one of only 18 restaurants awarded stars by Michelin in its initial pass through southern California a year or so back. Another was The Dining Room at Pasadenas Langham Hotel, a development that has stunned the tastemakers from the perpetually trendy Westside. But it isnt just restaurants that have energised this graceful city of around 150,000. Europeans cling to the faded bit of conventional wisdom that this corner of North America lacks culture, but the Norton Simon one of the worlds truly great private art collections obliterates that notion with its lawn full of Rodins accessed before a visitor even reaches the entrance. Inside the handsome museum are a few hundred well-chosen paintings and sculptures, from Botticellis and Rembrandts to colourful Impressionist works and suitably discomfiting Picassos. At the other end of town, what was once the 207-acre estate of railroad baron Henry E Huntington are now botanical gardens that may be unmatched anywhere in

Opposite page: Pasadenas busy freeway. This page from top: Architecture in the city centre; The grounds of the Norton Simon museum, home to an abundance of great art.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 39

the world. (I cant imagine the combination of affluence and climate that would support it anywhere else.) You dont have to be horticulturally savvy to be awed by the 12 themed gardens, including Chinese, Desert, Jungle, Rose and so on. From there, I headed to the majestic Langham, which emerged as one of my favourite American hotels during the course of my stay. A masterpiece built in stages in the early 1900s in a vaguely Spanish style, it symbolised Pasadenas status as a luxury destination during its glory days. Then it was shuttered and partially demolished before being rescued in 1986 and reopened in 1991, an event that serves as a marker for the start of the citys recent revival. But the major reclamation project in Pasadena is the old downtown, where wig stores and pawn shops have given way to a thriving retail, dining and entertainment quarter. The last time I visited Old Pasadena, following the World Cup final in 1994, gentrification had just begun. I sat on the terrace of a brewpub after the match, pinned to my table by a sea of Brazilians swaying to a samba beat that emanated from thousands of boom boxes. Now I realise that Im dreading my return. It isnt just that those

exuberant Brazilians are long gone, sadly, but because once most of the similarly reclaimed neighbourhoods in the United States history regurgitated as shopping malls reach a commercial

40

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

paSadena | California

Pasadena has quietly become a destination for those seeking substance with their style

Opposite page and left: Inside and outside of the citys famous Langham Hotel, the history of which has mirrored the citys own rise, fall and resurrection. Above: Pasadenas iconic City Hall.

and ornate apartment blocks immaculately painted and framed by palms and sycamores. Then I jump on the freeway. Not 15 minutes later, Im staring at the canyon of skyscrapers in downtown LA, nine miles and a world away. If, despite all its improvements, Pasadena remains but a suburb at heart, I have to say its not a bad one.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 41

Images; Photolibrary; Shutterstock; Langham Hotel; Norton Simon Museum. Text: Bruce Schoenfeld / The Sunday Telegraph / The Interview People.

maturity, they tend to feature the same numbingly dull chain stores and themed restaurants. If youve seen one Abercrombie & Fitch store or eaten at one Cheesecake Factory, you dont need to travel across the continent to do it again. Im pleased to find that Old Pasadena isnt like that, at least not exclusively; behind the storefronts, many of which date to the Twenties, are locally owned shops I actually wanted to patronise, such as The Soap Kitchen, which mixes naturally perfumed soaps to order, and Shizu, a Japanese paper emporium. And I have my choice of genuine ethnic restaurants offering everything from tamales to pho (Vietnamese). Best of all, the whole area is pedestrian-friendly, one of the few such enclaves in the Southland. It feels positively European. But Pasadena has also made peace with the car. I was thrilled to be able to glide right up to the Norton Simon and park just a few paces from the entrance (try that at the Louvre). And one afternoon, I spend an hour driving through the citys graceful neighbourhoods, past Craftsman bungalows

total guide | indian ocean

ToTaL gUide

22 pages of paradise, with the very best of Mauritius, the Maldives and the Seychelles
Page 44 Lazy does iT Weve trademarked the idle-but-guilt-free (in) activity holiday Page 52 Home sWeeT Home Searching for great vistas, meals and thrills on Mauritius? Better go native Page 58 WiLd romance Sharing beach space isnt so bad when your fellow sunbathers a tortoise PLUs We spotlight the regions top resorts from bargain boutique to blow-the-budget beauties.

indian ocean

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 43

lazy does it

Relax, dont do it action and adventure in the Maldives require minimal effort which suits Ed Grenby just fine.

his i murmur through a mouthful of oysters; This i say more emphatically, pointing at bubbly and the pristine white linen of the tablecloths and napkins and waiters outfits; This i declare grandiosely with a sweeping gesture that takes in the whole restaurant, the two others nearby, the cellar, the handmade chocolates, the skilfully mixed cocktails, the flatscreen tellies, the fleet of purring masseurs, the whole island, in fact, with its soft-as-candy-floss sands and Barclays-blue waters and endlessly inviting sunloungers; This is what i call an action holiday. Id told the tour operator I wanted a trip with a bit of adventure, but we both knew that by bit I meant hardly any. (The clue was when I said I was thinking of the Maldives). The Indian Ocean doesnt have to mean (utter) indolence though, and the lady on the other end of the phone had a suggestion: the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa a posh resort with all the outdoor showers, lagoon views, five-star service (and purring masseurs) you would expect, plus the serious dive centre, watersports equipment and surf school you might not. Once on-island, it took me a couple of days just to find out where these facilities were. The hotel rambles across the whole islet and spills out on stilts into the lagoon, but everything sits off a central avenue that runs the length of the resort; its meant to resemble a Maldivian village. By day it

feels more like a long corridor with rooms placed too-evenly on either side, but after dark there is a nice villagey feel as the guest villas seem to retreat into the vegetation and the lights glow softly in the velvety-warm, tropical air. I thought Id better take it gently with the active stuff to start with, and went in at the shallow end (of the reef) by borrowing a snorkel and flippers and rolling off the lounger on my rooms terrace into the tepid water of the lagoon beneath my stilted sitting room. And there, not two metres snorkel away, was a stingray enigmatically alien-looking as it sat motionless on the sea bed, then by turns grumpily harrumphy as it noticed me and wobbled its jellylike outer edges to get moving, murderously scary as its long sting waved in my direction, and finally, serenely graceful as it whiffled away into the distance. In 10 minutes I saw maybe 12 more stingrays; and then, just as I was beginning to get blas, whooosh an eagle ray, bigger than the others, and making them look positively clumsy with the otherworldly elegance of its own motion. Soaring through the water with effortless wafts of its wings easily a metre from tip to tip it allowed me to keep up for a few moments, then with one proper beat of those huge pinions, it darted away like a torpedo, out of sight in a semi-second. The fish seemed as impressed as I was. With the water so shallow here in the

44

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | indian ocean

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 45

islands lagoon, I found I was usually at eye-level with them, rather than looking down from above as is usually the case with snorkelling. Mere centimetres from my face, they would turn to look when I approached, blink gormlessly at me (while I did the same to them), then turn back to their rathermore-interesting coral-nibbling. That reminded me how hungry I was, and I headed off to the hotels weekly Fishermens Feast dinner. If that conjures up images of homely haddock pie and maybe a prawn cocktail youre barking up the wrong blini: for $100, you get a buffet of red caviar, lobster, crab, sashimi, a dozen different kinds of fish any creature, in fact, thats so much as dipped a fin, toe or tentacle in saltwater. I make four trips to the hors doeuvres table alone: returning, first time, with oysters, mussels, sushi and sashimi; second time, with

seafood chowder and some more oysters; third, various salads and octopus, lobster, anchovy and salmon roe on cream cheese blinis; and fourth, tom yam soup and, look, sorry about this, but a few more oysters. (As a side serving to my gorgeously silky lobster masala curry main, I guiltily snuck some oysters in, too). Next day, admirably ballasted, Im ready for some diving; and just like the snorkelling, its made winningly simple. With minimal effort or knowhow on my part, Im guided to the kind of dive site that you really only deserve to experience after severe hardship and years of training: table coral that could seat 12, brain coral so big and complex it must have been harvested from Stephen Hawking, fan coral as vast and languorously beating as dragons wings. We see enough electric-coloured creatures to furnish a

Clockwise from top left: A diver greets a sea turtle; Suite at Four Season Kuda Huraa; Brain Coral on the ocean floor; Boys prepare to tackle the surf; Seafood plucked fresh from the ocean.

thousand corporate fish tanks, more rays, moray eels, sharks (including a metre-long one that looks threatening, even as it catches sight of me and flees, terrified) and leathery turtles. At one point I even got a cheery wave from one of the turtles, walnut-wizened but with child-like mischief in its eye. I stopped, stunned, and realised only as it turned and disappeared that my wave was actually the furious flapping of a foreshortened front fin: this poor beast had got too close to a shark, and now that half-flipper had to beat twice as fast in order to stop the animal listing like a knackered shopping trolley. Two days later because who says rest days are only for those whove worked

46

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | indian ocean

hard? Im back out in the lovely lukewarm waters of the lagoon, this time leashed to a surfboard. The baby waves here are perfect for my level of competence (none), and with well-timed shoves from my instructor, Navi, its almost impossible not to catch one of these gentle, forgiving wavelets. And because the sand slopes so softly out into the shallows, I can just walk back out again after each ride, with no need for any of that painful paddling thats such a tiresome part of surfing when youre not in a five-star Maldivian resort. In my head, each five-second stagger on the board is actually a death-defying 15-minute Point Break 10m wall-of-water epic, and Navi sweetly plays along with applause and high-fives and a seemingly genuine vicarious pleasure in my success (which explains why hes such a hit with the

nervous mums and curious sexagenarians who make up much of his clientele). I come away with no pains, no tired muscles, no injuries no excuse at all, in fact, for visiting the hotels spa. But this is the Maldives, so I pop in for what turns out to be easily one of the three best massages of my life (something to do with the hot shells, perhaps). I have, I think to myself, just invented something rather wonderful: the (in)activity holiday. But just as Im getting started on the marketing strategy and business plan in my head, the shells begin to do their work, and everything goes warm and fuzzy and all my brain can register is the soft, rhythmic shhhhhhh of the Indian Ocean outside the window. When I wake up, the ideas gone, and I cant quite bring myself to chase it. Funny that.

In my head, each five-second stagger on the board is actually a deathdefying 15-minute Point Break

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 47

the Maldives

Fancy a very particular slice of paradise? Heres where to stay

1. BesT For: gUaranTeed UnderWaTer acTion ANGSANA IHURU, NoRtH MAle Atoll
An almost perfect heart-shape, ringed by an almost perfect heart-shaped reef, Ihuru island has been the pin-up behind many a Maldivian Tourist Board campaign. And theres just one hotel on the pretty speck: Angsana Ihuru. Sure, it draws honeymooners like moths to a flame, as the Maldives other idyllic resorts do, but it also lures another type of Indian Ocean traveller those who want to get wet. Its all down to that heart-shaped reef, so close to the island that you can paddle among baby black-tipped sharks (they wont bite) or wade out to wallow with turtles. At other resorts, the reef is often a boat ride away and not nearly as buzzy as Ihurus (this is Blue Planet on your doorstep). The hotel itself is

low-key by five-star Maldives standards: a few thatched houses with privacy a priority stylish in an understated kind of way (Angsana is Thai-owned), rather than flashy in a see-through floor kind of way. Go for the turtles, stay for the utter tranquillity.

Clockwise from top left: Aerial shot of Angsana Ihuru; Poolside at Shangri-La Villingili; Balcony at same hotel.

2. BesT For: gLamoUr PUsses oNe&oNlY ReetHI RAH, NoRtH MAle Atoll
Controversy surrounded the construction of this resort in particular, the 1.5 million tonnes of sand shipped in to make the original island four times bigger but Reethi Rah sure lives up to its name, Beautiful Island (in the local Dhivehi tongue). Decor in the fashionable beach and over-water villas is right-royally over-the-top, with liberal applications of polished terrazzo flooring

and plenty of rattan, mahogany and coconut shell. And those fabulous imported beaches seem to go on for ever. With its Balinese carvings, the lobby is dress-up desirable as is the spectacular infinity pool, reaching out into the Indian Ocean. The spa, meanwhile, is quite other-planetary all black granite, ice fountains and cool mint showers.

3. BesT For: THe reaL roBinson crUsoe exPerience SoNeVA GIlI, NoRtH MAle Atoll
They look like makeshift refuges thrown up for the last survivors of some swamping global catastrophe. In fact, the stilted, wooden Crusoe Residences in the lagoon here are roosts of exquisite escapism for

48

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | indian ocean

Ihuru island is an almost perfect heart-shape, ringed by an almost perfect heart-shaped reef

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 49

50

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | indian ocean

tycoons on the run from responsibility for a week or two. Or three months, in the case of the Ukrainian chap occupying the biggest, the Private Reserve, on this visit and its $16.000 per night. Unless you fancy swimming back from the resorts soft, sandy beaches, access to your home from home is by boat (transfers wait at the jetty), but the isolation in your expansive timber retreat, with its muted colours and soft furnishings, is once-in-a-lifetime lovely, with steps into the lagoon for starlit swims.

4. BesT For: goUrmands SoNeVA FUSHI, BAA Atoll


You may be on a simple pimple of an outcrop, but youd never know it from the beauty of the food at this 65-room, very eco-minded island-resort. With your feet in the sand at wonky, almost flotsam tables and chairs, buffet lunches are banquets. Memorable among the kaleidoscopic displays are grilled Sri Lankan prawns, and chapatis that are blistered on the walls of a searing oven and served as you wait. Theres even a chilled walk-in deli cabinet for anyone missing their rare Spanish/Italian hams and pungent French cheeses. Dine under stardust skies at Fresh In The Garden Restaurant; or eat in, among the driftwoody decor of your Crusoechic residence.

is all very well, but when youre on holiday, being forced to converse with the couple in the next-door hut at every meal can put a real downer on your dinner. Thankfully, Diva Maldives provides a little more privacy than your average paradise. One of the largest hotels in the region, its a 193-strong smattering of sparkling-clean, teak-heavy huts stretching along some five kilometres of coastline and there are 500 staff to look after the five restaurants, two communal infinity pools and three lounges hidden around the island. Youll do the same things you might at all the other resorts lay on one of the empty, milk-white beaches, get spoilt in a humongous spa villa, snorkel the coral reefs or just take a dip in your private pool. The difference is that you have a choice of where to eat when evening comes around, with the restaurants serving up everything from fish curry to French cuisine. With such a variety of venues to visit, you wont end up getting cabin fever.

Real recluses should choose a Tree House Villa, with an infinity pool on its veranda
for 20, and 30s jazz oozing gently through the speakers. Food is equally sophisticated (particularly in the Moroccan-Maldivian fusion restaurant), the spa is even more elegant than the rest of the island, and the house reef is one of the best and most unspoilt in the Maldives.

7. BesT For: geTTing LosT SHANGRI-lAS VIllINGIlI, ADDU Atoll


If an islet you can circumnavigate in six minutes sounds more like a prison than a paradise to you, try this sprawling Republic of Indulgence. You could wander for days in the Chinese-village-sized spa; play Lost among the islands swamps and jungles; snorkel the ingenious underwater trail; dive/waterski/ windsurf/kitesurf the lagoon; or, best of all, explore your room. Yes, you read that right: guest villas here are maybe three times the size they need be the terraces alone are the size of hotel rooms elsewhere in the Maldives. Real recluses should choose a Tree House Villa, complete with infinity pool on its sky-high veranda; lagoon-lizards will prefer the outsized hammocks, and steps down into the sea that fill the three-layered terrace of the resorts Water Villas. Both of these breathtaking abodes come with bikes so you can explore the isle without expending too much effort.

6. BesT For: a cHic, sLeeK, BoUTiQUe reTreaT AlIlA VIllAS HADAHAA, NoRtH HUVADHoo Atoll
So you fancy an Indian Ocean lazeathon but your design sensibilities are more citybreak than seaside? Well, dont get your bikini in a twist, because the villas here could have been transported over from New York, Barcelona or (a much warmer, outdoor-shower friendly) Stockholm. Dark woods, oblique angles, sliding glass walls its no surprise that Alila is part of the ever-trendy Design Hotels network. What might raise an eyebrow is that the hip here runs deep: public areas are as sleekly, understatedly cool as the rooms, with long, low, slouchy-loungey sofas big enough

5. BesT For: geTTing aWay From iT aLL incLUding yoUr FeLLoW HoLidaymaKers DIVA MAlDIVeS, SoUtH ARI Atoll
A place where everybody knows your name
Clockwise to centre from top left: Suite at One&Only Reethi Rah; Suite at Alila Villas Hadahaa; Huts at Soneva Gili; Terrace at Soneva Fushi; Lobby at One&Only Reethi Rah; Hammock at Soneva Gili; Chef at Soneva Fushi.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 51

Home sweet home


Live like a local, and youll find theres more to paradise than lying on the beach, says Katerina Roberts in Mauritius.

just want to chill out, bed down and live like a local, murmurs my friend Steve, arriving at my house on the banks of the River Citron on Mauritiuss northwest coast. Hes dazed and dehydrated after the 11-hour flight from London, so I prescribe an ice-cold drink of brewed citronella leaves, freshly picked from my garden that morning. Before long, hes stripped off to snooze in the sunshine, waking hours later like a half-baked turtle beside my pool. How do you do this, day in day out? he laughs. Its true, Im spoilt and sometimes understandably smug. I turned native a decade and a half ago after falling hard for the place on a holiday, and when friends visit, they always remind me how lucky I am. But theres more to Mauritius than sunshine and swimming pools, and Im determined to show Steve while hes here. The trio of things the brochures spin into spiel (five-star accommodation, fine cuisine and dreamy beaches) may conspire to keep most visitors cosseted in their hotels and away from the other delights of the country, but you dont need to stay en famille like Steve to explore. Adopt a taxi driver for the day or catch the bus for trips through buzzy towns and past pocket-sized mountains and overblown forests. You wont have to travel far to be bewitched: even in my back garden, bright red foddies, yellow weaver birds and rotund bulbuls fight over crumbs on the breakfast table; chameleons play hide and seek with squawking mynahs; luminous green geckos

dart between trees heaving with papaya, mango and lychee. And, every evening, theres a mesmerising sunset that results in instant tropical stupor. One dose of dusk was all it took for Steve to shake off the stress of his job as an in-demand fashion photographer. The next morning was a particularly gorgeous one, when the warm air seemed moist with tropical nectar, and he deemed it the perfect time to tackle the capital, Port Louis. Most holidaymakers stick to its smart business district at Place dArmes, absorbing the calm, colonial atmosphere under shady palms, and quietly ignoring the other side of this buzzy city. But if you want to go local and meet the real Port Louis, youre better off exploring the narrow streets of the old town. At the market, hawkers spread their bounty across pavements booby-trapped with potholes. We pick over heaps of designer jeans and chainstore seconds, pots and pans and DVDs, and haggle with touts selling dried herbs, guaranteed, they say, to cure all the ailments of the modern world. In tiny hole-in-the-wall shops, Steve, a confirmed light traveller, stocks up on shorts and shirts, then we regroup over espressos at The Air Lounge, a little place not far from those tourists on Place dArmes. The view out to the street reveals a city as cosmopolitan as New York. Creoles stroll by in baseball caps; elegant Indian ladies in diaphanous saris whisper into their phones; and pink-tinged tourists puzzle over maps. But ask a Mauritian for the countrys hottest spot and you wont be hearing about

the big city or even the beaches theres another area thats on the up, and Steve wants to see it. So a couple of days later, we drive half an hour to Ebene, the new and sparkling hi-tech quarter, sitting on plains right at the countrys centre. At Cyber City, skyscrapers have sprung up like sugarcane: theres a posh hotel, a smattering of chic apartments and a new private hospital. Its like nothing Mauritius has ever seen: a mini Dubai and, so goes the island gossip, destined to be the next in place for R n R. Understandably, though, Steve doesnt want to spend his holidays in the business district. We flee to the Hideaway, a rambling riverside restaurant hidden in canefields behind the busy shopping mall at nearby Trianon. Its a lunchtime secret with townies craving old-fashioned Creole dishes, and the food is more delicious than anything youll find in the five-stars. We wash down a meal of spicy venison curry and blow-your-headoff chilli sauce, then wander through the jungly gardens, dripping with orchids and anthuriums. Its then that the conversation turns to going on safari. The shoreline may be awash with tropical beaches but the west coast also offers the chance to walk with wild lions, the subject of much dinner-party chatter between my friends and me. Steve is also keen, for different reasons. I lost my cat last month, he laments, hoping that these felines might in some way remind him of his 10-year-old moggie. So the next day were
Clockwise from top Left: Selling local produce at the Port Louis Market; Locals transporting goods on motorcycle; Jammah Mosque; A local hawker offers up melons.

52

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | uSa Road tRiP total guide | iReland indian ocean

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 53

out of bed early and on our way to Casela Nature Park. Mafuta, Humba, Tsotsi and Gamede eye us warily then bound out of their compound towards us, their fluffy manes trailing. Meet the kids, says Graeme Bristow, an affable Zimbabwean who breeds lions to release into the wild at Safari Adventures. He leads his brood out into the bush, and soon theyre frolicking in the long grass, ducking, rolling and sniffing the air. This is a catwalk with a difference, jokes Steve, awestruck by Mauritiuss other side endless savannah dotted with tamarinds and ebony trees. An hour later, and were still humbled by the wilderness, and the wildness of the cubs.

Theyre less impressed with us, though, and like yawning kids after a big day out, are ready for bed. Nightlife may be thin on the ground on the island, but luckily for Steve its Friday and the weekend starts here. We head towards the twinkling lights of Grand Baie, the islands nightlife capital, and start at the Patch n Parrot, busy with South Africans lining their stomachs with blow-out pies before heading for the clubs. Much later, we end up at The Godfather, beside the Royal Palm Hotel, which pumps out reggae long after the hotel lights have dimmed. Our adventure leaves my head spinning, but Steve is made of stronger stuff. On his

last morning, hes determined to do one touristy thing and see the island from the air. Like everyone who visits, he wants to take home pictures of mountains rising from velvet folds of sugar cane and the pearlwhite coastline dipping into cerulean lagoons. Most people tick off this one by helicopter but Steve chooses to bounce out of a plane on a tandem parachute jump. Harnessed and helmeted like Robocop, he circles the volcanic plains of Roches Noires, losing sight of the islands sandy trimming as he gets closer to the ground. Back on the airfield, his eyes are watering but the headache is gone. It almost inspires me to try it myself, but I think Ill leave this one to the tourists.

54

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

totaL guide | indian ocean

Mauritius
1. BEST FOR: FINALLY CELEBRATING AN EMPTY NEST Les PaviLLons

if thats whet your appetite for this tropical charmer, heres where to stay
hydro treatment mattresses) in each spa room mean theres no need to turn over onto your tummy for a back massage your therapist can get to you from underneath the couch. Opt for the Under the Stars couples treatment and youll get side-by-side pampering as you watch the sun set into the Indian Ocean. Then gorge on gourmet Thai at Nipa, Mauritian and European food at Horizon, or posh Med nosh by the beach at Obergine and toast your freedom.
Clockwise from top left: Suites at Les Pavillions; A windsurfer in the pale-blue sea; Veranda Paul et Virginie; Spa at Les Pavillions; A boat cruises across the bay.

It may have all the usual gubbins (watersports, diving etc), but Les Pavillons is actually best enjoyed from a lounge chair. Here, among the palms, views take in the thin strip of white beach and perfect mouthwashblue sea, or the cloud-catching, startling peak of the lone mountain that rears up behind the resort. Each room comes with a seafront terrace, equipped with massive outdoor shower and double canvas sunbed, while the spa, Nymphea, must be one of the most indulgent in the world: exemplary Thai massages take place in an open-sided hut that looks over exotic plants and a tranquil pool, the clouds moving over Le Morne just visible above it all. And waterbeds (or

high ceilings, terraces and generous glass bathrooms cant fail to please even if they dont wow. All are handy for the huge infinity pool and the deckchair-dotted seaside lawn (which is set above the sand since the beach is rocky). Most guests take full advantage of the plentiful windsurfing, diving and other sports here, but the best place to escape your brood is at the Senses spa, shrouded in lush greenery. The star treatment is the Mauritian massage, set to the spirited beat of local sega music. Family dining centres around the main restaurant Show, with a decent breakfast buffet that kids tuck into with gusto, as well as easy set menus in the evening (tandoori marlin and chocolate

2. BEST FOR: TEENAGE TRAVELLERS Tamassa


A four-star resort on the relatively undeveloped south coast, Tamassas USP is fun rather than tranquillity, which makes it fantastic for teenagers. The bright bedrooms do have a touch of Ikea about them, but their

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 55

mousse, for example). La Playa is an altogether more romantic affair, beautifully positioned on the beach. Just make sure the kids are also beautifully positioned at the in-house disco or in bed before you sit down and then enjoy the night alone.

of buses for longer excursions. If that sounds like too much of a sweat, you can ignore it all and just alternate beach bronzing with beauty treatments in the fabulous little spa.

Clockwise from top left: Suites at Veranda Paul et Virgine; Water taxi; Grilled fish with vegetables at Le Suffren; View over bay from Veranda Paul et Virginie. Opposite: Villa at Maradiva Resort and Spa.

3. BEST FOR: BARGAIN HONEYMOONS veRanDa PauL & viRginie


It may be named after fated lovers Paul and Virginie, whose deaths inspired Bernardin de St Pierre to write his famous novel, but this charming boutique hotel will inspire nothing but smiles with its 81 rooms decked out in sunkissed colours, two pretty pools, free watersports and genuinely welcoming staff. Empty-nesters spend entire winters here, but its a big hit with honeymooners too, who come for the hotels location on a perfect beach on the breezy northeast coast and fabulous views to the wedge-shaped island of Coin de Mire. Its a vista best observed at dusk from the romantic seafood grill, perched at the end of the jetty. If you fancy getting out and about, the fishing village of Grand Gaube is an amble away, and there are plenty

4. BEST FOR: ITCHY-FOOTED URBANITES Le suffRen


Le Suffren is a city hotel, but its a world away from the bustle of downtown Port Louis. Combining home comforts with a distinctly nautical ambience, it has the islands most stunning mountain views from its rooms. Many guests are businessmen who go to work by water taxi leaving their wives to languish by the pool or lunch on the sensational decked terrace overlooking the marina. But this is not really a place to kick off your shoes and bury your feet in the sand (unless youre happy making do with the imported beach and dinky pool). Instead, those who yearn for the wind in their hair can charter the hotels catamaran and take in a panorama of Port Louis skyline from the sea. Theres also that water taxi handy for the short hop across the drink to Le Suffrens swankier sister hotel, the Labourdonnais,

where a gym and fancy restaurants provide you with a change of scene, and you can access scores of shops and cafes on the Caudan Waterfront.

5. BEST FOR: PLAYING AT BEING MEGA RICH maRaDiva viLLas ResoRT anD sPa
Youre greeted by rippling fountains and tropical gardens at this sprawling villa resort at Wolmar, on the stunning west coast. Like the Colonial residence of a sophisticated sugar baron, it has high ceilings, smooth basalt floors and nice touches such as traditional Indian lamps and Mauritian works of art. But paradise comes at a price while off-duty celebs with their Louis Vuitton luggage can snare the Presidential Villa, and its (wait for it) quartz-lined infinity pool and 24-hour butler and chef, we lesser mortals might have to settle for slightly smaller but still stylish sanctuaries: expect a sizeable plunge pool and dreamy decked dining

56

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

totaL guide | indian ocean

terrace. Bowl your other half over with a candlelit aromatherapy massage deux in the sublime spa, then stagger back to your villa in a happy daze. There, chef will rustle up a banquet of off-menu favourites for picky eaters although theres a delectable choice of pan-Asian cuisine in the romantic Cilantro restaurant too.

6. BEST FOR: ISLAND EXPLORERS fouR PoinTs by sheRaTon


Just 20km south of the Mauritian capital Port Louis, the brand-new Four Points is at the hub of the exciting new Cybercity district with 108 rooms done up in the kind of cool, minimalist chic that reflects the hotels clientele. Theres also a decent-sized pool and gym, stylish spa, beauty salon just for guys and must-do jet-lag treatments,

quick-fix massages and fruity peel scrubs. Because this hotel is away from the castaway resorts, rooms are cheaper and youll also get much more of a feel for the real Mauritius. Friday nights draw a young party crowd to thumping music in Adrenaline, an alfresco hangout hooded with a cool, canvas roof. Elsewhere, Cazerole restaurants melt-in-the-mouth lamb chops and steaks and the cafes smoked salmon bagels and health juices prove how sophisticated this island is becoming. Youll also save cash on excursions: it costs next to nothing to hire a taxi from here and head off to sightsee or find a perfect beach with your name on.

7. BEST FOR: FAMILIES ON A BUDGET hoTeL Le PaLmisTe


The great things about this family-owned

hotel apart from its quiet location just a two-minute walk from the muchphotographed white sands of Trou aux Biches are its proximity to a strip of restaurants, bars and supermarkets, and a good bus service to Port Louis. Spacious rooms come with bright terraces shaded by rattan screens, but otherwise are simply furnished (bathrooms are so-so), but it matters little with so much of real (cheap!) Mauritius on your doorstep, you wont be spending much time at HQ. Expect plenty of French and German families, with a healthy helping of Brits and South Africans. Still, theres no fighting over sunbeds here youll find more than enough space around the four pools. Entertainment is low-key, but for really late nights during the week, party seekers can head for the clubs of Grand Baie.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 57

Wild romance Wild romance

Love is in the air for Gemma Taylor and her husband, but in the Seychelles its more of an animal attraction.
appeared in the sea below. My heart leapt. Surely we cant land on that? An announcement interrupted my panic, Anyone sitting in row four is in an emergency exit, and regulations state you must read the safety card. Oh no, that was me. I was still frantically studying the sheet when we stopped abruptly in front of a hammock slung between two coconut palms, the kingfisher-blue ocean beyond. Desroches is more Swallows & Amazons- chic than five-star finery: youre given a bike on arrival; theres no dress code; and you can leave your guilty conscience at the door the resort has its own organic farm, solar panels and desalinisation plant, as well as an impressive sustainable building programme. And with only 48 villas sharing some 14km of cricket-whites-bright beaches, its easy to find a patch of sand to call your own. Well, almost your own There are more tortoises on the island than people, explains Lisa, the resident conservationist. It wasnt always so: up until the 19th century, these topheavy creatures were an important food source for sailors due to their ability to survive for six months in the ships hold without food or water. Thanks to Darwin, and more recently, the Nature Protection Trust of the Seychelles, the tortoises are now protected, and the silent-butfriendly Harry is among a population of 110,000 roaming the islands. Our breeding programme has been a great success, Lisa beams, introducing me to the youngest residents: Jane, Rosie, Chris, Andy, JJ, Bump and Reggie, the lazy one, whos three weeks old and so tiny he fits in the palm of my hand. Theyre not the only youngsters on the island. As there are no land predators, the beach is a bountiful nesting site for turtles hawksbill by day, green at night. We searched in vain but there was no sign of

o you think thats breadfruit or jackfruit?, I ask Harry, pointing to a spiky green ball on the ground. Its hard to tell the difference, although Im told one smells much nicer than the other. He doesnt reply. I wander over to inspect the object while he cranes his neck for a closer look. As a resident, youd expect him to know the answer. But then Harrys not your everyday local. He drinks through his nose, weighs around 200kg and will probably outlive me by 100 years. Harry, you see, is a giant land tortoise. My husbands mum, Julia, who used to live in the Seychelles back in the 70s, had told us all about these big friendly giants one night over drinks. She also talked about the islands many rare species of bird and out-of-this-world beaches. We used to knock oysters off the rocks, and collect clams from the waters edge then cook them over an open fire, shed said nostalgically. Id always pictured the Seychelles as wall-to-wall honeymoon resorts, but Julia made it sound like more of a Robinson Crusoe/ Girl Friday kind of place. Keen to check out this paradise for ourselves, my husband, Bob, and I booked the next available flight. We arrived at Mah airport to Vitalite-bright sunshine and the sweet scent of frangipani and cinnamon in the air. So far, so perfect. But with some 115 islands to explore, its hard to know where to begin. I was desperate to meet those huge tortoises though, having only ever seen their compact cousins in my back garden. So we set off for Desroches, one of the outer islands, home to a colony of tortoises, wandering at will. As our red-and-white 14-seater plane made its descent, a rainbow painted a cheerful stripe across the sky and a tiny squiggle of green with a thin piping of creamy sand

58

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | indian ocean

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 59

either on our first sunset, as a burnt-orange sun retreated behind pale puffs of lilac cloud and we walked along the sand, taking care not to trip over thimble-sized hermit crabs as they scuttled into their shells and rolled towards the sea. We set off early the next day on a snorkelling trip to the uninhabited atoll of St Joseph, in search of more natural highs. As the boat sped across the briny, we reclined in white leather seats, watching spotted eagle rays gliding gracefully past, followed by flying fish dancing on the spray like handfuls of silver glitter. A pod of spinner dolphins acted as our GPS, while snow-white fairy terns plunge-dived for fish. Wed just passed DArros island, owned by the LOral family and home to a research station where they grow live coral, when St Joseph appeared nine tiny islets thick with trees and laced with turquoise channels. Its absolutely beautiful. Black clouds swirled a few centimetres above the water. Frigate birds, explained Lisa, whod come along to update her list of fish. They feed on whatever other birds drop, she says, and I watch as they do so.

We watched spotted eagle rays gliding followed by flying fish dancing


With slight trepidation, we donned snorkels and slipped into a sea busier than Sheikh Zayed Road at rush hour: butterflyfish, angelfish, stingrays sliding along the seabed and then, just by the drop-off where the sea descended into darkness, a scarily inquisitive (but thankfully tiny) black-tipped reef shark. St Joseph isnt the only paradise a boat ride from Desroches: nearby Poivre is perfect for a beach barbecue; Etoile for twitching (its populated by roseate terns, whose black bills turn pink during breeding season). But wed already splashed our savings on a couple of nights at the Banyan Tree, back on Mah (the largest island in the Seychelles), to indulge in a little pampering in the spa and to seek out those elusive turtles. The hotels beach, Anse Intendance, is one of the few places on Mah

where hawksbill turtles come to lay their eggs. On this beaming arc of indecently soft, white sand washed by spearmint sea, it soon became clear that the turtles had claimed the best spot on the island. Two twilight beach strolls (and three massages later), though, there was still no sign of the shy creatures although wed ticked off flying foxes and the Madagascan fody, wearing its interpretation of Josephs technicolour dreamcoat. An early morning snorkelling trip proved more fruitful, and as we swam out around granite boulders at the far end of the beach, a familiar shell with the hint of a smile silently floated up towards us. We celebrated our success back on dry land, with a tour of. Cottages clad in shawls of scarlet bougainvillea skirted bays where laughter-lined septuagenarians played cards at makeshift tables. At Marie Antoinette, in the island capital, Victoria, we found a Creole feast so popular the menu has remained the same since 1976. Full-bellied, we sat back to digest everything and came to the conclusion that in the Seychelles, things get better with time. Im sure old Harry would agree.

60

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

totaL guide | indian ocean

Whatever your tastes, we have the answer to your hotel needs


1. BEST FOR: UTTER SECLUSION banyan TRee seycheLLes, mahe
Once youre inside a hillside pool villa, set behind crowding takamaka trees and giant palms, youre completely hidden from prying eyes. So no one will see you slip at dusk from your private pool, through white louvred doors, into your glass-walled sunken bathtub to watch a Day-Glo sun melt into the sea. Morning brings the pearly-white smile of Intendance Beach into focus, beaming at you far below. Hop in a tropical-print buggy and ask the driver to deposit you on the sand, where you might share towel space with hawksbill turtles; or at the spa, where expert Thai-trained masseurs will pull, push, pummel, twist and crack you until you feel you can do backbends. (Not advised). Theres
Left: Schools of colourful tropical fish. This page: Suite at Banyan tree Seychelles.

the Seychelles

a choice of restaurants, offering everything from Creole curries in a Colonial-style clubhouse to sandwiches and sweet treats for moonlit beach picnics. But Saffron is the one to try if youve a penchant for spice. Go for the tasting menu and feast on duck and lychee curry along with juicy, gingery, woktossed scallops.

2. BEST FOR: TRADITIONALISTS Le Domaine De LoRangeRaie, La Digue


On the Seychelles sleepy third island of La Digue, Le Domaine de lOrangeraie attracts the kind of seadoggy empty-nesters who maintain perfect physiques clothed in weathered, mahogany skin. They come back year after year for a dose of understated luxury: Colonial-style villas slung with storm lanterns, romantic four-posters and wicker

furniture. Food (delivered to your room) is French-inspired and delicious between meals you can bike around the island to stop gout setting in. Its not clear yet what the loyal repeaters will make of the newly opened and posher villas just steps away from a narrow strip of beach, or the plush Eden Rock spa, or the neat rows of sunloungers lined up on the sand, or even the new restaurant in a prime spot beside the sea. Perhaps theyll have to fight a little harder for space on the beach with won-over first-timers.

3. BEST FOR: NEW AWAKENING fouR seasons seycheLLes, mahe


The luxury chains newest Indian Ocean outpost on Mah has a spa that will have you ditching the dinner jacket in favour of a yoga mat and stretchy pants. Teetering on 80m-high stilts in the jungle, it has views

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 61

that cant help but distract Petite Anse tempting you with its soft, buttermilk sand and sapphire-streaked shallows. But leave the beach for another day, and youll be justly rewarded. Best treatment is a Kundalini back massage: the theory goes that the dormant energy (or coiled snake) at the base of the spine is released through the third eye, opening the way for enlightenment. Sounds flakily New Age but works a treat the feather-light touch of the therapist leaves you snoring inappropriately. Back at ground level, villas are heaped on a hillside thick with the scent of frangipani, cinnamon and cashew trees. Decorated in rosewood, silk prints and wafty white muslin, each pad comes with its own plunge pool and little wooden cabana, perfectly placed for gazing out to sea and more blissful meditation.

5. BEST FOR: LOW-KEY GLAMOUR cousine isLanD


A new kind of eco-lodge has sprung up in the Seychelles over the past five years or so the super-luxe, low-key getaway, where you pay top dollar for sharing the beach with nothing but the local, heavily protected wildlife (and possibly a visiting Hollywood celeb or two). Cousine Island is such a place: marooned on one of the Seychelles 115 outer islands, with a scorching rack rate of close to $3,000 per villa per night, and a menagerie of native animals kept safe by its relative inaccessibility (a helicopters-only arrivals policy ensures nothing can hitch a ride to this Garden of Eden). Every penny from the villas goes straight back into the islands upkeep, so its no wonder you get one of four huge houses, decked out in love-it-or-hate-it beige and blue chintz. Each has views of the grinning beach (the island looks like a smiley face from above), an outdoor shower in its own garden, and a turndown that includes dozens of candles around the room. So what? you may ask after all, you can get all that at much cheaper resorts. What youre really paying for is the privilege of sunbathing next to a turtle, rambling with a giant tortoise or dozing off to a lullaby sung by a choir of 12 native bird species.

exploring an underwater world of sea turtles and parrotfish or reeling in that evenings sashimi. Then theres the Clarins Spa with its outdoor plunge pools and a fabulous list of treatments to resurrect your mojo. Villas take full advantage of the islands exotic nature with open-air showers, infinity pools and gardens of sweet-smelling frangipani. And down at Le Robinson, one of the resorts five restaurants, two feet in the sand-style dining means guests can enjoy the CreoleFrench-African food while wiggling their toes in the powder-soft grains and watching crabs scuttling by candlelight.

7. BEST FOR: OUT-AND-OUT LUXURY ON AN OLIGARCH LEVEL maia, mahe


Maias biggest market is the Ukraine, but that doesnt mean the granite-lined infinity pool is strewn with burly businessmen, cigar butts and trophy blondes (theyre all in their private villas), simply that the price tag is a little stiff for most of the world. And, good heavens, it is quite a package: 24-hour butler service that would put Her Majestys to shame; an exclusive strip of beach, best enjoyed on a snorkelling trip; private pools either carved into granite cliffs or fronting the aforementioned coastline; and vast pavilions where even the bathroom potions are six-star (La Prairie). The spa a collection of open-air cabanas hidden away in dense jungle is staffed by expert Balinese buffers. The restaurant, meanwhile, serves CreoleMed-French food (but the truth is, you can order what you want, when you want). Maias one concession to accessibility is its location: its on Mah, home to the countrys airport, which means you can fly direct, as proven by the number of private jets on the runway.
Clockwise from top left: Garden VIlla at Banyan Tree; Intendance Bay at Banyan Tree; Villa at Domaine de LOrangeraie; View of Cousine Island;

4. BEST FOR: SIMPLE PLEASURES cLef Des iLes, mahe


If the mere mention of the word luxury gives you palpitations, check in at this simple terrace of glorified beach huts, right on Beau Vallon beach. Popular with divers and families, its the kind of laid-back place that makes guests consider giving up the daily grind for good. All four of the two-bedroom duplexes are mini-houses, with mezzanines, basic kitchens stocked with edible goodies, beds shaded with muslin, and bright, airy living rooms where doors roll back to reveal white sand on your doorstep. You wont find a five-star-worthy activities menu here, but theres a dive centre and great pizzeria next door, as well as loads to keep you occupied along the two-kilometre stretch of Beau Vallon, which is busy by Seychelles standards. Evenings are best spent with a bottle of something chilled, watching the sun tumble into the sea with your feet in the sand. When the views this good, you wont miss the infinity pool and butler.

6. BEST FOR: BEING BESIDE THE SEA ALL DAY LONG sainTe anne ResoRT & sPa
Just 10 minutes by boat from Mah, the five-star Sainte Anne Resort & Spa shares its private island home with more than 200 hectares of tropical wilderness and Bountyad beaches strewn with pink granite boulders and gigantic palm trees. Its popular with rich Europeans, but guests rarely bump into each other the island is encircled by one of the largest marine parks in the Indian Ocean, so most holidaymakers are off

62

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

total guide | indian ocean

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 63

totaL guide | indian ocean

GET AROUND
If you fancy exploring during your stay, shop around. Organising independent excursions usually works out much cheaper than booking them through a hotel.

The seycheLLes
Air Seychelles Domestic (00 248 39 1230, www.airseychelles.com) connects the Seychelles main island of Mah with its second island, Praslin, on numerous 15-minute flights which take place daily and cost from $120 one-way. For scenic helicopter flights and island-hopping, try Helicopter Seychelles (00 248 385858, www.helicopterseychelles. com; shuttles from $185 one-way and private tours from 450 per helicopter) or Zil Air (00 248 375100, www.zilair.com; from $723 per trip). For ferries between the islands, try Cat Cocos (00 248 297160, www.catcocos. com), which runs regular crossings between Mah and Praslin from $60 one-way. Or Inter Island Ferry Services (00 248 232329, www.seychelles.net/iff), which runs regular crossings between Praslin and La Digue from

$15 one-way. Both Mah and Praslin have good bus connections.

mauRiTius
Most Mauritians get around using the cheap and frequent buses. Port Louis and Curepipe are the main hubs you should be able to catch a bus from your resort to one of these, then get an onward service to most destinations on the island. Some out-of-theway attractions can only be reached by taxi, however; its advisable that you agree a price before you set off. You can do this through your hotels concierge. Air Mauritius (00 230 603 3754, www.airmauritius.com/helicopter. htm) runs 15-minute helicopter tours of the island ($329 for up to two people), as well as helicopter transfers (from $660 for up to two people).

The maLDives
Unless you plan to charter a dhoni (traditional boat) or speedboat, the only way to islandhop is by plane. Maldivian (00 960 333 5544, www.maldivian.aero) links the main island of Male with the largish (by Maldivian standards) Kadhdhoo, Kaadedhdhoo and Gan from around $140 one-way. Trans Maldivian Airways (00 960 334 8400, www. transmaldivian.com.mv) and Maldivian Air Taxi (00 960 331 5201, www.maldivianairtaxi. com) are both seaplane companies offering air-tours of the Maldives from $200pp.

INDIA

AFRICA

MALDIVES

SRI LANKA
Images: Photolobrary; Shutterstock; Four Season Kuda Huraa; Angsana Ihuru; Diva Maldives; Shangri La Maldives; One&Only Reethi Rah; Alila Villas Hadahaa; Soneva Gili; Soneva Fushi; Les Pavillions; Veranda Paul et Virginie; Le Suffren; Maradiva Resort and Spa; Banyan Tree Seychelles; Cousine Island; Domaine de LOrangeraie; Skydive Mauritius.

Male

inDian ocean inDian ocean


SEYCHELLES
Pralin Mahe

MIDDLE EAST

ASIA

MADAGASCAR

MAURITIUS
Port Louis Reunion

AFRICA

64

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

Author Anthony Horowitz is sending his teenaged spy character, Alex Rider, to Cairo. So he had to go himself

Egypt by the book

66

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

xxxxxxxxxxAdvEntuRE | Egypt AnCiEnt | xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

have never been too sure about holidays. What are they for and are they really worth the cost, the disruption, the indignity of modern air travel and the very short-term benefits of souvenirs and a sun tan? However, 10 years ago I invented a teenaged spy, Alex Rider, and for purposes of research I have been forced to follow him around the world: to America, Cuba, Thailand, Australia, the Caribbean and the French Alps. And that, of course, does make a very good excuse to travel, although it has occasionally led me to some rather offbeat places. For Alexs ninth adventure, due out next year, I found myself in Egypt, a country well suited to teenage adventures. It is in some ways Middle East lite which is to say it has the oil, the heat, the religion and the culture, but somehow seems closer to the West. And it makes

for a compelling holiday destination, although Egypts ancient history grips our imagination in a way that its modern history cant. Theres diving at the Red Sea, cruises on the Nile, adventures in the Sahara and tombs and temples just about everywhere. What more could you possibly want? Well, my needs were actually more limited. In the book, Scorpia Rising, Alex spends a few weeks in Cairo (at an international school) before being kidnapped and taken to the desert an abandoned French fort near the oasis town of Siwa. And so those were my two locations. By and large, Alex does not do museums. Also, as a rule, he tends to steer clear of the major tourist sites for the main set pieces, trying to avoid the fate of some of the later Bond films, which became hopelessly corny as the action was twisted to embrace such obvious landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, Luxor, and the Guggenheim.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 67

Cairo is blind to reason. its in your face. it wont leave you alone. And yet, it is a city that does reward exploration

68

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

xxxxxxxxxxAdvEntuRE | Egypt AnCiEnt | xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Unfortunately, Cairo is not a very attractive proposition. In fact, lets be honest, its grindingly ugly. The pollution is bad. The traffic is worse. The heat often stifling. How do you describe this huge, densely populated city? While I was having a mint tea in the bustling Fishawi coffee house, right in the middle of the souk, a trader came up to my table and offered me a fake Rolex watch. I told him I wasnt interested. He offered me another, then another. I told him I didnt want a watch. In the nicest possible way, I tried to explain that his watches were cheap and horrible, that they probably wouldnt work and that anyway I had one. OK, he said. I lower the price. Thats how Cairo is. Its blind to reason. Its in your face. It wont leave you alone. And yet, it is a city that does reward exploration. After an hour in the souk (where I managed to buy jewellery at half the offered price and only three or four times more than it was probably worth), I wandered down to Fatimid Cairo and visited mosques and madrasas Islamic schools whose beauty took my breath away. The tomb in the Madrasa of Sultan Barquq is a vaulted chamber of soft grey wood and stone, utterly peaceful, with extraordinary colours from the stained-glass windows
Previous page: The sand-coloured buildings crammed into Cairo. Left: Gizas pyramids. Above: Adrre Amellal.

dappling the very air. So why did I have to bribe a guard to unlock the door and let me in? What is it with these people? But I think I do vaguely get the idea. You have to look for the boxes within the boxes. That is, walk through Islamic Cairo, Coptic Cairo, Fatimid Cairo its just modern Cairo youve got to avoid. The souk at Khan alKhalili is undoubtedly fun (and a great place for a chase with Alex using the various souvenirs stone pyramids, spices, copper plates as weapons), but the streets around the Wikala of al-Ghouri, an ancient hostel, are quieter and just as interesting. Above all, you need the noise and the heat to appreciate the interiors: their soaring pillars, the mosaics, the ornate wood panelling, the sense of calm and stillness. They reflect each other, and its just a question of negotiating your way between the two. I did visit the Pyramids at Giza in the end but even there you have to play the same game. I went very early in the morning and managed to slip in before they had actually opened. For about half an hour I was completely on my own and wandered around in a daze. The whole site really is awesome and whispered something of the power of civilisation, the ambition of those ancient dynasties. But an hour later, a thousand coaches and taxis had arrived, turning the place into a glittering car park and rather defeating the point.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 69

Modern Cairo again. To tell you the truth I was glad to leave it all behind and move on. Alex is knocked out, bundled into a car and driven from Cairo to Siwa Oasis. I took the plane. Even so, it was a fairly gruelling journey. Less than an hour in the air to Alexandria, but then a six-hour car journey across the desert, mainly through the night. The road was modern, dead straight and actually pretty dead with emptiness on both sides so that even when the sun came up there was nothing to see, and I did begin to wonder if the effort was really going to be worth it. Siwa is the most remote of the Egyptian oases, and although it is well into the Sahara Desert, it has more water that it can actually cope with. There are huge lakes so full of salt that strange, crystal formations stretch themselves over the shorelines. You can swim

in the lakes, but because of all the salt you can more or less sit on them, too. The town of Siwa itself is small and sun-baked, spread out beneath the ruined Berber city of Shali, which gives the appearance of having partly dissolved which is actually exactly what it did, in 1926, after three days of heavy rain. There are as many donkey carts as cars or buses. Apart from a scattering of internet cafs, life here pretty much ignores the modern world. I had come here to get a real sense of the desert. Well, I did indeed see stars with no light pollution and the strange blue glow in the sky after the sun had set. I watched the endlessly shifting sand dunes, swam in a thermal pool and glimpsed a white desert fox with Yoda ears and startled eyes, somehow surviving in this arid wilderness. All in all, I was partially successful. Being driven at high speed in a four-by-four over vertiginous sand dunes is an

70

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

xxxxxxxxxxAdvEntuRE | Egypt AnCiEnt | xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

exhilarating experience not for nothing is this area known as the Great Sand Sea. I loved being served bright red hibiscus tea as the sun set, my driver having built a tiny bonfire in the sand. But was it perhaps too comfortable, handed too easily on a plate? I felt, like Alex, I should have suffered more. He certainly wont stay as I did at the Adrre Amellal, one of the great, eccentric hotels of the world. The name means white mountain in the Berber language, and its built against a massive outcrop with twisting passageways leading to rooms that are actually more like grottoes, dug out of the stone. The whole place could have been built by a child on a beach with a bucket and spade, perhaps influenced by Gaud. There are no straight lines, no right angles. Nothing is regular. It has been designed to be part of the landscape, and everything about it is discreet. Even the

large, freshwater swimming pool is supplied by an underground well (with a stone spiral staircase leading down into the depths). It has no electricity. When you return at night, oil lamps lead the way to your room. And all the food is grown or reared locally. Meals were delicious and, in caves filled with candles, intensely romantic. The price was high even higher, in fact, than at the five-star Four Seasons, which had provided me with a very swish room overlooking the Nile in Cairo. The Adrre Amellal was a lot less luxurious, with hard beds, fairly basic plumbing and, obviously, no air conditioning. But then it is not so much a hotel as an experience in itself. Egypt is very safe. The people are welcoming. The country is endlessly fascinating and unthreatening unless, that is, youre Alex Rider. And even he would probably want to go back.

Images: Photolibrary, Adrre Amellal coutesy of Omar Hikal. Text: Anthony Horowitz / The Daily Telegrpah / The Interview People.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 71

www.skylineuniversity.com

American Curriculum Approved & Accredited By The Ministry Of Higher Education & Scientific Research, U.A.E. Member - AACSB International, USA

BBA
with majors in:

Marketing Information Systems International Business Travel & Tourism Management

MBA
Now offering integrated BBA & MBA programs Benefits: Saves time Special fee Waiver

with emphasis on:

Marketing Finance

Forthcomingintakes:Jan,Jul&Sep2011
* * * * * * Safe and furnished hostel facilities (separate for boys & girls) Visa Assistance Excellent industry linkage with 99% placement rate Morning and evening classes Expert faculty with doctoral qualifications Affordable cost of programs

en op ons kefor s si ta m mis Ad 011in rogra 2 BAp Jan M A& BB

Join the worlds fastest growing industry

TRAVEL & TOURISM

IATA UFTAA/FIATA 1. Foundation Diploma in Travel & Tourism 2. Cargo Introductory course 3. Dangerous Goods Regulation (Basic / Refresher) CONFEDERATION OF TOURISM & HOSPITALITY (CTH) - UK 1. Diploma in Travel & Tourism Management 2. Certificate in Travel & Tourism Management

OTHER COURSES 1. Basic / Advanced Tour Guide Course ( In collaboration with Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority) 2. Automated Passenger Handling KLM CODECO, Ireland 3. IELTS Training by certified instructors 120/190 hours 4. Airline Customer Service course 5. Basic Load Control & Basic Ramp Handling
Accredited by:

Upcoming course : ACCA

CO N F E D E R AT I O N O F TO U R I S M & H O S P I TA L I T Y

Centre for Professional Development and Training


Tel: +971 6 544 1155 I Fax: +971 6 544 1166 I a d m is s ion s @s k ylin e u n ive rs it y. c om

concierge
Wolgan Valley | Krakow | casablanca | Vienna

The 30-second concierge

andrew adams-smith, wolgan valley, australia


Tell us about the resort... We provide our guests with an unparalleled luxurious and authentic Australian experience. Only three hours from Sydney, we are on 4,000 acres of Australian bush adjacent to the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains area. The resorts 40 individual, luxurious suites have their own private swimming pools, separate living and sleeping areas, en-suite bathrooms and wide verandahs. Which is the best room to stay in? Each suite is exceptional for its own reasons. But, if pushed, Id say the Wolgan Suite is the most extraordinary. It has three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a full kitchen and a large indoor/outdoor pool. What activities do you have for families? We can tailor-make activities for families depending on what it is they enjoy doing. For kids we offer things like bush explorations, kite flying and archery; or the whole family can go mountain biking to explore the area themselves I can definitely recommend this. Mountain bikes are found on the verandah of every suite (kids sizes included). Which dishes in particular do you recommend I try while at the resort? We are surrounded by great produce and our menus change daily, so I would recommend a picnic on Platypus Creek Deck, among the towering eucalyptus trees as crystal clear water flows beneath you. Beautiful. www.wolganvalley.com

January 2011 Kanoo world traveller

73

POLAND

Visit KraKW

Polands second city is one of Europes most beautiful locations, a giddy mix of architectural influences, stunning sights and historical treasures. Paul James wraps up warm to enjoy its offerings.

eautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture abound in Polands royal capital its centre is listed as a World Heritage Site and the sense of history is very much pervasive as you explore this winter wonderland. To do this in style, take one of the numerous horse-drawn carriages that line up on ul Grodzka or at the north end of the citys market square, Rynek Glowny. This also means youll avoid having to try and navigate your way around the citys chaotic one-way system, which often claims the sanity of even Krakws oldest residents. This is also a city that begs to be discovered on foot: narrow streets shoot off like arteries and house an abundance of treasures, whether food, sights or sounds (youll find a thriving music scene that comes alive at night). But wherever you end up, youll be warmed by the welcome of Krakws friendly people.
74 Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

KraKw must-dos
This is a city full of architectural wonders so make sure your itinerary packs in the best of them. Start with a visit to Wawel Hill (1), The Royal Castle, which youll find in the south of the Old Town. Its housed the countrys kings and queens for centuries and, so legend has it, a fire-breathing dragon, too, who lived in a cave you can still see inside today.

cONcierge | KrAKOW
Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Central Krakw in winter; Lamb cutlets with grits; Cloth Hall; Horseman and carriage infront of the The Bonerowski Palace. This page from left: Wawel Hall; Cheese-stuffed dumplings at Miod Malina.

Cloth Hall (2) so named because it was once the centre of Ktakows textile trade is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture. Today it houses The National Gallery and its many works of priceless Polish art. Taking several hundred steps down to a cavernous hole may not sound like the best way to see a city, but take the plunge at Wieliczka Salt Mine (3) and youll be treated to some truly magical sights beneath the ground, carved out by the miners through the centuries. If youre after a quirky souvenir of communist-era Poland, check out Galleria Plakatu (4), where youll be able to pick up some wonderful (and cheap) posters. Another good place to shop is Plac Nowy (5), which plays host to a great street market on a Saturday morning. Here you can snag a great bargain on everything from bric-a-brac to antique treasures. FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS Though its only rung on important occasions, Krakws Zygmunt Bell is one of the worlds largest three times the weight and 350 the years of the more famous Big Ben. READ ALL ABOUT IT Krakw is home to Polands largest library, where some five million volumes are held. Grand Hotel (7) ul. Sawkowska 5/7, 31-014 www.grand.pl In the same part of town youll find this historic hotel. Its welcomed guests for more than a century and retains thanks to meticulous restoration much of its original features. Book a suite here and youll be immersed in period charm: antique furniture, 16th-century columns, ornate fireplaces and wood ceilings. Rooms from $118.

where to eat
Miod Malina (8) ul. Grodzka 40, 31-044 Krakw www.minodmalina.pl This place is something of a Krakw institution. Housed in a 14th-century building its full of rustic charm youll love the wood-burning stove and does hearty fare thats guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Try the cottage cheese-stuffed dumplings followed by the softas-butter ribs. Mains from $12.

Restaurant Wierzynek (9) ul. Rynek Gwny 15 31-008 Krakw www.wierzynek.com.pl Situated in the Old Town, this fine-dining restaurant has a long distinguished history that stretches back to 1364. Today its recognised as one of the countrys best, serving up traditional Polish recipes that diners adore. Try the delicate cutlets of lamb served with Krakw grits. Mains from $19.

A le ja

Krakw

Ba

szt

ow

P o w st

a n ia

where to stay
The Bonerowski Palace (6) ul. w. Jana 1, 31-013 www.palacbonerowski.pl Though its a tiny hotel it has just eight rooms this converted mansion is a stunning property that offers fine views of Old Market Square. Aside from plush rooms where wood and marble dominate the dcor, the hotel is also home to the longest chandelier in Europe. Perfect if you value style as much as comfort. Rooms from $655.
1
dzIElNICA V KROWOdRzA
A le dam ja A

7 6 9 2 4
dzIElNICA I STARE MIASTO

dzIElNICA II GRzEGRzKI

Wa rs z a w sk ie g o

Images: Grand Hotel; Shutterstock; Photolibrary.

WESOA

J z

efa

d ie

5 3
Wieliczka Salt Mine (8km)

t la

aM ic k ie w ic za

KraKw

KAzIMIERz

n
January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 75

MOROCCO

Visit CasaBLanCa

Once merely a place to pass through en route to more exotic cities, Casa has made a comeback and one thats been warmly welcomed, says Laura Binder.
CASA MUST-DOS
There are plenty of chances to pick up a piece of Morocco. Head to the Old Medina (1) for traditional tit bits, from tagines and pottery to leather goods and geegaws. Or, if you fancy something of a less touristy ilk, make for Fes (2) where you can bargain like a local for a hodgepodge of goods. Spend the day browsing Villa des Arts (3); a must-see Moroccan modern art gallery inside a 1930s Art Deco building. Dont leave Casablanca without seeing the Hassan II Mosque (4) the third largest mosque on the planet. Built to commemorate the former kings 60th birthday, it rises from above the ocean, preceded by the worlds tallest minaret which shines a laser beam to Mecca by night. Simply stunning. Take a stroll down the liveliest of promenades; Blvd de la Corniche (5) in the wealthy beachfront suburb An Diab, and chill out in a beach club or drink in the views and more at one of its many restaurants. Architectural-enthusiasts should make for Place 16 Novembre (6)and stand agog at some of the citys finest Art Deco buildings. Its awash with beautiful blends of French-colonial and traditional Moroccan style. Pack a hamper of Moroccan bites and spend an afternoon in Parc de la Ligue Arabe (7); Casas largest open space.

hile for many Casablanca conjures up thoughts of one of the most romantic movies of all time, starring Humphrey Bogart, the real city of that name is a far grittier place than the glamorous vision that graced the silver screen. This sprawling metropolis is awash with contraditions; of old and new living side by side. Its a contrast that comes from a rich history: once occupied by France during the 1900s, their 1956 withdrawal left a legacy of language (French is uttered by the youngest of Casablancais) and architecture. But, rapid expansion has since earned Casa the title of Moroccos most modern hotspot; hip, vibrant and rich in the arts. So, grab a French phrasebook, bustle your way through its steaming traffic, and behold a very cosmopolitan Casablanca.
Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

76

COnCieRge | CasablanCa

4
ule va rd de la C i orn

SPAIN

ch

CASABLANCA

Bo

an

Opposite page: Casablancas, Hassan II Mosque at dusk. This page, clockwise from top left: Ambassador Suite at the Hyatt Regency Casablanca; Arabic shoes in a local shop; Hassan II Mosque; Tanneries of Fes.

1
gRAND PORT De CASABLANCA ISFORT MAROC
Bo ule va rd

AFRICA

2
Police Du Port
n

BOuRgOgNe OueST

Bou lev ard Mo ulay Ab der rah ma

9
De Pa ris

Bo

v ule

a rd

fa A n

LOuSITANIA
i

Br

Has

san

ah

3
ar ul ev

Ro

Parc De Jeux Yasmina


II

CASABLANCA
10
gIRONDe

im

ud

11

Bo

where TO STAy
Le Royal Mansour Meridien (9) 27 Avenue De LArme Royale www.lemeridien-casa blanca.com Make reservations at this five-star haunt and youll find yourself immersed in a heady mix of terracotta and dark red hues that just scream classic Casablanca style. Its traditional take is mirrored throughout both its restaurants go to Le Douira to try high quality, local food and spa, too: you simply shouldnt leave without sampling a signature scrub incensed with Moroccan roses. Rooms from $160.

Hyatt Regency Casablanca (8) Place des Nations Unies www.casablanca.regency. hyatt.com If ocean views and streets dotted with palm trees top your destination wish-list, this high-end hotel will tick plenty of boxes. The grand building is home to 255 rooms, but if you want to go all-out during your stay, dont settle for anything less than a night in its impressive Ambassador Suite; not only will you find yourself in the chicest of French-style surrounds but youll enjoy a personal butler service, too. Rooms from $237.

SCREEN SIRENS Casablanca fans can get a taste of the movie by seeking out Ricks Caf a replica saloon where a pianist plays As Time Goes By nightly. MIA CASA Casablancas latinized name comes from a spanish word meaning white (blanca) and house (casa). but, many locals now nickname her Kaza.

where TO eAT
Ostra (10) Port de pche Seafood lovers should stride straight to this local landmark, located in Casablancas famous fishing port. The eatery was opened by an oyster farmer 7 years ago and has been serving up the freshest of fish fare ever since. Theres arguably no better spot to tuck into juicy seafood. Mains from $24.

Bou

le v

a rd

La Brasserie (11) Htel Golden Tulip Farah www.goldentulipfarah casablanca.com/dining Delight in creative French gastronomy at this elegant brasserie our tip is the calf Carpaccio with marmalade, citron vanille. The dcor is equally eye-catching, with a monochrome theme that oozes Old Hollywood glamour. Mains from $45.

Images: Shutterstock, Photolibrary, Hyatt Hotels.

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 77

Feeling excited about your holiday? Check through our list of the most popular Kanoo Travel offices, find one near you and head down or call up to turn your getaway dreams into reality...

Bahrain Abu Obeidah Avenue Wroad No. 302 Manama Tel. 17 576950 Air Canada/Austrian Airlines/Polish Olympic Airways/Sudan Airways/ Sas/Swiss Intl/Tunis Mahooz Tel. 17 828770 Air India Manama Tel. 17 220788 Airport Office Bahrain Tel. 17 321325 Al Moayd Tower Manama Tel. 17 220220 Awali Branch Sitrah Avenue Road No. 4522 Tel. 17 756487 British Airways Manama Tel. 17 220701 Egypt Air Manama Tel. 17 220747 Kanoo Holidays Mahooz Tel.17 828802 Kanoo Travel Refinery Tel. 17 755012 Lufthansa Mahooz Tel. 17 828763 Mahooz Tel. 17 828754 Qantas/Jetabout Manama Tel. 17220743 EGYPT Alexandria Booz Allen 1 Youssef El-Shazly Street Roushdy, Alexandria Tel. 002 03 5459265 Alexandria 14 May Str, Sayadlia

Building, Symoha Tel. 002 03 424 1050 Aswan Abtal El-Tahrir Street Corniche El-Nil Tel. 002 097 2306983 Cairo C/O Halliburton Overseas Ltd Kilometer No 10, Land No 30 Ein Sokhna Road North Kattamia, Cairo Tel. 002 02 27591690 Dr. Kamal Hussin Heliopolis, Cairo Tel. 002 02 26251307 El Areesh C/O Mfo Northern Sinai Tel. 002 068 3502868 Heliopolis Business Travel Centre 33 Nabil Elwakkad St Heliopolis, Cairo Tel. 002 02 4130375/6 Kasr El Nil 15 Kasr El Nil Street Down Town Tel. 002 02 25747991 Luxor Winter Palace Hotel Tel. 002 095 2378333 Nile Hilton Down Town, Cairo Tel. 002 02 25785001 C/O Schlumberger Zeiny Tower 25 Misr Helwan Road Maadi Tel. 002 02 7684700 Ext. 1014 C/O U.N.D.P 4th Floor, World Trade Center 1191 Cornich El Nil Tel. 002 02 25804491 1 Wahib Doss Str. Office No 9 Maadi Tel. 002 02 27513930 FrancE Bureau de Change Kanoo Printemps Dept. Store 64 Boulevard Haussmann

75009 Paris Tel. +33 1 4282 4181 Foreign Exchange 11 Rue Scribe Paris 75009 Tel. +33 1 5300 9897 Foreign Exchange 11 Cours de IIntendance Bordeaux 33000 Tel. +33 5 5600 6336 OMan Kanoo Travel LLC PO Box 75 114 Jibroo, Muscat Tel. +968 24700249 QaTar Kanoo Centre Ground Floor, C Ring Road Al Mansoora Area, Doha Tel +974 44016333 / +974 55997272 (24 hrs) Museum Street Corporate Centre Al Hithmi, Doha Tel. 448 3777 Old Al Salatta, Doha Tel. 441 3441 Ras Laffan Commercial Complex Ras Laffan Tel. 474 8772/4 Salam Tower West Bay Doha Tel. 483 7826/483 7297 SaUDi araBia WESTERN PROvINCE Kanoo Centre Medina Road, Jeddah Tel. 02 661 4950 Kanoo Travel Medinah Tel. 02 263 3040 Kanoo Travel Sharafiya Tel. 02 643 9426 Kanoo Travel Rabigh Tel. 02 423 2785

Kanoo Travel Taif Tel. 02 736 4211 Aboobacker Al Siddiq Street, Medina Tel. 04 823 9120 Air Canada Jeddah Tel. 02 263 2996, Ext. 190 Air India Jeddah Tel. 02 668 0303/669 6571 Albishar Commercial Centre King Abdulaziz Street Al Bahar, Yanbu Tel. 04 322 1087 Al Nawa Commercial Centre Al Sinnaiyat, Yanbu Tel. 04 321 3607 Bab Makkah Jeddah Tel. 02 644 9030 Bamaroof Centre Hail Street, Jeddah Tel. 02 653 0541 Gulf Air Jeddah Tel. 02 668 0303/669 Kenyan Airways Jeddah Tel.02 263 2959 Ext. 108 Khamis Abha Main Road Khamis Mushayat Tel. 07 222 3624 Philippine Airways Jeddah Tel. 02 263 2959 Ext. 100/122 Prince Sultan Street Gizan Tel. 07 317 4285 Singapore Airlines Jeddah Tel. 02 657 9898 Srilankan Airlines Jeddah Tel. 02 263 2959 Umalquara Street Hayfer

Makkah Tel. 02 544 7741 United Airlines Jeddah Tel. 02 263 3021/2959 Ext. 196/197 EASTERN PROvINCE Kanoo Building Corniche Road, Jubail Tel. 03 362 2340 Kanoo Holidays Retail Airline Centre, Khobar Tel. 03 882 2206/2601/2249 Kanoo Holidays Wholesale Airline Centre Khobar Tel. 03 8821626/1851/ 8820161 Kanoo Tower King Saud Street, Damman Tel. 03 8355642 / 802 Airport Office Dammam Tel. 03 883 2660/2660 Air India Khobar Tel. 03 882 2478 Air India Jubail Tel. 03 362 3454 Al Quds Street Qatif Tel. 03 851 5009 British Airways Khobar Tel. 03 882 2000 British Airways Dammam Tel. 03 835 5714 British Airways Jubail Tel. 03 362 1069 City Centre Al Mahoob Buidling Hufuf Tel. 03 586 3823 Dhahran Street Damman Tel. 03 833 7694

Gulf Air Khobar Tel. 03 896 8496/ 9393/8493 Gulf Air Dammam Tel.03 835 4194/4917/ 4952 Gulf Air Qatif Tel. 03 852 9384/ 854 5240 Gulf Air Rastanura Tel. 03 667 8041/7972 Gulf Air Hofuf Tel. 03 585 3358/ 4080/2252 Gulf Air Jubail Tel. 03 363 0982/84 Hertz Khobar Tel. 03 882 2005/5597 King Khalid Street Khobar Tel. 03 864 7471 Municipal Street Al Khafji Tel. 03 766 0045 Qantas Khobar Tel. 03 882 3711/2467 Srilankan Airlines Khobar Tel. 03 882 2789/2675/2792 United Airlines/Air Canada/Singapore Airlines/Swissair/ Austrian Airlines/Thai Airways Tel. 03 882 1518/2962/ 2602/03 882 4477/4442 47th Street Rahima Tel. 03 667 0388 CENTRAL PROvINCE Kanoo Tower King Abdul Aziz Road Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228

78

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

concierge | book your trip

win A two-night stAy At shAngri-lAs bAr Al jissAh


The perfect setting to enjoy the quintessential weekend break, there are three distinct hotels in one at this luxury Oman resort. Al Waha is the family-friendly zone, complete with a winding waterway and inflatables; Al Bandar, home to late-night lounges and fantastic restaurants, is ideal for couples; while the six-starred Al Husn suits those after something a little more private and dramatic. While here, you may get the chance to enjoy one of natures most glorious sights: that of female turtles hoisting themselves from the ocean to lay eggs on the golden sands. ThE PrizE We have a two-night stay in a deluxe sea-facing room at the resorts Al Bandar hotel, including breakfast at Al Tanoor Restaurant and two 40-minute treatments at CHI, The Spa. To have a chance of winning this wonderful prize, simply email your answer to the following question to easywin@hotmediapublishing.com before January 31st.

Q. What is the name of the spa at Shangri-Las Bar Al Jissah? a) Sensations, The Spa b) CHI, The Spa c) Waterfall, The Spa
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Prize must be claimed and used before June 2011.

Kanoo Travel Naseem Tel. 01 232 8519 Airport Road Hail Tel. 06 543 0430 Air India Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Air India Buraidah Tel. 06 324 6514/325 0888 Al Kubaih Street Buraidah Tel. 06 325 0888 Gulf Air Olaya, Riyadh Tel. 01 461 0589/462 4902 Gulf Air Hail Tel. 06 532 0280 Gulf Air Buraidah Tel. 06 324 6514/325 0888 King Faisal Foundation Al Khairia Complex Riyadh Tel. 01 463 4454 Main Street Al Khamseen Wadi Ad Dawasir Tel. 01 784 6500 Philippine Airlines Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 237/238

Qantas Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 288/305 Sharjah Street Hotat Bani Tamim, Al Hotah Tel. 01 555 0304 Silsilah Road Onaiza, Al Qassim Tel. 06 362 0080 Singapore Airlines Kanoo Tower Tel. 4734102/4734103 Srilankan Airlines Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 292/293 United Airlines/ Air Canada Kanoo Tower, Riyadh Tel. 01 477 2228 Ext. 289/290 Wazir Street Al Azizea Building, Riyadh Tel. 01 411 4780 UaE Kanoo Holidays Dubai Tel. 04 334 1444/315 6624 Kanoo Building Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street, Bur Dubai Tel. 04 507 2242 Kanoo Building Al Orouba Street, Sharjah Tel. 06 561 6058

Kanoo Travel American Express Hermitage Building Al Karama Tel. 04 334 9219 Kanoo Travel Corniche, Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 631 3900/631 8187 Airport Office Dubai Tel. 04 393 1963 Deira City Centre Dubai Tel. 04 294 1481 Dubai Internet City Building 12 Tel. 04 390 1992 Green Community Jebel Ali Road, Dubai Tel. 04 885 3321 Jebel Ali LOB 16, Ground Floor Jebel Ali Free Zone Tel. 04 881 5050 Karama Al Fathooi Centre, Dubai Tel. 04 334 1222 Marine Travel Services Dubai Tel. 04 335 1314 Najda Street Abu Dhabi Tel. 02 678 0400

UK Birmingham American Express Bank House 8 Cherry Street Tel. 0121 644 5514/ 0121 644 5560 Bournemouth American Express 95A Old Christchurch Road Tel. 07872 600528/ 01202 780 752 Brighton Amex House Implant American Express Ground Floor, Amex House Edward Street Tel. 01273 525 041/040 Bristol American Express 74 Queens Road Tel. 01179 065 107/105 Cardiff American Express 3 Queen Street Tel. 02920 649 305/ 02920 649 301 Coventry American Express 5 Cathedral Lanes Shopping Centre Tel. 02476 225511/ 07872 600 528 Croydon American Express 2-4 High Street Tel. 0208 256 0808/0805 Edinburgh American Express

69 George Street 0131 718 2508/2505 Essex Lakeside Bureau American Express Lakeside Shopping Centre West Thurrock Grays Tel. 01708 890 654 Glasgow American Express 66 Gordon Street Tel. 0141 225 29 05/08 Guildford American Express 38-40 High Street Tel. 01483 551 605/607 Leicester American Express 1 Horsefair Street Tel. 0116 242 18 05/08 London American Express 84 Kensington High Street Tel. 0207 795 6703 London American Express 78 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge Tel. 0207 7617 900/908 London American Express 1 Savoy Court, The Strand Tel. 0207 240 1521 London American Express Travel Office Cabot Square Canary Wharf Tel. 0207 888 4196

London Haymarket American Express 30 31 Haymarket Tel. 0207 4849 600/674 London Holborn Bureau American Express 156a Southampton Row Tel. 0207 837 4416 Manchester American Express 10-12 St Marys Gate Tel. 0161 833 7301 Milton Keynes American Express 670 Silbury Boulevard Tel. 01908 608 877 Nottingham American Express 2 victoria Street Tel. 0115 924 7701/05 Plymouth American Express 139 Armada Tel. 01752 502 702/707 Sheffield American Express 20 Charles Street Tel. 0114 263 9305/08 Southampton American Express 99 Above Bar Tel. 02380 716 805/808 York American Express 6 Stonegate Tel. 01904 676 505

January 2011 Kanoo World Traveller 79

concierge | austria

Suite dreamS
hotel imperial, vienna

80

Kanoo World Traveller January 2011

Image: Hotel Imperial, Vienna.

There are few more magnificently grandiose residences in Europe than this former home of the Prince of Wrttemberg. It became a hotel as far back as 1873 and has lost none of its jaw-dropping extravagance, which is none more so apparent than in its Royal Suite. And thats before youve even opened its padded double doors. To get to it, you climb a staircase bathed in light from sparkling crystal chandeliers that hang from high, ornately-carved ceilings. Once inside, youre hit with 160 square metres of absolute oppulence: silk upholstered walls, parquet floors, marble bathrooms, antiques galore and yet more of those chandeliers. We suggest you lay back on your fit-for-a-king bed, order a Viennese coffee from your personal butler, and drink in your stunning surrounds. www.hotelimperialvienna.com

The 2011 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is the ideal place for some family fun, with magicians, a Kung Fu show, a Michael Jackson Tribute band, a kids comedy show, concerts and more! Its your chance to share special moments at the rst race of the season! Got your pulse racing? Imagine being there.
Hurry up and buy your tickets before January 31st and get a 15% discount!

TICKETS: +973 17 450000 / BAHRAINGP.COM


TO BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS VISIT: GULFAIR.COM