Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 140

M AU R I T I U S

S EYC H E L L E S

Experience true luxury at our Ultimate collection of hotels.


Escape and live the total Resort experience at our Unique collection of resorts.
Begin the U-experience:
call +971 (0)4-443-9554, email: constancehotels@tca.me
or visit us at www.constancehotels.com

I N S P I R E D B Y PA S S I O N

M A L D I V E S

M A DAG A S C A R

Contents
SEPTEMBER 2014

ON THE COVER
18 | WHEELS OF TIME

As luxury rail journeys make a comeback,


Govind Dhar climbs aboard Rajasthans
iconic Palace on Wheels
28 | SHORT BREAK: BERLIN
The citys west side is reinventing itself as
the go-to spot for culture, luxury and a hint
of nostalgia, says Lollie Barr
60 | PARADISE LOST?

Cain Nunns explores whether Maldives


tourism is jeopardizing the islands future
and reveals how you can still vacation there
with a conscience
86 | RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE
A road trip to the mystical Rub al Khali
desert requires the right car and a
wardrobe to match, writes Rhea Saran
114 | NORTH STARS

Kate Maxwell lays out the shopping


guide to design heaven in Copenhagen,
Stockholm and Helsinki

86
Road trip
A stylish mini-break
awaits at this desert
hideaway

SEPTEMBER 2014

Dress by Reiss.
Shoes by McQ by
Alexander
McQueen
COND
NAST TRAVELLER
9

Contents
SEPTEMBER 2014

13 | EDITORS LETTER
14 | CONTRIBUTORS
16 | MASTHEAD
18 | AGENDA

Whats on in the world this month;


New York Fashion Week creator
Fern Mallis reveals insider spots in
the Big Apple
32 | WORD OF MOUTH

18

132 | TEA FOR TROUBLE

Leave the gowns at home, keep those


pinkies down and youre on the way
to becoming an afternoon tea pro, says
Laurel Munshower
134 | STOCKISTS
Where to shop
138 | ROOM WITH A VIEW

Hollywood Hills View King, The


Line Hotel, Los Angeles

Global travel news including a


fashion week city guide, how Beijing
hutongs are being revived and the new
smart suitcase. Plus, Ai Weiweis art
exhibition opens in Alcatraz

Rail trip
Exploring
Rajasthan in
style on the
iconic Palace
on Wheels

50
Stylish Paris stays
The French capitals
boutique gems

124

44 | HUNGRY FOR HUNGARY


Chef Lajos Br takes Anastasia
Sokolova on a culinary journey
around the rising gastronomic capital
of Budapest

Get the look


Accessories
and beauty for
this months
destinations

48 | WHERE TO STAY
What you need to know about Cheval
Blancs new Caribbean property; ve
offbeat yet stylish hotels in Paris
Right Bank; star of Devious Maids
Edy Ganem shares her top retreats;
historic and hip hotels in Madrid
65 | DEBATE

Are suborbital ights worth the cost?


Seehal Shah and Sophie Toh state
their case

60
Investigation
The eco-friendly
hotels protecting
the Maldives

66 | TRAVEL IN STYLE
Todays hotel gift shops have upped
their game with expertly curated
collections; exotic weekend bags
to match your wild destination;
fashion designer Rami Al Ali packs
for a Portuguese road trip; jewelled
timepieces inspired by the great
outdoors; glamorous accessories that
up the ante; Louis Vuitton trunks go
mini; ingredients from Madagascar
to Italy make for mysterious scents;
Bond No.9 founder Laurice Rahm
shares her New York haunts

78
Animal kingdom
Nature-inspired
watches for the
great outdoors

102 | BEWITCHED BY BHUTAN


With its soaring mountains, lush
valleys and unique culture, this
tiny kingdom is enchanting, says
Anupama Chopra

BUDAPEST

BHUTAN

MADRID

ST BARTHS
WIN

A VIL
VACA LA
TION
IN
MALDTHE
IVES

THE LAST WORD IN TRAVEL

131 | THE EXPERTS

The best short breaks for Eid al-Adha

10 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

10

Enter our contest and win a threenight stay at Coco Bodu Hithi,
Maldives

Where to shop
in Europes
design capitals

I SSN 2310- 3760

126 | WHERE ARE YOU?

Neighbourhood watch

WEST BERLINS
RENAISSANCE

STOCKHOLM,
HELSINKI,
COPENHAGEN

9 772310 376007

How to pack for this months


destinations, from Bhutan to Berlin

RAJASTHAN
BY RAIL

SEPTEMBER 2014 | AED 25 | BHD 2.5


KWD 2 | OMR 2.5 | QAR 25

124 | GET THE LOOK

Vacation with
a conscience
in the Maldives

Taking in the view


at Qasr Al Sarab

SAND
CASTLE

Road trip to the mystical


Rub al Khali desert

O N T HE C O V E R
Photographed by
Mazen Abusrour at Qasr
Al Sarab Desert Resort
by Anantara in the Rub
al Khali desert
Model: Chris Da Silveira at
Wilhelmina Models Dubai
Stylist: Lizzie Northcote
Hair & make-up: Manuel
Losada
On Chris: Dress by Dries Van
Noten. Sunglasses, necklace;
both by Chanel. Shoes by
Jimmy Choo

BVLGARI.COM

Introducing five magnificent new luxury Mansions for your holidays in the unique natural setting of the
Bulgari Resort with extraordinary views over the Indian Ocean.
D i s t i n c t i v e a n d s o p h i s t i c a t e d , T h e Mansions o f f e r t h e c o m f o r t s o f h o m e w i t h a c c e s s t o t h e e x c l u s i v e
customized service and luxury facilities of the Bulgari Resort.

Editors letter

My mother at Hay-on-Wye, Wales,


on my rst ever road trip; the
desert roads proved no match for
Sabina at the wheel of our Wraith

EDITOR'S PHOTO: SABINA PARKINSON

truth in
travel
This is our
promise to the
reader to be
an essential
source of
honest opinion
and must-have
information.
You can trust
Cond Nast
Traveller to
give you the
unbiased
inside track,
with integrity
and authority.

Theres something enduringly appealing


about road trips. Ever since the modern
automobile has existed, people have set off for
the open road with to misquote writer Jack
Kerouac a wheel in hand and four on the
road. An entire literary subgenre is dedicated
to the road trip, with writers from Mark Twain
to Bill Bryson capturing the romance of it
all. There perhaps isnt a more intimate way
to discover a region than to take the small
roads, stop when the urge strikes, interact
with locals, sample the culture, stumble on to
discoveries that guide books, maps and now
GPS systems may have overlooked. Road
trips have an element of the unpredictable:
In a world where knowledge is gradually
eroding our sense of mystery, on the ground
spontaneity can revive a sense of adventure.
I rst cottoned on to the pleasures of
a road trip at nine years old, on a motherdaughter holiday in the Welsh countryside
one summer. Driving down country roads,
we discovered charming B&Bs where wed
stop for the night before hitting the tarmac
in search of new experiences: In Llandudno
we detoured down the Rabbit Hole, in the
town where Alice Liddell the girl who
inspired Alices Adventures In Wonderland used
to summer; we paused to browse books in
Hay-on-Wye, leaving money at the honesty
bookshop in return for well-loved tomes; we
took in the incredible vistas at Snowdonia
National Park, where people hike the trails,
lling their lungs full of fresh air. The best
part, though, was being in the car, with the

stereo on, wind


i d iin our h
hair,
i llaughing
hi as we
paused at sheep crossings. One such afternoon,
armed with the rare treat of a Coke in my hand,
I declared, This is the life.
It was a rather different trip from the one I
took a few weeks ago, alongside CNTs intrepid
art director-slash-road warrior Sabina Parkinson.
As we cruised down a desert highway in a
metallic blue Rolls-Royce Wraith as you do
setting course for the Liwa oasis, we gured
this would be the least unpredictable of any
road trips wed taken. After all, the drive wasnt
overly long three and a half hours and the
topography not overly exciting straight roads
anked by dunes. That is, until we had to
take the Rolls off-road across the sand. On an
incline. (More on how the car fared in our cover
story, p 86.) The element of surprise, what
would a journey be without it?
There were some pleasant surprises
during writer Govind Dhars week-long
sojourn aboard Rajasthans storied luxury
train Palace On Wheels (p 18). If theres a
genre of travel literature that rivals that of
road trips, it would be rail travel. Talk about
romance and mystery and intrigue.
Perhaps one reason why road trips have
endured, and luxe train expeditions are getting
a second wind, is that they force us to slow
down, be more aware of the now. Its a good
metaphor for life: Its not just about where
youre going but how youre getting there.
If I were you, Id take my time.
RHEA SARAN Editor in Chief

Get updates from Cond Nast Traveller Middle East on Facebook and on Twitter @CNT_MiddleEast

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 13

Contributors
Govind Dhar

Floto+Warner

Lollie Barr

Cain Nunns

Manuel Losada

BASED IN:
New Delhi, India
WROTE:
Wheels of time, p 18

BASED IN:
Brooklyn, New York
PHOTOGRAPHED:
North stars, p 114

BASED IN:
Berlin, Germany
WROTE:
Short break: Berlin, p 28

BASED IN:
Taipei, Taiwan
WROTE:
Paradise lost?, p 60

BASED IN:
Dubai, UAE
HAIR & MAKE-UP:
Ride on the wild side, p 86

Now a travel and food writer,


Dhar was formerly editor
of Robb Report in India. He
has written for the BBC,
the Wall Street Journal,
Rolling Stone, Vogue and GQ
on everything from street
art and lm to Glastonbury.
These days, the father of
two is dedicated to the very
challenging task of tastetesting spas, gastronomic
meccas and resorts. Born in
Sharjah, he is constantly on
the move, having lived in
England and India, and is
now relocating to Sri Lanka.

Floto grew up in a small


town in the Nevada desert
where he was rst captivated
by the possibilities of
describing expansive space.
Warner was raised in upstate
New York, near Albany,
where her early fascination
with architecture was
inspired by roller skating on
the marble concourse of the
futuristic Empire State Plaza.
Floto+Warner began working
together at Rochester
Institute of Technology,
where Warner completed her
BFA in photography in 2002.

Barr came to Berlin to


write a travel feature called
48 Hours In Berlin, and
48 months later shes still
there. An international
freelance journalist and twice
published novelist, she has
contributed to Elle, Virgins
Voyeur, Cosmopolitan and The
Sunday Telegraph among
other publications. Her
features cover travel, health,
fashion and real life.
Barrs third novel, The Nine
Months Three Weeks & Five
Days That I Was Famous, is
due out in October.

Nunns is a New Zealand


journalist who like almost
half of the Kiwi men his
age decided to build his life
beyond the pristine shores
of his homeland, and has
lived and worked in Asia
for 15 years. Hes fascinated
by the human impact of
the continents developing,
vibrant and often booming
transitional economies. His
work has appeared in the
New York Times, TIME, the
Guardian, the Wall Street
Journal and Sports Illustrated to
name a few titles.

Originally born in Stuttgart,


Germany, Losada is a Spanish
hair and make-up artist who
regularly collaborates on
fashion shoots for clients
like Chanel, Louis Vuitton
and Gucci, and magazines
including Vogue India, Elle
India and Marie Claire. His
portfolio includes work with
celebrities like Lily Allen,
Carlyne Cerf du Dudzeele
and HRH Princess Al
Ameera Al-Taweel of Saudi
Arabia, and fashion shows
including Chanel Cruise
2014/15 in Dubai.

The craziest moment of


the rail trip
One guest blurted out
that his mother had been
found murdered on the
train she sauntered in,
alive, moments later.

Shooting in Scandinavia,
we most enjoyed
A high-speed tour of the
Finnish coast in Helsinki,
ying at 48 knots over
the waters surface on a
bracing Sunday morning.

Writing this West Berlin


piece revealed
I got to discover an
entirely different world
steeped in cultural
history. It also made for
excellent star-spotting.

While investigating in
the Maldives, I met
People committed to
doing the right thing for
an altruistic cause that
has broader implications
than just themselves.

My favourite part of the


cover shoot was
Watching the sun set
against a backdrop of sand
dunes and experiencing a
luxury resort in the middle
of the desert.

What item can you not travel without?


My stencils and spray
paint cans: You dont
really believe Banksy
gets around to so many
places all by himself, do
you? In seriousness, it
used to be that a guide
book was essential while
travelling until the
advent of the iPad with
its incredible expanse
of information.

For us, travelling is


all about getting lost
in the place you are
exploring. To nd your
way out, a map is
the only complete
necessity. Otherwise,
we only bring what
we absolutely need: a
toothbrush, guide book,
swimsuit and, of course,
a camera.

14 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

I always travel with my


cosy lilac pashmina,
which I bought 20 years
ago in India. When I
pull it out of the drawer,
I know adventure
beckons. There are
stories woven into its
fabric and I have been
known to sleep on longdistance ights with it
draped over my head.

My mind. Its a terrible


thing to lose at the
best of times more so
when you step outside
the gilded comfort
of your resort. In less
developed spots, the
digital age often gets
stripped back. At those
times, its all about
people, connections and
building relationships."

I can't travel without La


Prairie Anti-Aging Stress
Cream, which revitalises
my complexion while
shooting in the early
hours and late at night.
And to bring all of my
creativity out I need
to be surrounded by
music, so I always travel
with my Bose wireless
mobile speaker.

A word from
our staff

WHAT'S
ON YOUR
HOLIDAY
PLAYLIST?
In the USA: The Cond Nast Publications Inc.
Chairman S.I. Newhouse, Jr.
CEO Charles H. Townsend
President Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr.
Editorial Director Thomas J. Wallace
Artistic Director Anna Wintour

ARAB PUBLISHING PARTNERS INC


PO Box 502547, Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4 444 3500 Fax: +971 4 444 3555
EDITORIAL
Editor in Chief Rhea Saran
Art Director Sabina Parkinson
Deputy Editor Jenny King
Picture Editor Katie Silcox
Features Assistant Laurel Munshower
condenasttraveller@appgulf.com
CONTRIBUTORS
Esther Quek
Martin Westlake
Dan Kullberg
Mazen Abusrour
Pascal Chevallier

I like to listen
to something chilled
but upbeat like Am I
Wrong by Nico and Vinz,
which they describe as
pop meets afrobeat.

KATIE SILCOX

MANAGEMENT
Managing Director Ali Akawi
Deputy Managing Director Sue Holt
Deputy Managing Director,
Women's Lifestyle & Consumer Digital Alia Fawad
Group Commercial Director
Vidhya Thiagarajan

In other countries: Cond Nast International Ltd.


Chairman & Chief Executive Jonathan Newhouse
President Nicholas Coleridge
Vice Presidents Giampaolo Grandi, James Woolhouse
& Moritz von Laffert
President, Asia-Pacic James Woolhouse
President, New Markets Carol Cornuau
Director of Licenses, New Markets Natascha von Laffert
President & Editorial Director, Brand Development Karina Dobrotvorskaya
Vice President & Senior Editor, Brand Development Anna Harvey
Director of Planning Jason Miles
Director of Talent Thomas Bucaille
Director of Acquisitions and Investments: Moritz von Laffert
Global: Cond Nast E-commerce Division
President Franck Zayan

The Cond Nast Group of Magazines includes:


US
Vogue, Architectural Digest, Glamour, Brides, Self, GQ, Vanity Fair, Bon Apptit, CN Traveler, Allure,
Wired, Lucky, Teen Vogue, The New Yorker, W, Details, Golf Digest, Golf World
UK
Vogue, House & Garden, Brides & Setting Up Home, Tatler, The World of Interiors, GQ, Vanity Fair,
Fall for you by
ADVERTISING
CN
Traveller,
Glamour,
Cond
Nast
Johansens, GQ Style, Love, Wired
Kings of Tomorrow is
Commercial Director
France
my summer track
Sandra Yeghiazarian
Vogue, Vogue Hommes International, AD, Glamour,
+971 4 444 3505
I played it constantly
Vogue Collections, GQ, AD Collector, Vanity Fair, Vogue Travel in France, GQ Le Manuel du Style
sandra@appgulf.com
while travelling around
Italy
Regional Business Development Manager
Thailand in July.
Vogue, LUomo Vogue, Vogue Bambini, Glamour, Vogue Gioiello, Vogue Sposa, AD,
Guillaume Massey
CN Traveller, GQ, Vanity Fair, GQ Style, Wired, Vogue Accessory, Myself, La Cucina Italiana
+971 4 444 3517
E MI LY
Germany
guillaume.massey@appgulf.com
DONOVA N
Vogue, GQ, AD, Glamour, GQ Style, Myself, Wired
Senior Advertising Manager Ammar Riyal
Spain
+971 4 444 3506
Vogue, GQ, Vogue Novias, Vogue Nios, Sposabella, CN Traveler, Vogue Colecciones,
ammar.riyal@appgulf.com
Vogue Belleza, Glamour, Sposabella Portugal, AD, Vanity Fair
US Advertising Manager Alessandro Cremona
Japan
Asia Sales Representative Kim Kenchington
Vogue, GQ, Vogue Girl, Wired, Vogue Wedding
Taiwan
PHOTOGRAPHY
Vogue, GQ
Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn
Russia
Senior Photographers Efraim Evidor, Rajesh Raghav
Vogue, GQ, AD, Glamour, GQ Style, Tatler, CN Traveller, Allure
Staff Photographers Shruti Jagdeesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo,
Mexico and Latin America
Verko Ignjatovic, Lester Apuntar, Kate Lewis, Danny Allison
Vogue Mexico and Latin America, Glamour Mexico and Latin America, AD Mexico,
GQ Mexico and Latin America
Pancharatna Kriti
India
PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION
ve gems a set of
Vogue, GQ, CN Traveller, AD
Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith
ve songs composed by
Production Manager Denny Kollannoor
the 18th-century Indian
Published under Joint Venture:
Production Coordinator Sajana Perera
Brazil
composer Thyagaraja.
Image Editor Nikhil Asok
Published by Edies Globo Cond Nast S.A. Vogue, Casa Vogue, GQ, Glamour, GQ Style
Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami
Spain

GROUP
CEO Walid Akawi
Managing Director Neil Davies
Chairman Andrew Neil
Managing Director Robert Seran
CFO Toby Jay Spencer-Davies
Board of Directors
KM Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Rob Corder, Mary Seran

Published under licence from Cond Nast by Arab Publishing Partners Inc.
PO Box 3444, Road Town, BVI
Copyright Cond Nast (2014)
The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained
in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication
are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice
before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general
use and may not be appropriate for the readers particular circumstances. The ownership
of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents
thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form
without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted
for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.
PRINTED BY EMIRATES PRINTING PRESS L.L.C, UAE

Published by Ediciones Conelpa, S.L. - S Moda


Published under License:
Australia
Published by NewsLifeMedia - Vogue, Vogue Living, GQ
Bulgaria
Published by S Media Team Ltd. - Glamour
China
Published under copyright cooperation by China Pictorial - Vogue, Vogue Collections
Published by IDG - Modern Bride
Published under copyright cooperation by Women of China - Self, AD, CN Traveler
Published under copyright cooperation by China News Service - GQ, GQ Style
Czech Republic and Slovakia
Published by CZ s.r.o La Cucina Italiana
Germany
Published by Piranha Media GmbH La Cucina Italiana
Hungary
Published by Axel Springer-Budapest Kiadi Kft. - Glamour
Korea
Published by Doosan Magazine - Vogue, GQ, Vogue Girl, Allure, W, GQ Style
Middle East
Published by Arab Publishing Partners Inc CN Traveller
Poland
Published by Burda International Polska - Glamour
Portugal
Published by Edirevistas Sociedade de Publicaes, S.A.
Vogue, GQ
Romania
Published by Mediafax Group - S.A. - Glamour, GQ
South Africa
Published by Cond Nast Independent Magazines (Pty) Ltd.
House & Garden, GQ, Glamour, House & Garden Gourmet, GQ Style
The Netherlands
Published by G + J Nederland - Glamour, Vogue
Published by F&L Publishing Group B.V. La Cucina Italiana
Thailand
Published by Serendipity Media Co. Ltd. - Vogue
Turkey
Published by Dogus
Media Group - Vogue, GQ

Published by MC Basim Yayin Reklam Hizmetleri Tic. LTD La Cucina Italiana


Ukraine
Published by Publishing House UMH LLC. - Vogue

P R AVE E N N AI R

MARKETING & CIRCULATION


Circulation Manager Vanessa Deo
Retail Marketing Manager Praveen Nair
Marketing & Events Manager Emily Donovan

SLUG

The Palace on
Wheels transports
guests through
Rajasthan and
through time
18 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

SLUG

AGENDA

RAJASTHAN BY RAIL CALENDAR

FERN MALLIS BERLIN

WHEELS
OF TIME
With a resurgence of interest
in railway journeys new
luxury train routes have been
popping up around the world
Govind Dhar climbs aboard
Rajasthans storied Palace on
Wheels to suss out the iconic
trains continued relevance

PHOTO: DINODIA

o much has been made of Indias


fabled Palace on Wheels train journey
that its hard to arrive at Safdarjung
train station in Delhi expecting anything less
than a scene out of EM Forsters A Passage To
India. For over three decades, this train has
come to represent a charmingly old-world
view of a bygone India, where maharajas and
viceroys traversed the hot and dusty country
in starched nery amid starchier ceremony.
While the moniker has survived, the train
itself has been refurbished and transformed
twice since it set off in 1982. The service
whips through eight cities in just over a week
taking in the fort- and history-steeped former
kingdoms of Rajasthan, before a pit stop in
Agra, home to the fabled Taj Mahal. As I
embark on this journey, now in its 32nd year,
Im curious to see whether the train of Indias
maharajas stands up to the tales of its legend.
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 19

Ranthambore
National Park is one
of India's best places
to spot a tiger

The train's bar lounge


features period
furniture

Delhi-Jaipur
A Rajasthani musical ensemble plays as I
enter a reception area at Safdarjung station,
a prelude to the folded hands and marigold
garlands that greet me. My soon-to-be fellow
travellers and I are marked with vermillion on
the forehead for good luck. Cream-coloured
carriages stamped with the maroon insignias of
former princely and royal states of Rajputana
(the name given to these dependencies during
the British Raj) stretch away in each direction.
Theres soft, expectant chatter among the
passengers, for now still unfamiliar with each
other, as they speak in hushed Italian, French
and Afrikaans with their co-travellers.
I am assigned a room on the Dungarpur
carriage and climb aboard to nd interiors
of varnished teak wood with oral
embellishments and arabesques in pastel
pinks, blues and dull gold. My cabin is just-so;
compact but not stiing, with a gym-style
cupboard for clothes and an attached toilet and
shower. Theres a ringer to call an attendant
and an antique knob that controls the piped
music in the room. Theres an overwhelming
sense of having boarded a colonial gymkhanaon-wheels but it is far more comfortable.
By 6.30pm we are pulling out of Safdarjung,
setting course for the Pink City of Jaipur, Delhi
receding behind our silk-shrouded windows.
DAY 2

Jaipur
In its mercantile fervour, Jaipur has in recent
times fallen prey to poor air quality, angry
20 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

My cabin is just-so;
compact but not stiing.
Theres a ringer to call an
attendant and an antique
knob that controls the
piped music in the room

DAY 1

noise and trafc. Which is why Im pleasantly


surprised by the peace and tranquillity at a
blanched Birla Temple in the heart of the
city. Nestled at the foot of the 18th-century
Moti Dungri fort, the white temple is
positively iridescent against a pastel-blue
sky. The same sense of quiet prevails in the
19th-century Albert Hall Museum (0091-141257 0099, alberthalljaipur.gov.in), a wonderfully
colonial-yet-traditional structure, planted in
the midst of procession-friendly roads and
gardens. Marble-colonnaded porches and
overhanging, pastry-like balconies (known
as jharokhas) adorn an ochre brick exterior.
The museum is lled with European pottery,
ceramics, weapons and even ancient Egyptian
artefacts, but its the collection of Indian
statuary and manuscripts depicting Hindu
deities and goddesses that is exceptional.
Its an example of a melding of the countrys
diverse cultures: The hand-painted Sanskrit

The train's carriages


are named after
former royal states

Palace of The
Winds in the Pink
City of Jaipur

RAIL TRIP
Ganesh Pol, the rst
structure built at the
16th-century Amber
Fort, leads to the
royal chambers

PHOTOS: PHILIP LEE HARVEY, GOVIND DHAR, GETTY IMAGES

A lone autist at
Mehrangarh Fort

calligraphy manuscripts are in the


miniature-painting style brought to India
from Central Asia by its Mughal rulers in
the 16th century.
After lunch, our group nds itself at the
Lego-like world of Sawai Jai Singhs Jantar
Mantar (jantarmantar.org), an 18th-century
outdoor space housing 14 giant instruments
designed to measure cosmological events.
Then on to a slow, hot elephant ride to the
16th-century Amber Fort (0091-141-253
0293, amberfort.org), overlooking a lake and
a beautifully symmetric oating garden.
The mirrored halls and intricately carved
walls, with its ramparts and outlook points,
are breathtaking and are another
demonstration of the Rajput afnity for
Mughal architectural style.
By 6.30pm, weve covered most of
Jaipurs highlights and even bargain-shopped
in a warehouse stuffed full of earth-toned
linens, handicrafts, clothes and rugs. Were
understandably exhausted but, after a quick
break to refresh, nd the energy to reconvene
in the Maharani compartment for a racecourse dinner steaming bowls of Indian
and Continental dishes that are ladled on to
our plates at breakneck speed. Postprandial
libation digested, we bid each other goodnight
and settle in for what weve been warned
might be a rough nights sleep. The experts
say that adjusting to sleeping in a train can
be hard at rst but by the time we return
home to our motionless beds, we may
need to be rocked like babies before we
can fall asleep again.

DAY 3

Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur
It is 5.30am and most of us are still swimming
out of dream states as we pile into two
open-top trucks, hoping to spot tigers
before breakfast. Cold air whips past as
we plunge into the grey-green blur of city
and forest thats yet to be touched by the
sun. Ranthambore National Park (0091120-405 2699, ranthamborenationalpark.
com) in Sawai Madhopur is just beginning
to echo with birdsong as we pass its craggy
rocks and parched, sandy terrain. Peacocks
call out from within dreadlocked Banyan
trees, apparently perfectly used to morning
audiences with strangers. Black-and-white
faced langurs forage through the trees, and
herds of deer, chital and buck saunter past. We
brake suddenly, and as our coughing diesel
engine quiets, we soak in the mesmeric and
eerie silence in the middle of this former
royal hunting ground. Soon, whoops and
caws and natters sail through the scrub: a
signal that a tiger could be close. Everyone
is palpably anxious about a sighting. Tigers
once numbered 50,000 in India, but thanks to
poor conservation policies and poaching, that
gure is now closer to 1,500. We are almost
resigned to leaving without a sighting until
the eleventh hour. Several trucks of excited
camera-slingers have convened at one spot
in the forest. We jostle our way through
and nally catch glimpses of a striped torso
undulating between the trees. The moment is
so brief that few capture it on camera but it is
utterly exhilarating.

Street stalls at the


Jaisalmer Fort sell
colourful turbans,
embroidered bags
and umbrellas

Back on the train, we are treated to a


bubbly breakfast with cake as our natty
general manager has discovered that its a
passengers birthday. Our rail-faring group
is on rst-name terms now, and so between
bites of scrambled eggs on toast and pot-loads
of masala chai, we exchange stories from our
respective nooks of the world.
It is well into the afternoon when we
arrive at Chittorgarh and are swallowed by
its forts many gates. The ancient complex is
hauntingly quiet. Unlike the royals of Jaipur
who fraternised with the Mughals, the Sisodia
rulers of Chittor were at cataclysmic odds with
those descendants of Genghis Khan. Our visit
is peppered with stories of blood-curdling
treachery and blind valour, devastating
beauties and Pyrrhic battles for supremacy
between the tribes. At Meera Temple,
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 21

The walls and


battlements of the
Chittorgarh Fort
offer views of the
town below

monkeys scurry across the scarred faades and


outcrops of dancing deities and voluptuous
gurines embedded deep in the stone. The
temple glows a sandy orange at sunset and
offers views far across the battlements. A
sound and light show in the palace grounds
recreates the horrors of history as well as
the poetry and music of bygone kings and
warriors, who sat where we sit now.
DAY 4

Chittorgarh-Udaipur

DAY 5

Udaipur-Jaisalmer
As we enter Jaisalmer, weve clocked over
1,000km so far and itted between several
centuries of Indian history. The Golden City
was founded in 1156 and houses Jaisalmer
Fort, one of the worlds largest, a curvy
sandstone behemoth stretching across the
breadth of a tall plateau, almost 100 metres
high. A cornerstone of historic trade routes
with Persia and Arabia, Jaisalmer retains the
22 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

In the late afternoon I steal


time for a massage in the
trains spa carriage. Within
minutes I am fast asleep,
oblivious to the desert
whipping past my window

Camel riding in the


Thar Desert near
Jaisalmer

As we drive around Udaipurs famous Lake


Pichola, with its oating hotels and stupefying
City Palace, one of our group is moved to ask
if there are apartments for sale here. The
Lake City is named after Udai Singh, a
Sisodia prince whose foster mother, Panna
Dhai, saved him while sacricing her own
son from an assassination attempt in 1536
by his distant cousin and court-appointed
Regent, Banbir.
Our tour today takes us through a
traditional arts and crafts centre, an 18thcentury lotus-pond and fountain-festooned
garden called Saheliyon-ki-Bari (Courtyard
of the Maidens), the incredible City Palace
(0091-294-241 9021) and a monstrous
collection of Osler crystal in Fateh Prakash
Palace (0091-294-252 8016). The City Palace,
with its scalloped archways, narrow corridors
and palaces within palaces, holds unforgettable
wonders. Theres armour and weapons of
Maharana Pratap Singh, a Rajput warrior that
every school-going Indian child has heard of;
a stunning fourth oor courtyard garden; and
inner chambers embellished in stained glass
and intricate mirrorwork that reminded me of
an Arabian Nights illustration.
In the late afternoon I steal time for a
quick massage in the trains spa carriage
a rst for me. Dispensing with the overly
cautious questions about allergies or essential
oil preferences, I am laid at and marinated
rmly in olive oil by a pleasant young chap
same-sex masseuses on this train for a good
40 minutes. The spa dcor is fairly bare bones,
but the masseuse is so competent that within
minutes I am fast asleep, oblivious to the
desert whipping past my window.

hubbub and commotion associated with


traders, who are huddled into alleyways
and courtyards along the cobbled slopes.
Rajasthani marionettes, pointy-toed juttis
(traditional shoes), gems and piles of camel
leather bags are readily available amid the
beautiful Jain temples, making this a shoppers
dream. But what makes this ancient city
truly special is its architecture, particularly
the famous havelis, mansions belonging to
prosperous traders adorned with such rich
ligree work on the sandstone exteriors that
a law had to be passed banning the sale of
balconies in foreign markets. This law seems
less absurd once youve witnessed the carvings
and screens, which are so detailed that the
jewellery and clothes of even the most opulent
of Indian brides might fail to compete.
Right before sunset, we mount camels in
pairs and set off into the dunes of the Thar
Desert, which covers much of Rajasthan.
As we ride, our minders joke that our steeds
might race us toward the border with Pakistan

Embroidered juttis
are sold widely in
street stalls around
Rajasthan

RAIL TRIP
Each saloon
on the train
has a personal
attendant

The Jaswant Thada


mausoleum is made of
intricately carved sheets of
marble and houses tombs
of former Jodhpur rulers

The Taj Lake Palace


in Udaipur is one of
the country's most
romantic hotels

Palace on Wheels
guests are greeted
by the sound of
musicians at
every station

if we arent careful. On returning, we cool


off with a swim at the nearby Suryagarh
(doubles from AED 360; 0091-299-226 9269,
suryagarh.com), a hotel with a beautiful,
modern twist on the havelis and forts we have
already seen. There is live Rajasthani folksinging that evening, evoking the spirit
of qawwali and Su devotional music. Under
a carpet of dense black night, we dance and
clap with abandon in the courtyard, feeling
not unlike the kings we have been hearing
so much about.
DAY 6

PHOTOS: GOVIND DHAR

Jaisalmer-Jodhpur
Another day, another fort, but Jodhpurs
city-dwarng Mehrangarh Fort (0091-291254 8790, mehrangarh.org), built on a plateau
122 metres high in 1459 by Rao Jodha of the
Rathore dynasty, houses one of the best-kept
museums in the state, not to mention some
of the most colourfully restored inner rooms
and chambers weve seen on this trip. In one
room is a collection of beaten-silver, brocaded

and wood-enamelled palanquins that the


Blue Citys royals once travelled in, while
others house weaponry and armour,
brocaded carpets and royal garments. The
fort also plays host to a collection of intricate
water colours depicting the life and times
of its most celebrated kings. While many
of these capture seasonal festivals and
religious events during the Rathore dynasty,
the paintings that catch my attention are
more quizzical, such as one that depicts
Maharaja Bakhat Singh watching elephants
wreaking havoc. A few oors up, we walk
out on to a balcony of scalloped archways.
In the middle-distance we can see the
famous clusters of blue houses that give
the city its nickname.
As it turns out, I have to abandon my
journey as a modern-day locomotive royal
at this port instead of continuing on to
Bharatpur and Agra, the nal legs of the
tour but Ive already seen the Taj Mahal.
I may have boarded the train as a mild sceptic
but at journeys end I nd myself going home

with more friends than acquaintances and


having walked in the footsteps of royalty
through the corridors of history. The
train and its exceptional staff managed to
time-transport me to the sepia-tinted world
of turbaned attendants and silver-service
whimsy. If thats not the mark of a royal
journey, I can think of little else that is.

NEED TO KNOW
A journey on the Palace on Wheels
(palaceonwheels.net) starts from AED 11,100
per person based on double occupancy.
The price is for a seven-night railway tour
including travel, accommodation, meals
and sightseeing tours and entrance fees for
monuments as specied in the itinerary.

GETTING THERE
Jet Airways (jetairways.com), Emirates
(emirates.com), Etihad (etihad.com) and
Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) y
direct to New Delhi

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 23

A R A BI A N T R AV E L NE W S A P P

Now available
Free

FOR A
LIMITED
PERIOD

E
L
D
N
I
K
R
O
D
I
O
R
ND
A
,
D
A
P
I
R
U
O
Y
N
O
AY
DOWNLOAD IT TOD

CALENDAR

SEPTEMBER
An immense display
of tulips, which is
oodlit at night, is
one of the annual
highlights at Floriade

What in the world is happening this month

WORDS: LAUREL MUNSHOWER; PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


PHOTOGRAPH: XXXXXXXXX WORDS BY: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

5-7

WHERE Brussels, Belgium


WHAT The Knighthood of the Brewers
Mash staff and Belgian Brewers host the
16th edition of the Belgian Beer Weekend
in the Grand-Place of Brussels, paying
homage to the national drink through
tastings, a procession of historic brewery
carts and wagons, and a parade.
HOW Hop on the new Emirates (emirates.
com) ight from Dubai to Brussels,
beginning service from September 5

WHERE Venice, Italy


WHAT An annual event on the citys
calendar for hundreds of years, Regata
Storicas 16th-century-style boats take
to the Grand Canal, manned by rowers
in period costumes, parading their way
through the waterways with the Doge,
the Doges wife and high-ranking
Venetian ofcials in tow.
HOW Get a room with a view in the Gritti
Palace from where you can watch the
gondolas race past.
Doubles from AED 5,525; 0039-041-79 4611,
thegrittipalace.com

10

13-12

12-14

23

WHERE Dubai, UAE


WHAT Lady Gaga comes to town with
artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball, a concert sure
to include lots of glam costume changes,
uorescent colours and glitter while the
provocative pop star performs songs from
her newest album, as well as older hits like
Poker Face and Bad Romance.
HOW With views over the concert grounds
at Meydan Racecourse, stop by Meydan
Hotels Millennium Lounge before the
spectacle begins.
To book a table, call 00971-4-381 3111

WHERE Shanghai, China


WHAT Global culture vultures, collectors
and gallerists take in Asian contemporary
art at SH Contemporary, a fair dedicated
to developing the regional art market that
includes not only exhibitions but talks,
special on-site installations and a platform
for emerging artists.
HOW Opt for an art tour through M50s
galleries to discover the countrys avantgarde art scene.
Tours from AED 185 per person; viator.com

October

WHERE Canberra, Australia


WHAT This fall, celebrate spring Down
Under at Floriade, where one million
owers blooming in Commonwealth Park
attract more than 400,000 visitors who
can check out horticultural workshops,
chef demonstrations in the Gourmet
Garden, a 35m Ferris wheel and a night
fest with live music.
HOW Qantas (qantas.com.au) ies to
Canberra via Perth from Dubai, and Etihad
(etihad.com) ies via Melbourne or Sydney
from Abu Dhabi.

WHERE Tinum, Mexico


WHAT Keep your eyes on the terraces of
Chichn Itzs Temple of Kukulcn, or El
Castillo, during the autumn equinox when
light and shadow mingle to create the
illusion of a serpent slithering down the
northern staircase in the late afternoon.
HOW With more Mayan ruins nearby, relax
on Tulums beaches at Coqui Coqui, a twohour, 30 minute drive away.
Doubles from AED 1,250; 0052-1-984-168
1602, coquicoqui.com
AUGUST 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 25

Q&A
IN CONVERSATION WITH

FERN MALLIS
The creator of New York Fashion Week reveals
insider spots in the Big Apple and which places
top her list of most stylish cities

INTERVIEW: JENNY KING; PHOTOS: STEVE EICHNER, GETTY IMAGES, CORBIS

What are your go-to eateries during New


York Fashion Week?
Since the shows are less centralized now,
you never know where youre going to wind
up. If Im uptown at a show, Ill go to dinner
at The Mark by celebrity chef Jean-Georges
Vongerichten. Da Silvano is my downtown
pick, ABC Kitchen is great if youre down
near the Armory and The Standard Grill is
my favourite restaurant in the Meatpacking
District. I always know people at these
places and get taken care of, plus the food
is good and the crowd cool.
What are some spots you frequent the
rest of the year?
I love Bar Nan, a South American- and
French-inspired cocktail bar. Theres a bar,
The Skylark, in the Garment District on the
top oor of a building with great views of
the city. You cant miss the Boom Boom
Room, one of the most exclusive clubs in the
city. Hotelier Andr Balazs has also opened
up some new places in The Standard East
Village in Cooper Square like Narcissa, a
restaurant with a private garden serving
seasonal local and organic produce.
Which lesser-known fashion weeks do you
think are worth travelling to?
Dubai is denitely fun I gave a talk at
Fashion Forward and experienced some of
the shows. Charleston and Nashville fashion
weeks have some great emerging designers,
and Nashville has a very cool music scene
going on right now. I used to go to Lakm

Fashion Week in Mumbai. I havent


been in a few years, but I do love
the Indian designers.
What do you enjoy about Dubai?
I have visited three times now and
theres this sense that anything
can happen just dream it and it
can be done. Its fascinating to see
the growth and the opportunity.
Dubai has some of the best stores
and malls in the world: I was blown
away by The Dubai Mall and Level
Shoe District.
Which city do you think is the most stylish?
New York as its the global melting pot,
but Paris has a very classic style. People
always look fabulous in Milan; I like their
casual elegance.
Which hotel in the world have you been
most impressed by?
One of my favourite hotels is the Taj Mahal
Palace in Mumbai. I have been going there for
many years. Its such a grand property and
they did such a brilliant restoration after the
bombings. The Indian tile and lattice work is
exquisite and the hotel has so much history. It
looks out on to the bay and the Gateway of
India, and is one of those wonderful landmark
hotels with great service.

The Skylark in New


Yorks Garment District
has great views of the city

fter launching 7th on Sixth


productions now known as New
York Fashion Week in 1993 under
the Council of Fashion Designers
of America (CFDA), where she served as
executive director for 10 years, Brooklyn
native Mallis went on to become senior vice
president of IMG Fashion. In that capacity,
she established new fashion weeks in Miami,
Los Angeles, Berlin and Moscow, expanded
Mumbais fashion week, and added Sydney
and Melbourne to the portfolio. She now
runs her own international fashion and
design consulting rm and has a jewellery
line inspired by her travels.

Tr a ve l
with
Fern

Whats your favourite travel


memory?
I have great memories of my time
in China, celebrating my birthday
with a party on the Great Wall.
It was pretty special.
Do you collect any treasures
on your travels?
I pick up treasures everywhere I
go and have created a collection
based around this called Fern
Finds, which is sold on HSN
and HSN.com. I collect global,
eclectic pieces like bracelets,
kurtas and embroidered
shoes from Jaipur and then
interpret them for the
American market.

Clockwise from
top: The Great
Wall of China;
the rooftop
Skylark bar in
New York; Ken
Ferns Resort 14
show at Lakm
Fashion Week
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 27

SHORT
BREAK

BERLIN

The Brandenburg Gate


symbolises German
unity following the fall
of the Berlin Wall

The citys west side has rediscovered its groove, building on its reputation as
the go-to district for culture, luxury and a hint of nostalgia, says Lollie Barr

his November marks the 25th


anniversary of the fall of the
Berlin Wall, reunifying the oncedivided city into a massive creative
metropolis. The former East
Berlin quickly laid claim to being
the cultural epicenter of the city
after artists, punks, musicians,
students and eventually developers moved
into the previously decaying districts of Mitte,
Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. As a
result, today the area has become so gentried
young, trendy Germans mingle with bumbag-toting tourists and global hipsters sporting
war-time haircuts that the old city exists
only in memories.
28 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the spotlight


has shifted, illuminating the former West
Berlin as if she were a theatrical veteran in
her comeback role, exuding a condence
that only comes with maturity and long-held
authenticity. The shops, restaurants, theatres,
palaces, parks, opera houses and outdoor
squares bustle with a new-found energy as
investment pours into City West, as it has
been rebranded.
Among the changes are a slew of new vestar hotels Sotel Berlin Kurfrstendamm
(doubles from AED 570; 0049-30-800 9990,
sotel.com), Ellington Hotel (doubles from
AED 692; 0049-30-68 3150, ellington-hotel.com),
Hotel Q! (doubles from AED 640; hotel-q.com,

0049-30-810 0660) and Das Stue (doubles from


AED 1,140; 0049-30-311 7220, das-stue.com)
that have taken over buildings old and new.
The Waldorf Astoria Berlin (doubles from AED
1,530; 0049-30-814 0000, waldorfastoriaberlin.
com) inhabits a gleaming new high-rise, at the
once neglected and dangerous Zoologischer
Garten station, a place that feels epochs
away from the hotels gleaming black-andwhite Art Deco interiors, impeccable service
and heavenly Guerlain Spa. This is where
Hollywood and rock royalty rest their heads:
Dustin Hoffman and John Goodman were
recently guests, and I spotted Steven Tyler
from Aerosmith, in head-to-toe white, anked
by fans on the hotels red carpet before

SHORT BREAK

The Gemldegalerie
at Kulturforum, an
important centre
for the arts. Below:
Cycling in Volkspark

PHOTOS: CORBIS, ALAMY, FOUR CORNERS

Bikini Berlin, which


sat empty for a decade,
reopened as a concept
mall and has been
successful in luring
achingly hip young
designers from the
east side of town
scurrying into a waiting van. Sip on a
signature Sesame Daiquiri at Lang Bar
(0049-30-814 0000, waldorfastoriaberlin.com),
named after legendary lm director Fritz
Lang of Metropolis fame, which was shot at
the Babelsberg Studios in 1927 when Berlin
was that generations Hollywood. The studios
are still in use today; The Bourne Ultimatum
and Inglourious Basterds were shot there.
The Lang Bar looks on to the Fifties-era
Zoo Palast cinema (0049-180-522 2966,
zoopalast-berlin.de), which reopened last
November and hosted red carpet premieres
at the Berlinale lm festival.
This end of town has long had a history
of glamour and culture. It was home to the
decadent Golden Twenties of the Weimar
Republic, when the likes of Nabokov,
Kandinsky and Dietrich enjoyed political
and artistic freedoms, which inspired
Christopher Isherwood to write Goodbye
To Berlin (which was later adapted into the
musical and movie Cabaret) as the Nazi era
loomed. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial
Church (0049-30-218 5023, gedaechtniskircheberlin.de) with its ruined steeple is a visual
reminder of their inglorious legacy, when over
70 per cent of Berlin was destroyed.
Recreating a pre-war atmosphere is the
exquisite Art Deco Caf-Restaurant Grosz
(0049-30-65-214 2199, grosz-berlin.de), named
after George Grosz, the socially critical painter
who caricatured Twenties Berlin, and is

The playful
foyer at
25hours Hotel
Bikini Berlin

situated in the 1911-built Haus Cumberland


on Kurfrstendamm. The KuDamm, as
its known to Berliners, is a 3.5km-long,
tree-lined boulevard imagined by chancellor
Otto von Bismarck in the late-19th century
as a promenade of ne stores beneath grand
residences. After a long period during which
it languished, his vision has once again been
realised with cafs and restaurants spilling out
on to the wide promenade. And luxury brands
have returned to the preserved villas between
Olivaer Platz and Joachimstaler Strasse. Here
youll nd clean-shaven men sporting jackets
arm-in-arm with women adorned in gold with
belligerent French bulldogs on leads, as well
as all the big names, from Chanel and Dolce
& Gabbana to Herms.
The Kaufhaus des Westens (0049-30-2
1210 kadewe.de) on Tauentzienstrasse 21-24,
is Continental Europes biggest department
store, and stocks a dazzling array of the worlds
nest designers. But its the food hall one
of the worlds largest on the sixth and
seventh oors that will have you salivating in
anticipation of a worldwide culinary adventure.
On a more modernist note, the Fifties
Bikini Berlin (0049-30-5549 6454, bikiniberlin.
de), which sat empty for a decade, reopened
last year as a concept mall complex featuring
carefully curated boutiques, concept and
agship stores (alongside a hotel). It has
been successful in luring achingly hip young
designers from the east side of town. The

LNFA Shop (0049-30-2347 2059, lnfa.de)


cherry-picks the best of Berlins designers,
including Esther Perbandt, Ewa Herzog,
Aurelia Paumelle and Trippen.
Sharing a border with the Berlin Zoo (004930-25 4010, zoo-berlin.de), downstairs in the
complex youll nd boys with tightly coiled
buns and rolled-up trousers and girls in black
drinking coffee across from the glass-fronted
monkey enclosure of Germanys oldest zoo, as
the simians watch the hipsters and vice versa.
Within the complex is the playfully relaxed
boutique hotel 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin
(doubles from AED 790; 0049-30-120-22 1103,
25hours-hotels.com) with its eclectic interiors
featuring hanging bicycles, an old Morris Mini
Minor and street art in the foyer. On the 10th
oor is the Monkey Bar (0049-30-120-22 1210)
and the restaurant Neni Berlin (0049-30-1202
2120), which propagates a sharing-is-caring
attitude to cuisine that includes everything
from Middle Eastern to Spanish, with a
side helping of views over the neighbouring
zoo and the expansive 520-acre Tiergarten.
Created at the end of the 17th century from
a former hunting preserve as a pleasure
park for the people, the best way to explore
Tiergarten is by bike.
The west side of the city is blessed with a
profusion of huge parks such as the Volkspark
Wilmersdorf and Preussenpark, the latter of
which is great for a Thai picnic with numerous
stalls on weekends. Charlottenburg Palace
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 29

SHORT BREAK

MY BERLIN
Ow of lifestyle tour
Owner
agency Berlinagenten,
ag
Henrik Tidefjrds
H
innovative Gastro-Rallye
in
culinary tours takes
cu
guests
to three carefully
gu
curated
restaurants in
cu
an evening accompanied
by
b a charismatic insider
guide.
Here, his top
gu
gastronomic
tips for
ga
the
th city

T
Clockwise from top left: Enjoy a concert at Berlin
Philharmonic; a sculpture frames the Kaiser Wilhelm
Memorial Church, the symbolic centre of City West;
pick up local designer wares at Bikini Berlin mall

and Gardens (0049-30-32 0911, spsg.de) was


erected as the summer palace of Sophie
Charlotte, the rst queen of Prussia. Today,
Rolls-Royces and Mercedes queue as
newlyweds wait to be photographed in the
famous Baroque gardens. Beat the crowds
by attending the Berlin Residence Concert
(0049-30-2581 0350, concerts-berlin.com),
featuring masterpieces from the Baroque and
early Classical eras, in the Great Orangery on
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Deep within Charlottenburg, life moves
at a rather genteel pace in the elegant
neighbourhoods surrounding Savignyplatz.
Here, youll nd the Art Deco classic Hotel
am Steinplatz (doubles from AED 1,163; 004930-554 4440, hotelsteinplatz.com), designed
by August Endell. It began operating as a
hotel in 1913 and was refurbished 100 years
later capturing the glamour of that era with
contemporary air. Through the years, a
famous roll call of names Vladimir Nabokov,
Zarah Leander, Heinrich Bll, Gnter Grass,
as well as lm stars Brigitte Bardot and Romy
Schneider passed beneath its scalloped
faade. At the Bar am Steinplatz (hotelsteinplatz.
com), both locals and guests meet to enjoy
classic cocktails as well as new concoctions
such as the Beetroot and Pineapple Smash.
From Kurt Weill to Bertolt Brecht, Lou
Reed to Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode to Nick
Cave, the western side of the city has provided
a soundtrack to more than one generation.
When David Bowie arrived in 1976, Berlin was
wounded by the war and torn in two by the
Wall. Berlin Musictours (0049-30-3087 5633,
musictours-berlin.de) offers an insightful glimpse
30 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

into Bowies hedonistic Seventies Berlin,


including a visit to the legendary Hansa Studio
where he recorded Heroes.
For something a little more high brow,
the Deutsche Oper Berlin (0049-30-3438
4343, deutscheoperberlin.de) is housed in a
glorious Sixties Modernist building designed
by Fritz Bornemann at 35 Bismarckstrasse,
while Berlin Philharmonic (0049-30-25
4880, berliner-philharmoniker.de), led by the
inimitable Simon Rattle, makes its home at
the famed Hans Scharoun-designed concert
hall at the Kulturforum (0049-30-26-642
4242, kulturforum-berlin.de). Besides Museum
Island in the east of the city, this is the most
important centre for arts in Berlin, featuring
the New National Gallery for modern art, the
Gemldegalerie for paintings and the
Museum of Decorative Arts.
Berlin is known as a city of the night. While
minimalist techno resounds across the eastern
side, nightlife in the west is arguably more
sophisticated. Rum Trader (0049-30-881 1428),
the oldest cocktail bar in the city, conjures up
an image of pre-war Berlin. With room for just
30, its dcor has remained the same since it
opened in 1975. The current owner, Mr Scholl,
looks like hes stepped out of the Forties with
his retro spectacles and waistcoast. The bar
specialises in impeccably crafted drinks, all
served in vintage glasses, and you have to
ring the bell for access.
While the East thrives on youth, City West
is a bugle call for the mature palate with cultural
attractions, luxury brands and rich history that
come together to weave a tapestry of uniquely
old-school Berlin experiences.

he sweeping, glamorous
boulevards of Kurfrstendamm
are once again on the radar of foodies.
High on atmosphere, the legendary
Paris Bar (0049-30-313 8052, parisbar.
net) has seen Madonna and Robert de
Niro enjoying sh, foie gras and lamb
chops. Brel (0049-30-3180 0020,
cafebrel.de) offers a local French
brasserie vibe. The artists soup a
strikingly vivid dish made of radishes
is inspiring and delicious. Another
classic brasserie is Franke Brasserie
(0049-30-3155 1030, frankerestaurant.
de) in the Wyndham Berlin Excelsior.
Totally organic,
their grill offers the
juiciest entrecote in
town. Restaurant
am Steinplatz
(0049-30-554 4440,
Beef
hotelsteinplatz.com)
carpaccio
situated at the Hotel
at Franke
Brasserie
am Steinplatz has
elevated traditional heavy Berliner
fare to an art form. The Knigsberger
klopse (boiled veal dumplings) are
melt-in-your-mouth light. Meanwhile,
Diener (0049-30-881 5329) holds
on to its storied past with old-school
food and atmosphere. Dark walls are
hung with portraits of artists whove
frequented the establishment. You
must try the eggs in mustard sauce,
a local favourite. At the other end of
the spectrum is Balthazar (0049-308940 8477, balthazar-restaurant.de),
purveyors of Metropolitan cuisine
that plays with a spectrum of avours
Asian, Italian and German. The Asian
lobster salad is a revelation. For a
post-dinner drink, Universum Lounge
(0049-30-3276
4793, universum
lounge.com),
with its Sixtiesstyle design, is
a must.
Brel
restaurant

VOTE
NOW
at condenasttraveller.ae

READERS
CHOICE AWARDS
MIDDLE EAST

2014

PHOTO: PASCAL CHEVALIER

in association with

For more information on Scott Dunn please visit


scottdunn.com or call 800 035 703 722 (toll free)

WIN

AN EXCLUSIVE 7-NIGHT STAY FOR 2 WITH BREAKFAST AT ANAHITA


THE RESORT IN MAURITIUS INCLUDING BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHTS

74 COND NAST TRAVELLER JULY 2014

SLUG

Alcatraz Islands
prison was operational
from 1933-1963. The
island is just off the
coast of San Francisco

32 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

SLUG

WORD of MOUTH
TUSCANY

LONDON MARILYN MONROE MORE TRAVEL NEWS

Prison break

WORDS: LAUREL MUNSHOWER; PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, GETTY IMAGES

Chinese artist Ai Weiweis new


exhibition kicks off on September 27,
housed symbolically in Americas
infamous island prison, Alcatraz

i Weiwei may be unable to


travel outside of China, but
the unexplained conscation
of his passport three years
ago hasnt stopped him from organising
an exhibition of his work all the way on
the other side of the globe. The installations
for @Large: Ai Weiwei On Alcatraz, developed at
the artists Beijing studio, touch on expressionism,
incarceration, freedom and activism, and will be
displayed within walls that held the likes of mobster
Al Capone. While those working on the project have
remained tight-lipped about what guests can expect
to see on the Rock, we do know the show will take
over four areas of the former prison three of which
arent usually open to visitors: the New Industries
Building, A Block and the hospital. These spaces, the
provocative artist has said, will play host to sculptures
and sound and mix-media works exploring heavy
topics with his characteristic light touch. Running
through April 26, 2015, expect tickets included in
the price of the Alcatraz Island tour to get
snapped up well in advance.
Tickets from AED 110; alcatrazcruises.com
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 33

THE FASHION WEEK CITY GUIDE


The catwalks light up this month as the Spring/Summer 2015 collections take centre stage.
Four of the regions trendsetters reveal their favourite haunts in each of the style capitals
NEW YORK CITY

MISHA DAUD, Owner of Eye


Candy boutique, Muscat

LONDON

BONG GUERRERO, Founder &


CEO at Fashion Forward, Dubai

MILAN

VIMI JOSHI, Global senior artist


at M.A.C Middle East, Dubai

PARIS

DANA MALHAS, Co-owner


of Cream Boutique, Jeddah

TREND ALERT

GOOD SPORT
An active holiday doesnt mean leaving style behind.
Autumn/Winters sporty-chic trend takes high fashion
Miu
Miu
outdoors. Heading to the US Open? A Miu Miu
quilted dress ts right in. Or show team spirit with Tom
Fords sequinned numbered jersey (as seen on Beyonc).
Kaleidoscopic tracksuits from Adidas Originals by Jeremy
Scott will ensure you stand out on the city streets or out
in the country. And if youre already planning a winter ski
break, Moncler Gamme Rouges stylish cocoon coats, designed
by Giambattista Valli, should be top of your packing list.

Adidas
Originals
by Jeremy
Scott
Tom
Ford

Moncler
Gamme
Rouge

WORDS: LAUREL MUNSHOWER, JENNY KING

WHERE TO EAT
WHERE TO EAT
WHERE TO EAT
WHERE TO EAT
Sant Ambroeus (001-212-604
For food and atmosphere,
UNA Restaurant (0039-028
I love every dish on the menu
9254, santambroeus.com)
Novikov Restaurant &
5601, unahotelcusani.com)
at LAvenue (0033-1-4070 1491,
in the West Village is a
Bar (0044-20-7399 4330,
on Via Cusani is great. They
avenue-restaurant.com) as well
relaxed spot with great
novikovrestaurant.co.uk). Its a
accommodate my needs as a
as its stylish crowd. Every time
food, and you may spot
great place to go after shows
vegetarian and prepare the
I go I spot a celebrity or fashion
the likes of Beyonc or Billy
and meetings to unwind.
best minestrone and penne
icon last time it was Rihanna
Joel at the next table.
WHERE TO STAY
arrabiata specically for
and Drake.
WHERE TO STAY
St Martins Lane
my spicy taste buds.
WHERE TO STAY
Im a classic girl at heart. My top
(0044-20-7300 5500,
WHERE TO STAY
The beautiful garden and
hotel picks are The Carlyle
morganshotelgroup.
It has to be the UNA
ower arrangements at
THE MARK
(001-212-744 1600,
com) I enjoy
Hotel Cusani (0039Four Seasons Hotel George
ST MARTINS LANE
rosewoodhotels.com)
staying here as its
028 5601, unahotelcusani.
V (0033-1-4952 7000,
and, more recently,
located behind the art
com). Ive been staying
fourseasons.com/paris) make it
The Mark (001-212-744
and theatre district and
there for years and even have
my top choice. Its like a secret
4300, themarkhotel.
the vibe is unpretentious.
my own designated room. Each
garden in the heart of Paris.
com). Each has something
WHERE TO SHOP
season I see many inuential
WHERE TO SHOP
special and is in a
Dover Street Market
fashion people there and its
Montaigne Market (0033-1great location.
(0044-20-7518 0680,
always cool chatting with them
4256 5858, montaignemarket.
WHERE TO SHOP
london.doverstreetmarket.com)
in the hotel lobby.
com) is great because it
Dean & DeLuca (001-212-226
is such a great
WHERE TO SHOP
has everything you need
6800, deandeluca.com) in
concept with perfectly
I love exploring the
in one place clothes,
SoHo and the Union Square
curated pieces that I
shops around the Duomo
bags, shoes, jewellery
Greenmarket (grownyc.org/
always nd inspiring. I
di Milano and going into
each of which are
greenmarket) have great
also love Rose Bakery
little boutiques that sell
carefully selected
MONTAIGNE
MARKET
products that we dont nd
on the top oor.
random art pieces from
from the worlds most
in our region.
WHAT TO DO
around the world, ranging
famous brands.
WHAT TO DO
My favourite thing to do
from crystals to ornaments.
WHAT TO DO
I love exploring. Venture out
is walk endlessly. Walking
WHAT TO DO
I enjoy taking in the citys
of your comfort zone, go to
abroad is precious after
The museums around the
architecture. I love how the
Chelsea Piers and hang out
being stuck in Dubais air
Duomo are a must: each
buildings have been preserved
on the West Side. Its full of
conditioning. I just wish my
season they have fantastic
yet at the same time look new
adventure and discovery and
dog Tiger was with me, so
exhibitions. Ive seen some
and well taken care of. Its a
you may stumble on one of the
I could take him to
iconic artworks by my
great mix of history
citys best-kept secrets.
Londons parks.
favourite painters.
and modernity.

WORD OF MOUTH

CULTURE
CLUB

Clockwise from top


left: The rolling hills of
the surrounding Tuscan
countryside; a sitting room
in the 19th-century villa;
the gardens, part of the
500-hectare estate; the
exterior of Villa Lena

A cool new wave has swept over the Tuscan


hills, where a gang of creative Parisians have
transformed a rambling estate into an artful retreat
ife as a Parisian bohme can be tough. Fleeing town
can be essential at times, but where to recharge
between ros-soaked afternoons in Formentera and
dancing at Corsicas Calvi on the Rocks festival?
Villa Lena, which opened earlier this spring, may be
the answer. A haven where like-minded folk can connect
and recharge, the villa combines an all-inclusive hotel
with an artists retreat spread over 500 hectares of rolling
hills and olive groves outside of Florence. The utopian
concept is the work of art consultant Lena Evstaeva, her
musician husband Jrme Hadey and their friend Lionel
Bensemoun, whose legendary Le Baron has remained
Paris hippest underground nightclub for the past decade.
Together they draw big names and rising stars to mingle
with guests during lm screenings and golden afternoons
by the pool. Bed down in one of the 13 apartments (with
whitewashed walls, terracotta tiles and vintage furniture),
two private villas or hostel-esque San Michele, where
prices are geared toward struggling artists who plan
to stay all summer. Dont even think about holing up in
your room; Villa Lena is about open minds and shared
imaginations, with guests whether a solo traveller or
a family of ve encouraged to drop by the artist-inresidence ateliers. Among the talents to appear during last
years pop-up openings were sculptor James Capper, artist
Hugo Wilson and lm-maker Lola Schnabel. And if you
need some sustenance to get those creative juices going,
French chef Hlne Bouchardeau brings her expertise to
local ingredients in dishes including trufe pizzas and wildboar rag. Come sunset, long communal tables are pushed
back for impromptu performances by musicians such
as Devendra Babhart, Benjamin Clementine and Frenchhouse pioneer Philippe Zdar, toasted with homemade
limoncello. Its a dream, a rare dream, says Bensemoun.
Doubles from AED 410, apartments from AED 745;
0039-0587-08 3112, villa-lena.it

WORDS: LAUREN HOLMES, JENNY KING; PHOTOS: COKE BATRINA, CLARISSE DEMORY

SHANGHAI STEPPING

Panda ats,
AED 2,650

Taking inspiration from ancient Chinese


dynasties, Charlotte Olympias latest
quirky collection, Shanghai Express,
features hand-painted vase-shaped
heels inspired by Ming porcelain, parasol
sandals and panda-face ats. If youre
planning an Eastern escape, hotfoot it to
the new stand-alone Charlotte Olympia
boutique in Mall of the Emirates for some
seriously fancy footwear.
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 35

BEIJING

Memory lanes
Beijings network of historical alleyways or
hutong is fast disappearing. But local creative
agency Jellymon, led by Lin Lin, is hoping to
reverse that trend. Having worked on campaigns
for companies including Uniqlo, her latest project
is more personal: converting a crumbling building
within Dashilars hutong, south of Tiananmen
Square, into a multi-use space called Re-Up
(59 Tie Shu Xie Jie). A hub for the capitals edgling
sustainability movement, the project includes
a caf, rooftop urban farm, workshop space and
store selling eco-conscious products. Its a bold
but smart attempt to enlighten Beijings frenzied
consumers while regenerating the old streets
that Lin Lin loves.

Dashilars
hutong is
getting a new
lease of life

Lionsh
swimsuit,
AED 1,000,
meylimiyaru.com

UNDER THE SEA

Lin Lins favourite hutong spots


FOR A DRINK

Qianmen
Yuanshenghao
Museum
is dedicated to
ergoutou (a local
liquor), which inspired
the ergoutou bonbons
in Re-Ups caf.
40 Liangshidian Jie

dish) here is the best.


8 Langfang Ertiao
FOR DESIGN

Ubi Gallery has


brought a new crowd
to Dashilar for its
modern ceramics.
62 Yangmeizhu Xiejie
FOR LUCK

Lao Beijing Tu Ye Dian


sells painted rabbitSi Ji Min Fu restaurant god gurines, which
is cramped. The
people buy for good
staircase is too steep.
fortune. Its a rabbit
But the zhajiangmian
in an opera outt.
(traditional fried-noodle 45 Liu Li Chang Dong Jie
FOR NOODLES

Inspired by Maldivian diving


holidays, new swimwear label
Meyli Miyaru features exotic
lionsh-, jellysh- and French
angelsh-printed bikinis and
swimsuits that can be mixed
and matched with the brands
cropped rash vests and dive
leggings. A stylish alternative
to a wetsuit, the Lycra and
neoprene separates are ideal
for surng, snorkelling, diving
or any ocean adventure.

OPENINGS

Bon apptit

Burlesque, Yas Viceroy


Abu Dhabi

The Scene, Pier 7,


Dubai Marina

Stratos, Le Royal Meridien


Abu Dhabi

Starting with glittering Murano chandeliers


from the Venetian island, this restaurant
and lounge, opening on September 18,
takes diners on a journey through the
Mediterranean region with a menu
of regional tapas.
00971-5256-498 7580, burlesqueuae.com

Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, best-selling


author of Lazy Brunch and host of Sunday
Brunch, brings a taste of Britain to UAE
shores from September 12, with hearty
dishes like slow-roasted pulled duck and
posh sh nger sandwiches.
00971-4-422 2328, thescenedubai.com

The fare is best described as international,


with dishes ranging from vintage caviar to
Kobe beef from Japan alongside cocktails
such as the Earl of Europe and Italian
Orchard, at this revolving bar and lounge set
to open in the middle of the month.
00971-2-674 2020, stratosabudhabi.com

36 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

WORDS: ADRIAN SANDIFORD, JENNY KING; PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Three new eateries bring global avour to the Emirates

WORD OF MOUTH

WORDS: LAUREL MUNSHOWER; PHOTOS: MARIO TESTINO, BEN TIETGE

Photographer
Mario Testino
on the set of
his Peruvian
portraits

CUSCO
COUTURE
Art meets anthropology in
Mario Testinos kaleidoscopic
collection of Peruvian portraits,
opening September 21

est known for his work with celebrities and runway beauties
between and on the covers of magazines like Vogue and
Vanity Fair, celebrated fashion photographer Mario Testino is
now focusing the lens on his native country of Peru. Opening in Dallas
Contemporary this month, Alta Moda Spanish for high fashion
features a series of portraits taken by Testino over a ve-year period
in Cusco. Drawing inspiration from both the history of Peruvian
photography and the regions costumes, Testino captures the citys
residents in traditional dress against backdrops inuenced by late
Peruvian photographer Martn Chambi, bringing his discerning eye
for style to a whole new subject area.
Alta Moda runs from September 21 to December 22; 001-214-821 2522,
dallascontemporary.org

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 37

FOOD MILES

HESTON BLUMENTHAL

JOAN ROCA

REN REDZEPI

THE TRIP The Fat Duck in Bray is ying


Down Under to Crown Melbourne Resort
for six months from the end of
February 2015.
PACKING The menu (essentially the same),
some of the interiors and even the sign.
When the Duck migrates home, an outpost
of Dinner will open in its place.
PICKING UP A few Australian avours.
Could witchetty grubs, a traditional
delicacy of Aborigines, be the new snail
porridge for wacky-ingredient-fan Heston?

THE TRIP El Celler de Can Roca set off on a


ve-week tour last month, stopping in Lima,
Peru; Medelln, Colombia; Mexico City and
Monterey, Mexico; and America. It started in
Houston, Texas early August, dishing up a
mix of pop-up meals and workshops.
PACKING His brothers Jordi (El Cellers
pastry chef) and Josep (sommelier).
PICKING UP New dishes for their El Mn
starter, a paper globe that opens up to
reveal ve canaps, each inspired by
a different country.

THE TRIP Noma goes nomad, trading


Copenhagens waterfront for the high-rise
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo from
January 9-31, 2015.
PACKING Their foraging bags, plus
everyone in the kitchen, including
the dishwashers.
PICKING UP Japanese ingredients.
Elements including lily bulbs, tofu
and sudachi (a small lime-like fruit)
will feature on the all-new menu.

SCENT OF ADVENTURE
Fendi pays homage to feminine strength and
ferocity with the brands new fragrance, Furiosa,
out this month. With a oral, woody eau de
parfum, perfumer Franios Demachy has created
a truly global scent that travels to Runion
Island for pink pepper, Egypt for jasmine and
Calabria for bergamot. The Italian fashion house
has dressed up the animalistic fragrance with a
bejewelled leopard-spotted bottle by jewellery
designer and fourth-generation Fendi
Delna Delettrez.
From AED 435
fendi.com

38 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

WORDS: FIONA KERR, LAUREL MUNSHOWER; PHOTO: ASHLEY PALMER-WATTS

Three of the worlds top restaurants are going travelling, but theres no beach time for the chefs

WORD OF MOUTH

Desert monarchs

Butteries in a desert arent a sight youd expect


to see but its Dubai, after all. The newest
attraction at the Dubai Miracle Garden, launched
in 2013, is the Buttery Garden, which opened
its doors to visitors last month. Housed in nine
domes totalling 4,000sqm, 10,000 butteries in
24 varieties utter around visitors as they make
their way from one sweet nectar plant to the
next. And the developers arent quite nished.
On the agenda for this year: fruit trees ripe
for plucking and water features inhabited by
numerous types of koi sh. While the buttery
experience is open to guests now, the outdoor
ower garden will remain closed until the
mercury drops next month.
Tickets AED 30; 00971-4-422 8902,
dubaimiraclegarden.com

LONDON

CREATIVE
CONSTITUTIONALS

Guides point
out exotic game
from a luxury
SUV in Tanzania

WORDS: LAUREL MUNSHOWER, JENNY KING; PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

This beautifully illustrated map is part of an initiative


from Londons Grosvenor House Apartments by
Jumeirah Living, providing guests with an insider take
on the surrounding cultural offerings. With themes like
Masterpieces, Contemporary lovers and Art in the city,
each map reveals a curated selection of galleries, public art
pieces and cultural dining spots off the tourist trail.
Doubles from AED 2,425; 0044-20-7518 4444, jumeirah.com/gha

Off the beaten track

A three-bedroom
superior apartment
is ideal for a family
trip to London

Luxury safari pioneer Abercrombie & Kent has teamed


up with Land Rover to put travellers in the drivers seat
on adventures around Africa. Experience Tanzania
behind the wheel alongside expert guides, spotting
big game in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and
Tarangire National Parks before returning to A&Ks
indulgent mobile tented camps come nightfall.
Thirteen-day Tanzania trips from AED 53,970
(starting in September); 00971-2 234 6090,
abercrombiekent.co.uk
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 39

Shed your lost luggage fears with the


latest in travel technology, says
Dieter Morszeck, CEO of Rimowa

Chances are each time you check in luggage,


youre also carrying some mental baggage
in the form of anxiety: Will my possessions
arrive with me at my nal destination?
As Rimowa puts the nal touches on
their Bag2Go technology,
these worries may soon
become a thing of the
past. We catch up with
the CEO of the German
luggage-maker to get
the low-down on the
brands in-development
intelligent suitcases.
In a nutshell, what is the Bag2Go
technology?
Its the rst digitally enabled suitcase that
you can control from your pocket to weigh
contents and communicate with the airport
check-in and security, for instance. It is fully
traceable to enable self-travelling transport
services and is designed to be used by every
airline around the world.
What was the impetus for developing this
new technology?
Travellers currently wait at baggage claim
and have to drag their suitcases through
the airport. Wouldnt they be happier
if the luggage was collected at the start
of the journey and could travel alone? We
feel that this is the dream of many airline
passengers, and its now on its way to
becoming a reality through Bag2Go,
which is a collaboration between three
companies: Airbus, T-Systems and Rimowa.
How does the rest of Rimowas line cater
to the GCCs travel-savvy residents?
Every part of a Rimowa case has been
specially designed and manufactured to
the highest standards, allowing travellers
to have the smoothest and lightest journey
possible. We constantly launch new
dimensions to meet the airlines requirements
and new colours to suit the tastes of our
fashion-conscious clientele.

40 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

RARE
CATCH
Falconry is a national pastime
in the UAE, with the bird even
appearing on the countrys
coat of arms, so its only tting
that this symbolic Boucheron
pendant was created exclusively
for the Emirates. The falcon,
representing courage and
sportsmanship, has been
recreated by the French jewellery
house in white gold with three
onyx, 113 round sapphires and
122 round diamonds.

Falcon pendant,
AED 241,300,
boucheron.com

BREAK IT DOWN

THE $1,200 LOYALTY PROGRAMME


Leading Hotels of the World, a collection of more than 400
properties on six continents, offers a unique set of perks that
anyone can buy for an annual fee of $1,200 (AED 4,410) which,
depending on your travel style, may actually be a steal

THE PERK

WHAT YOULL GET

WHY ITS WORTH IT

AIRPORT-LOUNGE
ACCESS

Entry to 600 Priority Pass


lounges globally

Cocktails and back rubs at


London Heathrow

ROOM UPGRADES

Guaranteed at
booking

Views of the Empire State


Building from a suite at
Langham Place in New
York City

BREAKFAST

Complimentary for two


guests every morning

Croissants and coffee can


be surprisingly steep,
especially in Europe

WI-FI

Wireless connection
without the fees

Anything to cut down on


data roaming charges

LATE CHECKOUT

Relax until 4pm


instead of noon

More time to sightsee


(without lugging your
suitcases around)

AIRPORT
TRANSFERS

One-way rides included

Bypassing the taxi


queue in more than
30 cities globally

WORDS: LAUREL MUNSHOWER, JENNY KING

(Not) lost in transit

WORD OF MOUTH

MARILYNS
LOS ANGELES

WORDS: EIMEAR LYNCH; PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Fifty-two years after the mysterious


death of Marilyn Monroe, author
JI Baker takes us on a tour of the
blonde bombshells LA

WHERE TO STAY

GET THE LOOK

Hotel Bel-Air
Follow in Monroes
footsteps and stay here.
Doubles from AED
1,820; 001-310-472 1211,
hotelbelair.com
Sunset Tower Hotel
Monroe, Frank Sinatra,
John Wayne and
Elizabeth Taylor once
lived in this Art Deco
block on Sunset Strip.
The views make LAs
urban sprawl look just
like it does in the movies.
Doubles from AED 1,085;
001-323-654 7100,
sunsettowerhotel.com

Go platinum with the


help of colourist Negin
Zand at Salon Benjamin
(001-424-249 3296,
salonbenjamin.com)
in West Hollywood.
She does Madonna and
the rest of Hollywoods
best blondes. At Cateye
Spectacles (001-323-664
3939, cateyespectacles.
com) on North
Heliotrope Drive, ask
an assistant for vintage
frames like Monroes
in How To Marry A
Millionaire. And make an
appointment to browse
the jewels and chic
clutches at V Vintage
(001-310-786 8277,
vvintage90210.com)
in Beverly Hills.

Begin with afternoon tea at


Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (001310-472 2122, hotelbelair.com) in the
Hotel Bel-Air, where Marilyn posed
for Bert Sterns famous Last Sitting
photos, taken six weeks before her
death. Then, though it may seem
like an odd post-tea destination,
wander through the Pierce Brothers
Westwood Village Memorial Park
and Mortuary (001-310-474 1579,
pbwvmemorialpark.com), a quiet,
eerie oasis. Marilyn lies near Truman
Capote and Dean Martin, and Hugh
Hefner has already reserved the spot
next to her. From the mortuary, its a
short jaunt to the Santa Monica Pier
(001-310-458 8901, santamonicapier.
org), the perennially popular
amusement park where Marilyn came
disguised in a wig to watch and
envy carefree families. Ride the
solar-powered Ferris wheel (so LA)
before driving past Peter Lawfords
infamous beach house (on Palisades
Beach Road), where she may have
dallied with the Kennedy brothers.
Now, go to Canters Deli (001-323651 2030, cantersdeli.com) on North
Fairfax Avenue to eat chocolate
clairs; this is where Marilyn and her
third husband, Arthur Miller, dined
during the Fifties. A six-minute drive
away is a special spot for Marilyn and
husband number two: The Rainbow
Bar and Grill (001-310-278 4232,
rainbowbarandgrill.com) on West
Sunset Boulevard was once the Villa
Nova restaurant, where Monroe
had her rst (blind) date with Joe
DiMaggio. Finally, take a seat in the
Formosa Cafe (001-323-850 9050,
formosacafe.com), a 1932 diner in
a seedy stretch of West Hollywood
(on Santa Monica Boulevard) that
has had many celeb fans from
Monroe to Brad Pitt. Its dark, blackand-red interiors evoke faded Fifties
glamour, but the menu does not: The
Formosa serves OK Chinese food
and excellent, cheap drinks.

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 41

Chef Lajos
Br of
restaurant
Bock Bisztr

HUNGRY FOR
HUNGARY
Budapest is the gastronomic capital you werent
aware of. Lajos Br, chef of the critically
acclaimed restaurant Bock Bisztr, accompanies
Anastasia Sokolova on a culinary journey
44 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

FOOD
Mangalitsa fat,
said to be good
for health, is often
spread on bread

Delicate
portions of
beef at Italian
favourite
Faustos

PHOTOS: ANDRAS FEKETE

he rst time they put


a jar of melted fat in
front of me, at Bock
Bisztr, I nearly fell off
my chair and speeddialled my nutritionist.
But then I picked up
my knife and spread
a thick layer on a
fragrant, crusty slice of
bread and it turns out, I love fat. Meanwhile,
before me seven more dishes arrived.
A while ago, Hungarys culinary scene
became diluted by the demands of tourists.
You could (and still can) nd traditional prklt
and goulash everywhere in the country, but
often the dishs main merit was that it lled
your belly. Occasionally, that was the only
merit. Fortunately, there were chefs waiting
in the wings to embrace the gastronomic
revolution unfolding around the world that
threw up a constellation of talent with roots
in local cuisine who were taking it to a level
that would delight international gourmands.
One of these chefs is Lajos Br and it is his
restaurant we chose as the starting point of our
stomach-led raid of Budapest.

Br considers
mangalitsa the most
undervalued local
product with a
high potential for the
future of Hungarian food
THURSDAY, 2PM
Bock Bisztr
Br meets us at his new restaurant, Bock
he runs three, the oldest one is in Pest at the
Corinthia Hotel, while this eatery is located
in a separate building in Buda. We order foie
gras sushi (a slice of duck liver a traditional
Hungarian delicacy with ginger and a
piece of smoked eel on top); pasta arabbiata
with shrimp (into one kilo of our go eight
whole eggs and eight yolks perhaps I need
my dietician after all); Caesar salad with a
seasonal asparagus sauce; and a carpaccio of
mangalitsa, a Hungarian pig breed, whose fat
is said to be good for health. Br considers
mangalitsa the most undervalued local

product with a high potential for the future


of Hungarian food. A bottle of red tops off
our order. We choose a thick Libra made by
Valer Bock, the youngest of the Bock dynasty
vintners, in honour of his wife.
Bock Bisztr which is typically full
to capacity every day and you have to book
at least three days in advance started in
2004 as a small eatery within a grape shop.
Jozsef Bock, a lifelong vintner from the
Villny region, decided that in order to sell
the family grape better in Budapest, he
should serve accompanying appetizers in
the shop. To head this initiative he brought
on Br, who was already an established
chef. It became clear very quickly that
appetizers were not enough for the guests,
and that they were ocking to Bock for
Br rst and then for the grape.
Using quality products and preserving
their taste, Br responds, in brief, in answer
to my question of why everything tastes so
good at Bock. After two bottles of Libra, we
decide to order more food: lobio (the term
for a variety of bean dishes), beef cheeks
and sausage-avoured ice cream. The rest
of the day passes in a fog.
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 45

The concept of
street food in the
usual sense doesnt
exist here. In order
to eat on the go, you
have to stop at a
market or a butcher

FRIDAY, 12AM
Market in Hunyadi Square
Turning from the elegant Prospect Andrassy
on to a side street, we enter a building that
painters seem to have forgotten about since
the 19th century. We walk past stalls serving
beef tripe, making our way through garlands
of sausages until we reach a pecseni sto, which
can be loosely translated as a sausage caf.
We take a seat on three bar stools, observing
the trays full of grilled sausages and mustard
in XXL packets. Following Brs example,
we order two types of grilled sausages: blood
and liver. We sample squid marinated in
spicy pepper and paprika, dunking it into the
mustard packet. Br takes a folding knife
from his pocket and light ricochets off the
steel like sunbeams on stained glass.
In Hungary a butcher shop is more than a
mere meat shop. Hungarians take a long time
to choose a butcher, then they befriend him,
never swaying in their loyalty, and will often
eat at the shop. At a market or in a regular
butcher shop, youre likely to nd a table set
up at the counter so you can buy a grilled
sausage and eat it on the premises.
Br still comes to the market in Hunyadi
Square: I eat at the same pecseni sto that
46 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Hungarians take a long time


to choose a butcher, then
they befriend him, never
swaying in their loyalty
Ive been going to for 25-30 years, he
says. When I used to live nearby, I would
come here to buy food for my family and
eat something. In all this time nothing has
changed: the same owners, same assortment,
same quality. Br begins tucking into his
second sausage. Mine is so fatty the juice
sprays in all directions. We discuss the fact
that, for a tourist, it could be more logical to
eat sausages at the central market, Kzponti
Vsrcsarnok, where he can, at the same
time, appreciate the building constructed
by the famous Eiffel.

SATURDAY, 3PM
Restaurant Faustos
There are two Michelin-starred restaurants
in Budapest (Costes and Onyx), but Br
takes us instead to Faustos, manned by chef
Giorgio Cavicchiolo. Today I feel like pasta,
Br says by way of explanation coming from

Bock serves
sausage-, baconand tobaccoavoured ice cream

FOOD
Waiters at
Bock Bisztr,
as at most
restaurants in
the country,
are men

You can nd good


restaurants on either side
of the Danube, both in
Buda and Pest. Below:
Specials, also known as the
blackboard menu, change
every week at Bock Bisztr

WHERE TO EAT
BUDAPEST
the creator of the 16-yolk pasta thats a serious
declaration. The owner, Fausto Di Vora,
greets us on arrival. An Italian whos been
living in Budapest for the last 20 years, he was
formerly also the chef. Current executive chef
Cavicchiolo comes out to shake hands with
Br. We study the menu Italian to the core.
Br orders four different pastas. The waiters
bring grape and ask us to turn off our cameras
for the next hour and a half (a table next
door are engaged in a meeting). We switch
our attention to our plates. Soon the table is
fully laid out: ravioli with porcini mushrooms,
bolognese, spicy pasta arabbiata, pasta aglio e
olio. Plus, cod with langoustine. This last dish
literally looked us in the eyes and begged:
Eat me! And so we did. The food was
delicious, divinely so.
Br, who is 63, tells us that his 18-yearold son Daniel wants to become a chef. Let
him follow the tradition, he says. As a kid,
I used to live in Paks. My father was good
friends with the butcher, and on Saturdays
they cooked ukha (a clear sh soup) together.
That is why, at Bock in Buda, there is always
ukha on Saturdays. But not the same as it was.
A little bit different.

HUNYADI SQUARE MARKET


The market is open every day except
Sunday (Saturday is a short day).
To the right of the main entrance is
an excellent shop of local delicacies.
1067 Budapest, Hunyadi Square 4;
0036-1-476 3921

BOCK BISZTR
In Pest, the older location of the restaurant,
you have to book three days in advance.
At the new space in Buda there is more
seating and its a little easier to get a
table. In summer, the terraces are open
in both locations.
Erzsbet krt 43-49, Pest; 0036-1-321
0340. Szarvas Gbor t 8, Buda; 0036-1376 6044, bockbisztro.hu

FAUSTOS

Above: The langoustine at Faustos


practically begs you: Eat me!

The restaurant has about 15 tables.


The owner, Fausto Di Vora, doesnt cook
any more, but publishes recipe books
related to the restaurant.
1072 Budapest, Dohny utca 3;
0036-30-589 1813, fausto.hu
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 47

FIRST
LOOK

Cheval Blanc
St-Barth Isle
de France
10 things to know about
LVMH Hotel Managements
new Caribbean property,
opening on October 15

48 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

SLUG

WHERE to STAY
BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN PARIS EDY GANEM

Cheval Blanc Spa, nestled in tropical

gardens, offers a hammam and the only


Guerlain treatments in the Caribbean,
created exclusively for the property.

WORDS: JENNY KING

French hair pioneer Leonor Greyl has

partnered with the Maison to develop


a nourishing hair product line, while
perfumer Thierry Wasser has created the
hotels signature Tropical Chic fragrance.

Daring blush pink, signature taupe

and striking blue make up the colour


palette, reecting the turquoise waters
and colourful local faades.

MADRID

Dcor by Bee Osborn of Osborn Interiors Cheval Blanc Alchemists create tailorencapsulates French West Indies charm and
plays on the islands heritage.

La Case de LIsle is the hotels romantic,


beachfront ne-dining destination, plating
up gourmet French cuisine.

Individually designed villas come with


private plunge pools and direct access to
Flamands beach.

The White Bar is a relaxing al fresco

lounge beside the pool, serving light bites


and cocktails for sundowners.

made experiences for guests, such as yacht


excursions to secluded bays with personal
butlers and on-board beauty treatments.

The tness centre overlooks the pretty

Flamands Bay and offers personal training


sessions and Technogym equipment.

The Concept Store is stocked full of local


and international designers, and the Maison
puts on daily fashion shows for guests.
Doubles from AED 2,900; 00590-590-27
6181, chevalblanc.com

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 49

HTEL
FA B R I C

Five offbeat retreats at the


heart of the Right Bank

50 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Htel Fabric
11TH ARRONDISSEMENT

This handsome, 33-room hotel occupies a revamped factory in OberkampfMnilmontant, once a metalworking area and now a foodie hotspot. The
building has plenty of original industrial features, including cast-iron columns
and large windows, but designers Agns Louboutin and Patrice Henry,
known for their ea-market nds, have updated the look. Theres a mix
of furniture styles in the lobby Eames chairs, a chestereld sofa, antique
travelling trunks used as side tables and the breakfast room is dominated
by a large star illuminated with exposed light bulbs (its from Recycle, a local
vintage shop). The crowd is just as eclectic: young couples and hip European
families tucking into croissants and artisanal jams at breakfast, or helping
themselves to drinks from the honesty bar in the evening. Graphic colour
schemes pink, green and orange spice up the bedrooms, and showers
are encrusted with starry LED lights. Theres no restaurant and room service
is outsourced and expensive (AED 86 for a Caesar salad), so your money
is better spent in the hotels tiny but well-run spa, which uses all-natural
potions by Les Bains de Marrakech.
Doubles from AED 705; 0033-1-4357 2700, hotelfabric.com

WORDS: LINDSEY TRAMUTA

Stylish
Paris stays

FABULOUS FORMER FACTORY

WHERE TO STAY

HTEL
PA R A D I S

The crowd is just as eclectic:


young couples and hip
European families tucking
into croissants and artisanal
jams at breakfast, or helping
themselves to drinks from the
honesty bar in the evening

HIP HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Htel Paradis
10TH ARRONDISSEMENT

With its reputation for shady dive bars,


wholesale clothing outlets and, more recently,
cool nightclubs, the 10th arrondissement
might seem like a curious place for a hotel
promising Zen-like calm. But this 38-room
charmer in a converted fur shop/derelict
motel is on rue des Petites-curies, one of
the quietest streets in the neighbourhood.
The owners enlisted designer Dorothe
Meilichzon, best known for her work on
Experimental Cocktail Clubs in London,
New York and Ibiza, to rethink the interiors,
and she came up with a mix of textbook
Scandinavian minimalism with subtle riffs
on French elegance (faux carved mouldings
in the downstairs sitting room; original
exposed beams in the top-oor suite, with its
unparalleled view of the Sacr Coeur). There
are bespoke rugs and houndstooth fabric
headboards in the bedrooms and whimsical,
retro-chic wallpaper in the corridors; and
although the ceilings on the upper oors are
comically low, it all adds to the feel of a cosy
Parisian pied--terre. This homey atmosphere
is helped by the Kusmi tea in the rooms and
tasty homemade cakes and yoghurts freely
available in the breakfast bar. There is no
restaurant, but the hotel is close to plenty of
good bistros including laid-back next-door
neighbour Vivant Table, and Le Richer.
Doubles from AED 540; 0033-1-4523 0822,
hotelparadisparis.com

HOTEL 123
S B A ST O P O L

MAD ABOUT THE MOVIES

Hotel 123 Sbastopol


2ND ARRONDISSEMENT

The lm world has been one of interior


designer Philippe Maidenbergs passions for
many years, so it was hardly surprising when
he was given the task of transforming this
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 51

HTEL DU
TEMPS

63-room hotel on Boulevard de Sbastopol


into a fantastical homage to cinema. From
the outside it looks like any other shop on
this busy street, and the lobby was indeed
an old-school perfumery, now reimagined
as a classic movie-theatre entrance with an
illuminated black-and-white signboard and a
deep-pile, palm-leaf-embroidered red carpet
that wouldnt look out of place in Cannes.
Each of the six upper oors is named after
a personality in French cinema, including
prolic lm-maker Claude Lelouch, Oscarnominated scriptwriter and director Danile
Thompson and actress Elsa Zylberstein,
all of whom have contributed to the look.
In the bathroom, black ight cases used to
transport camera equipment now serve as
sink surrounds, and scripts, storyboards,
movie reels and set photographs are
incorporated into the artworks. From the
upper oors (once occupied by ofces)
there are superb views of the neo-Gothic
52 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Muse des Arts et Mtiers on rue Raumur.


Downstairs, theres a sunny conservatory
bar congured like a Hollywood lm set
with enormous spotlights, bespoke leather
directors chairs and glamorous mirrored tables
for breakfast (an impressive Continental
spread) or cocktails made with fresh syrups
and infusions (try the Vesper Martini). The
20-seat screening room shows three lms daily
(requests are encouraged) and the super-hip
Experimental Cocktail Club is nearby.
Doubles from AED 1,490; 0033-1-4039 6123,
le123sebastopol.com
SERENITY IN THE CITY

Htel Du Temps
9TH ARRONDISSEMENT

If this charming one-year-old boutique hotel


feels sepia-tinged, thats because designers
Alix Thomsen and Laura Leonard conceived
it that way. Set back from the noisy rue de
Faubourg Poissonnire, near child-friendly

WHERE TO STAY

musicians and photographers; it has also been


used as a venue for private concerts by acts
including Metronomy and Breakbot. The
hotel serves breakfast (fresh pastries from
local bakery Arnaud Delmontel) and teatime
madeleines and chocolate-chip cookies from
pastry supremo Christophe Michalak, but it
doesnt have a restaurant. However, staff keep
an updated list of the best places to eat within
a two-block radius, including the English-run
Albion and matchbox-sized Abri.
Doubles from AED 785; 0033-1-4770 3716,
hotel-du-temps.fr
DIPPY DESIGNER MASH-UP

Edgar Hotel
2ND ARRONDISSEMENT

E D GA R
HOTEL

The owners friends designed


the fantasy bedrooms: Chanel
designer Pascal Brault opted
for a moody, monochrome
space; photographer Yann
Arthus-Bertrand imagined
his as an African outpost

Square Montholon, it has a graceful, timeworn look with antiques and decorative pieces
including solid-wood desk chairs, wicker
stools (used as bedside tables) and cleverly
distressed mirrors from nearby curiosity shop
Archi-Noire. There are 23 sparsely furnished
bedrooms with lime-washed oorboards,
white walls and joyful, tropical-print curtains
and bed linens. It all feels very bucolic, a bit
like a serene summer villa. Original artworks
depicting American boxers Rocky Marciano
and Sugar Ray Robinson (by up-and-coming
artist Rafael Alterio) add to the old-school
vibe, and handmade soaps in the ivory-tiled
bathrooms lend a contemporary, artisanal
touch. The pretty, ground-oor sitting room
and cocktail bar is kitted out with leather
booths and geometric-styled oors, and theres
a low-lit basement bar with cosy banquettes
and mismatched cushions that has become
a hangout for a cool crowd of designers,

When hotelier and restaurateur Guillaume


Rouget-Luchaire decided to open this
contemporary inn in the heart of the stillthriving garment district of Sentier, he
imaged the space as a restaurant with rooms,
a foodie hangout for Parisian regulars and
visitors wanting to tap into the local scene.
The restaurant, with its mid-century Danish
tables and chairs, vintage pendant lamps and
patterned textiles, is always busy. Styleconscious bobos (bourgeois bohemians) feast
on dishes from the seafood-focused menu
dreamed up by Belgian chef Xavier Thiery
(whole John Dory llets from the Basque
Country; smoked herring or razor clams
a la plancha). Cocktail acionados knock
back serious drinks at the bar, including the
Parisienne, a blend of a spirit, St Germain and
lemon juice served on the rocks. Theres a
rollicking vibe late into the night, played out
against a soundtrack of Fifties jazz and the
steady clink of cocktail shakers. Upstairs, the
owners family and friends were given carte
blanche to design the 13 fantasy bedrooms:
Chanel designer Pascal Brault opted for a
moody, monochrome space; photographer
Yann Arthus-Bertrand imagined his as an
African outpost. Theres also a room with
pink, green and yellow walls, another with
Thirties oak furniture, and a pine-lined cabin
with 90 watercolours of treehouses. Its all a bit
bonkers, but in a good way.
Doubles from AED 765; 0033-1-4010 0519,
edgarparis.com
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 53

OCTOBER 2014

www.ArabWomanAwards.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT MUNAZZA CRAGHILL
MUNAZZA.CRAGHILL@ITP.COM

WHERE TO STAY

Bed-hopping with...

EDY GANEM

The American actress of Lebanese heritage and star of hit TV series Devious Maids on her top retreats

The cliff houses


are right on the
caldera rim and
feel almost like
a mirage

INTERVIEW: JENNY KING; PHOTO: PETER SVENSON

RO M E

HOTEL DE RUSSIE, ROME


My room had these out-of-a-story-book windows
that opened up to the most romantic view.
The location is wonderful; I could just walk
everywhere from the hotel. The impeccably
dressed doorman was fun to see each day
I really wanted to borrow his tall hat.
Doubles from AED 3,430; 0039-0632 8881,
roccofortehotels.com
CASA DORADA LOS CABOS, RESORT & SPA,
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO
Everything is wonderful here:
C ABO SA N
the rooms, the view, the pool,
LUCAS
the beach. The beaches in
Cabo San Lucas are rocky,
but this hotel has one of
the best. You can swim,
rent jet skis and take a boat
across to Lovers Beach.
And you can walk to the
clubs from the hotel.
Doubles from AED 850; 0052624-163 5757, casadorada.com
AKROLITHOS, SANTORINI
The cliff houses (formerly The Phenix)
are located in Imerovigli, right on the
caldera rim, and feel almost like a
mirage. This is by far the most magical
place I have ever stayed. The view is
unreal and the pool is beyond relaxing.
You have to see it to believe it.
Doubles from AED 982; 0030-228-602
2007, akrolithos-santorini.com

THE VENETIAN, LAS VEGAS


My suite had the yummiest bed it
was like a cloud and I didnt want to
get out. There was a big, beautiful
bathroom with a nice vanity area,
which is something I always look for
in a hotel. Guests can also enjoy a
gondola ride like in Venice.
Doubles from AED 500; 001-702-414
1000, venetian.com
LAS VEGAS

THOMPSON TORONTO
HOTEL, TORONTO
This hotel is chic and the rooms
are simple but cute. I like the
location in the middle of
everything as theres lots
to do so you wont be
bored. In the summer
time they have a fun
rooftop innity pool
with views of the city,
but if you go in winter
you can enjoy the heated
TORON TO
bathroom oors.
Doubles from AED 800; 001416-640 7778, thompsonhotels.com

NO THANKS
I dont like it when hotels have small
bathrooms with tiny sinks because
I like spreading out my beauty
products comfortably.

SA N TO R I N I
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 55

Antique
collection

The Four
Seasons began
construction of a
hotel in Madrid
in 2013. The
property, with
a plan for 215
rooms and luxury
apartments, will
be housed in a
series of historical
buildings in
the Plaza de
Canalejas,
adding to the
groups range of
antique hotels
following on from
Florence and
Saint Petersburg.

Location

DESIGN

RITZ MADRID

HOSPES MADRID
In a corner of the Plaza de la
Independencia, its walking distance
from the Prado Museum and Queen
Soa Arts Centre

The Baroque-style building


was built by King Alfonso
XIII, and the interior has
all the beauty of La Belle
poque

Housed in a historic building dating from


H
11883, the white interior has traditional
decorative detailing, with retro
d
minimalist furniture

Members of the royal family,


lm stars and political leaders.
Catherine Deneuve, George Clooney,
Princess Diana, the Clintons and Jacques
Chirac have all stayed here

F
Fashion-conscious travellers and designers

Rooms

The 137 rooms and 30 suites each have a


style of their own, with antique furniture,
embroidered fabrics and marble bathrooms

The 41 rooms are fresh and bright with


designer furniture and classical
dcor. Many of the rooms also
come with well-lit white
marble bathrooms

Food &
Drink

Theres an air of nostalgia at Goya


Restaurant, which puts an avant-garde twist
on traditional Spanish fare with a French
inuence. Authentic tapas is available in the
balcony garden

The Restaurant
Independencia has a relaxing
ambience, and with its view off
ce
the Alcal Gate its a great place
for afternoon tea or evening cocktails

Strengths

The location is great, as is the serene private


garden. The hotel also provides custom
tours for architecture enthusiasts, shoppers
and museum hoppers

The design of the interior is to die for and


it has great hydrotherapy facilities

There is no swimming pool

Breakfast and room service charges are


too high; many rooms have no desk;
Wi-Fi speed is average, which could cause
problems for guests on business

Doubles from AED 1,465

Doubles from AED 1,030

Plaza de la Lealtad, 5; 0034-91-701 6767,


ritzmadrid.com

Plaza de la Independencia, 3; 0034-91-432


2911, hospes.com

Clientele

Weaknesses

56 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

HISTORY

In the Plaza de la Lealtad, adjacent to


the Prado Museum and Buen Retiro
Park, surrounded by art galleries and
historical landmarks

Dcor

fourseasons.com

Amid the Spanish capitals museums, theatres and

Price
Contact

WORDS: WANG SHIYUAN;


PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

Madrid

ROOM SERVICE

designer boutiques youll nd these ve historic yet hip hotels

AVANT-GARDE

LUXURIOUS

ROMANTIC

HOTEL URBAN

VILLA MAGNA

CASA DE MADRID
RID

Near the citys central thoroughfare, the Gran


Va, with its clusters of designer stores and
restaurants; adjacent to the Puerta del Sol
and the old city

In the Salamanca district, surrounded by


luxury boutiques and fashionable restaurants

In Madrids old city, facing the


Royal Theatre, the Plaza de
Oriente and the Royal Palace

Cutting-edge style is mixed in with Bauhaus


inuences. The public areas are made of
steel and glass, and decorated with oriental
art and designer furniture

The hotel was originally the house of a


member of Spanish nobility. The interior
is bright and open, and the white of the
outer walls is complemented by the brightly
coloured, modern furniture

The hotel is nestled in an 18thcentury building; the owner has a great


collection of art and antiques, with lots
of stunning paintings on the wall

Design acionados, trendy holidaymakers


and business people

n
In addition to celebrities like Cameron
Diaz, Hugh Jackman and Gwyneth
Paltrow, the hotel is frequented by
heads of state and fashionistas

The 96 rooms are designed with black


leather, dark unvarnished wood and
Eastern antiques; the Loft suites in the
duplex are spacious

The white, grey and tan rooms all have


ve a
walk-in closet and a marble bathroom
with toiletries by Asprey

e
Europa Dec provides creative
Mediterranean cuisine;
the Glass Bar is good for
Japanese-style tapas, raw
oysters and cocktails

Th
The Mediterranean Restaurante Villa
M
Magna has a one-of-a-kind green menu;
C
Cantonese restaurant Tse Yang is a
ffavourite of the Spanish royal family

People who like privacy, those with


Pe
a taste for nostalgia and couples
llooking for peace and quiet

Seven
S
even rooms, with seven different
themes, including a Japanese Zen room, a
Greek room and a room inspired by India

Theres no restaurant, but breakfast and


refreshments are served in the library or
the lounge bar

The ancient Egyptian art on


d
display in the gallery is outstanding,
and theres a little dog to greet you

G
rea standard of service; the hotel
Great
has tthe feel of a private villa

Though the rooftop pool is good for


sunbathing and views over the city, theres
no temperature control; accessing the
Wi-Fi is overly complicated

The price of the drinks in the mini bar are


extremely high

Operating the old elevator can be a little


nerve-wracking

Doubles from AED 765

Doubles from AED 1,590

Doubles from AED 1,890

Carrera de San Jernimo, 34; 0034-91-787


7770, hotelurban.com

Paseo de la Castellana, 22;


0034-91-5871234, villamagna.es

Calle Arrieta, 2; 0034-91-559 5791,


casademadrid.com

With a homey feel, most of the rooms


have a balcony looking on to the Royal
Theatre

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 57

PARADISE LOST?
The Maldives is high on luxury travellers lists of idyllic getaways. But
tourism, the very thing that sustains the country, could also be jeopardizing
its future. Cain Nunns explores the environmental challenges facing the
slowly sinking island nation, revealing which resorts are trying to offset
the damage and how you can vacation with a conscience
ILLUSTRATION BY PETER CLINE
60 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

INVESTIGATION
Four Seasons
Resort Maldives at
Kuda Huraa runs a
turtle conservation
project

The twin-propeller seaplane surges


forward, rocking the passengers in the 12-seat
cabin backwards, before skimming over the
electric blue water. About 500 feet below the
surface, dozens of reef-ringed coral islands,
home to some of the worlds richest shing
grounds, forefront the dark navy of
the deep-water channel, like Gods own
luminous blue punch holes. On cue, the
collective chatter of approval resonates
through the fuselage. A honeymooning
Korean couple in matching Prada let out a
squeal, pointing and giggling simultaneously.
Nothing quite prepares rst-timers for the
sight of Maldives atolls from up high.
Canadian pilot James Simpson, who
has ferried streams of celebrities,
honeymooners and assorted glitterati to
Maldives one resort one island concept
of obscenely white beaches, swaying crescentmoon palm trees, butler service villas and
crystal-clear waters glistening under azure
skies, has heard it all before. First-timers
are just blown away, says the 34-year-old
Winnipeg transplant. The vast majority of
people have never seen anything like this,
and probably wont ever again.
It takes a few minutes to wrap your
head around the beauty. With the possible
exception of Tahiti, Fiji and the Seychelles,
the Maldives has very little competition in
the screensaver-perfect beaches department.
And nowhere does resort luxury like this
country of 394,000 in the middle of the Indian
Ocean. Its a reputation that has seen tourism
gures, room rates and new resort projects
skyrocket over the past ve years. Tourism
is responsible for about 70 per cent of
economic activity in the archipelago.
But beyond the pretty picture,
environmental alarm bells have been tolling
for an industry that, globally, has long been

a sustainability oxymoron. And perhaps


nowhere more so than in the Maldives.
This collection of 1,200 islands (about 200
inhabited) is the worlds lowest lying country
and is thus extremely vulnerable to climate
change and rising sea levels. With a highest
point of just 2.4m above sea level (a golf tee at
Shangri-Las southern Villingili resort), about a
dozen of its islands have already been claimed
by the ocean swallowed in their entirety
by the rising tides. Maldivian governments
have viewed themselves as climate change
canaries in the coal mine of global warming
for decades, and have warned that this
archipelago lying about 750km south-west
of Sri Lanka could produce the planets rst
environmental refugees within a generation,
if waters continue to rise.

t North Mal Atolls Four


Seasons Kuda Huraa, a 30-minute
speedboat ride from Mal the
worlds most densely populated
capital a pair of 18-month-old
green turtles circle the waterline
of their cobalt-grey holding
tank. They tussle and vie for the attention of
visitors, languidly raising their heads out of the
water, xing their gaze on the small crush of
excitable onlookers. Anything to relieve the
monotony of the tank.
North Mal has been at the forefront of
tourism since the country opened its doors to
visitors in the early Seventies and, ever since,

has acted as a litmus test for the environmental


pressures associated with the hospitality
industry. Back then, Maldives was one of the
worlds poorest nations, barely scraping by on
donor grants and shing. Tourism provided
much-needed hard currency, but there wasnt
much thought put into sustainability. And
among the rst casualties are many of the
aspects that attract visitors in the rst place.
The fragile coral reefs that sustain the white
and orange clownsh and rainbow-hued
parrotsh responsible for producing between
ve and seven tonnes of the Maldives
bright sands each year are facing a survival
challenge. And the turtle population, such
as the duo in the rehabilitation tank, has taken
a battering both as a direct result of tourism
and thanks to shermens ghost nets,
which oat on the currents from as far away
as Sri Lanka and India.
Theres been a ban on killing turtles since
1995 but there is very little local awareness,
so part of our programme is about getting
that awareness out there, says Sam Hope,
a 29-year-old English marine biologist, who
has been working at the resort for six months.
Its not about telling locals what to do but
helping them make informed decisions.
Hope says that the Toronto-based chain
spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each
year on conservation endeavors, including this
Head Start programme, which takes a pair of
hatchlings from different nests around the atoll
to rear until adolescence before releasing them
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 61

Anantara Kihavah
Villas has a resident
marine biologist
running manta
excursions

Coco Bodhu
Hithi focuses
on recycling
and has its own
vegetable garden

back to the reef. Only one in a thousand


make it from hatchling to adult. Everything
from cats to rats to birds, crabs and sh are
gunning for them. Its a real tough start, so we
try and mitigate those odds.
Hope readily admits that there are
economic incentives for resorts to marshal
environmental stewardship over their boltholes, particularly as a new breed of traveller
demands all the trappings of luxury sans the
environmental guilt. He estimates that a nest
of 100 turtle eggs would put about AED 55
in a poachers back pocket, but a pair of adult
turtles would earn a resort about AED 55,000
in diving and tourism revenues.
With yearly double-digit growth in arrivals
(visitor numbers surged to over one million for
the rst time in 2013, with tourists outstripping
locals by a ratio of about three-to-one) and the
AED 6.25 million per room cost of developing
luxury resorts here, the stakes are high to get
it right on the environmental front. Water
usage for hotels and swimming pools, pressure
on local resources like energy and food, land
degradation, sewage run-off, solid waste and
transportation emissions (a transatlantic return
ight emits almost half the CO2 emissions
consumed by an average person annually)
are some of the pressing concerns. Weve
been having this debate for over 25 years and
the reality is that greenhouse emissions are
not going down, says Ali Rilwan, executive
director of Bluepeace, Maldives oldest
environmental group. We need adaptability.
62 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Guests can help repair


coral reefs, visit turtle
habitats and sign up
for a manta ray
'on-call' programme

We cant just depend on global reductions. It


isnt working and it wont work.

ver at North Mal Atoll


stablemate Coco Bodu Hithi,
the mood is decidedly upbeat.
Workers are busy sandbagging the
back beach, a victim of seasonal
erosion. This doesnt seem to
bother the dozen or so newly
minted Chinese brides decked out in wedding
dresses despite the blazing noon sun. In the
turquoise water beyond, a clutch of silver
barracuda patrol the shoreline like marauding
armoured knights on their way to battle.
Education is key. Not only for guests
but for the locals who didnt have these

concerns earlier, says Chiara Fumagalli, Coco


Collections resident marine biologist. Here
we focus on iconic animals like sharks, turtles
and manta rays: the Big Three. We collect
information from our dives and aim to involve
the guests, so when they go home they look at
their own choices a little differently.
Fortunately, a good number of Maldives
resorts have adopted a similar attitude and
are making real efforts to reduce their carbon
footprint and minimise environmental impact.
And theyre doing it without compromising on
comfort and exclusivity.

COCO PRIV
Just 30km north of Mal sits luxe private
island Kuda Hithi. This masterclass of
contemporary design comprised of one master
residence and ve guest villas has quickly
carved out a reputation as the spot for the rich
and famous. Its slick James Bond baddie-lair
lines, private butler service by a former senior
footman to the Queen of England and general
anything is possible feel belie the efforts
the residence made to keep it sustainable
from the outset. Dreamed up by Singaporebased, award-winning eco-build guru Guz
Wilkinson, Priv utilises state-of-the-art and
highly efcient air, water, sewerage and power
systems; recycling stations; and roofs and
walls that trap cold and hot air when needed.
The result is Fifth Avenue chic that blends
seamlessly with the stunning natural beauty,
just metres from private beaches hosting
stingrays and its own family of reef sharks.
Island rental from AED 48,200 per night,
accommodating up to 12 guests; email queries to
yourplace@cocoprive.com, cocoprive.com

COCO BODU HITHI


Privs slightly more affordable cousin sits
just a ve-minute speedboat ride from its

INVESTIGATION
gilded shores. Coco Bodu Hithi is a laid-back,
almond-shaped property that has banned the
use of buggies for guest transportation. With
massive, thatch-roof water villas complete with
plunge pools perched over a vibrant house reef
beach, the eco action at this resort takes place
behind the palm-fringed curtain. Staff grow
their own vegetables in an organic garden and
use food waste to compost the garden and
the lush jungle of the islands interior. Plastic
bottles and straws are banned on the property,
with staffers relling biodegradable containers
as well as recycling and crushing paper, plastics
and glass before shipping it out to one of the
Maldives waste management rms.
Doubles from AED 2,940; 00960-664 1122,
cocoboduhithi.com

Four Seasons
Resort Maldives at
Landaa Giraavaru
is an all-villa resort
focusing on marine
education

ANANTARA
KIHAVAH VILLAS
Housed in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World
Biosphere Reserve since 2011, Thailandbased Anantaras Kihavah Villas has had
conservation on its mind since opening its
doors in 2012. During construction, builders
marked and numbered each tree that was
cleared and later planted three in its place.
A resident marine biologist runs dolphin
discovery, turtle quest and manta excursions,
as well as coral transplanting and data
collection dives of the areas indigenous sea
life. The resort also hosts marine education
lectures. A favourite of Cristiano Ronaldo,
Roger Federer and Madonna for its sugary
beaches, villas with plunge pools trailing into
the surf and reverent staff, the resort is also
home to a sublime underwater restaurant, Sea,
which serves up AED 55,000 bottles of grape
and superb contemporary cuisine.
Doubles from AED 4,540; 00960-664 4111,
kihavah-maldives.anantara.com
At Four Seasons Resort
Maldives at Kuda Huraa
guests can get involved
with coral-growing

FOUR SEASONS RESORT


MALDIVES AT KUDA
HURAA
The granddaddy of sustainability in the
country, this resort that exudes traditional
island charm was partially destroyed by
the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami
in 2004. It has since recovered and runs
a turtle conservation project, which
focuses on rehabilitation, and the Head
Start programme that takes selected
hatchlings from nests and raises them in
tanks before releasing them into the wild.
An identication and satellite-tracking
programme was also started by the hotel.
A coral-growing initiative, where guests
sponsor metal frames on to which coral
polyps are tied, allows sponsors to monitor
and check their progress online. The resort
has also slashed its use of plastic bottles
from 30,000 per month to about 500.
Doubles from AED 3,490; 00960-664 4888,
fourseasons.com/maldiveskh

FOUR SEASONS RESORT


MALDIVES AT LANDAA
GIRAAVARU
This 103-villa resort has an extensive
marine-education programme. Located
within the Baa Atoll UNESCO World
Biosphere Reserve, Four Seasons Landaa
Giraavaru is a remote natural wilderness
where manta rays and whale sharks
congregate for large chunks of the season.
Guests can help repair coral reefs, visit
turtle habitats and sign up for a manta ray
on-call programme, where the hotel pages
guests for dives when the rays are spotted.
Doubles from AED 4,040; 00960-660 0888,
fourseasons.com/maldiveslg

Recycled materials
are used in
renovations at Six
Senses Laamu

SIX SENSES LAAMU


The only resort in this central atoll was built
mostly by hand from treated New Zealand
pine. Water villas that resemble fancy tree
houses have specially designed windows
that circulate air and shade guests from the
pounding sun. The resort composts its food
waste, which is then used as fertilizer for
the organic vegetable garden that supplies
its restaurants. It runs a sustainable code of
conduct for dolphin-watching tours, one that
is being adopted throughout the country,
and recycles its glass and plastics, which are
crushed and used as clunker in cement for
future hotel builds and renovations, such as
for its swimming pools off select water villas.
Doubles from AED 2,545; 00960-680 0800,
gold-hotel.com/sixsenses
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 63

For more brands, check out our website - www.graziafest.com

THE DEBATE

OPINION

Are suborbital flights worth the cost?


YES
SEEHA L S H AH

ILLUSTRATION: SABINA PARKINSON

CEO and co-owner,


Inspired Lifestyle Global

As a kid you always get asked, What do you want to


be when you grow up? I know I wasnt alone when I
chose astronaut as my dream occupation. When I was
10, I visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and
saw a spacecraft taking off I was in complete awe. A
part of me has always dreamt about this seeing Earth
from space, the most iconic view afforded to mankind,
and experiencing the feeling of zero gravity. While
its not the cheapest of experiences (Dennis Tito, an
American entrepreneur, was the rst private customer
to travel into space and paid $20 million), today group
space ights such as the soon-to-be-launched Virgin
Galactic are around one per cent of the price you would
have to pay to go solo. You may even be able to shower
in space next year with the launch of the rst luxury
space hotel and you gain memories that will last a
lifetime. Tell me, is that not worth it?

NO
SOPH IE TOH
Founder and MD,
TOH Public Relations

With a price tag of around a quarter of a million dollars,


I nd it astounding that any civilian would pay the price
of a small home or an Aston Martin V12 Vantage to propel
themselves into space for a physically exhausting journey,
crammed into a gloried tin can. Did I mention the view?
Sadly youll be moving too fast to see much. I refuse to
believe that we have become so jaded as to entirely bypass
Mother Natures incredible travel bucket list swimming
with dolphins in the Pacic, witnessing the Northern
Lights or exploring the rainforest with an Amazonian
tribe. Any of these activities are preferable to making
the leap into the unknown, into a place where we cant
exist naturally and where theres a high risk of accident.
Apollo 13, anyone? This obsession with space and the nal
frontier is perhaps a gentle reminder that we need to come
down back to earth and focus on the rich, life-afrming
experiences that fall within our daily reach.

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 65

This Japanese lifestyle


boutique also hosts
exhibitions

JAPAN

In the hip Meguro district, among


Tokyos coolest design stores, Do
(pronounced doh) is Claskas shopcum-gallery, showcasing arts and
crafts by Japanese designers from the
countrys 47 prefectures. The eclectic
boutiques curator Takeo Okuma
travels around the country sourcing
collectible items such as ceramics,
wooden trays, chopsticks, stationary,
Japanese shoes and a carefully edited
selection of books on Japan; he even
kitted out the store with unusual
wooden ttings and furniture found
while on the road. Exhibitions are
held in the white-walled gallery space,
where promising young artisans are
invited to display their work.
0081-3-3719 8121, claska.com

WORDS: JENNY KING

CLASKA, TOKYO

SLUG

TRAVEL in STYLE

PHOTOGRAPH: XXXXXXXXX WORDS BY: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

HOTEL SHOPPING STYLE GUIDE HOW TO PACK LAURICE RAHM

RETAIL
RETREATS
Gone are the days when hotel gift shops merely
stocked forgotten sundries, uninspired souvenirs
and overpriced bottles of sun lotion. Properties
around the world are upping their game with
dedicated merchandisers and buyers commissioning
one-of-a-kind designer pieces, curating quirky
collections of memorabilia and collaborating with
local artisans on projects that help you take
home a unique memento from your travels

TURKEY

MAMA SHELTER
ISTANBUL

Colourful, printed
notebooks can
be snapped up at
Mama Shop

A quirky hotel needs a kooky gift


shop and Mama Shop certainly ts
the bill. The off-beat boutique offers
the essentials (dental kits) along
with the unexpected (Batman mask,
anyone?). Located in the lobby,
youll nd Mama Skin products and
camouage sleeping masks alongside
neon alarm clocks, kettle-shaped
lamps and emergency moustaches
for Movember, ensuring youll take
home something more original from
your sojourn than Turkish delight.
You can even order your kitsch goods
from your room and pick them up at
reception as you check out.
0090-212-252 0100, mamashelter.com

Beachy essentials
and designer
exclusives line
the walls

NEW ZEALAND

THE OYSTER
INN, WAIHEKE,
AUCKLAND

This airy boutique on New Zealands


Waiheke Island is the brainchild
of Andrew Glenn, a former Louis
Vuitton executive, who co-founded
the shabby-chic hotel. Inside the
Hamptons-esque shop youll nd dipdyed kaftans, sandals and beach bags
from the propertys own label The
Waihetian, alongside swimming trunks
by Orlebar Brown, Soludos espadrilles
from Spain, oversized beach towels in
the inns signature canary-yellow and
special white-and-yellow Havaianas
jandals (Kiwi for ip-ops), a design
from 1970 that Glenn had reissued to
be sold exclusively at the shop.
0064-9-372 2222, theoysterinn.co.nz

68 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

SHOPPING
One-off designs
sit alongside
the hotels own
fashion line

ITALY

LE SIRENUSE,
POSITANO
Emporio Sirenuse is as elegant as hotel
gift shops get, with a thoughtfully
selected range of clothing, accessories
and homewares by designers in
Como, Naples and Mumbai made
exclusively for the iconic family-run
Italian hotel. Launched in December,
owner Carla Sersales Le Sirenuse
Collection features Positano-inspired
oaty kaftans, tunics, dresses and
skirts in vibrant hues and eye-catching
prints. The hotel also produces its own
fragrance and body care range, Eau
dItalie, and sells one-off Carlo Moretti
Bora tumblers that have been used at
the propertys Champagne and Oyster
Bar since it opened in 2001. To keep
up with popular demand, Emporio
Sirenuse has also launched an online
store (emporiosirenuse.com).
0039-089-87 5066, sirenuse.it

Melissa Odabash
beachwear and Linda
Farrow sunglasses, handpicked by a retail buyer

CARIBBEAN

THE RITZCARLTON, ARUBA


A specialist Ritz-Carlton retail buyer
and fashion director works closely
with designers to curate unique
collections for this quintessentially
Caribbean hotel boutique: Resort wear
by Matthew Williamson, swimwear
by Heidi Klein, Mara Hoffman and
Melissa Odabash, sunglasses by Linda
Farrow, Chlo and The Row and
headgear by Eugenia Kim and Tracy
Watts are hand-picked for the shop.
One-off pieces created specically for
the hotel are on the cards for next year.
In addition to publishing an extensive
retail catalogue for its guests, the
property will also hold trunks shows
and designer events with Melissa
Odabash and TAJ by Sabrina, among
others, this season.
00297-527 2222, ritzcarlton.com

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 69

Local craftsmen
create custom
pieces for the
boutique

MOROCCO

FOUR SEASONS
RESORT
MARRAKECH
The Maarifa Cultural Centre
boutique in the heart of the
peaceful resort is a haven for
Moroccan handicrafts like painted
bowls, Berber carpets, tea sets and
candles scented with fragrances
created for the property, as well
as Morrocan oils, essences and
spices. For a stylish keepsake,
pick up nely crafted jewellery
made with semi-precious stones,
python-leather clutch bags and
embroidered slippers, all created by
local artisans. But its not just about
the shopping the centre also hosts
art exhibitions, live demonstrations
by local craftsmen and workshops in
perfume-making, Arabic calligraphy,
embroidery and mint tea rituals.
00212-524-359 200, fourseasons.com/
marrakech

THAILAND

BANYAN TREE
PHUKET

Aspiring artisans
are promoted
at the shopcum-gallery

70 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Guests can shop with a conscience at


the Banyan Tree Gallery where hotel
merchandisers work with artisans in
nearby villages to develop products
using materials indigenous to the
region, such as batik-inspired pencils,
decorative paper fans, candle holders,
cushion covers, sarongs and handbags
stitched with hill tribe embroidery.
More than a gift shop, the Gallery
promotes Thailands heritage and
culture by giving a platform to aspiring
artisans and supporting projects like
selling vintage-inspired model boats,
the proceeds of which go toward
ongoing tsunami relief. You can
also take home a piece of the hotel
experience with Banyan Tree Spa body
products, incense and essential oils.
0066-76-37 2400, banyantree.com/en/
phuket

SHOPPING

UK

ACE HOTEL LONDON


SHOREDITCH
The check-in desk at this hip East
London hangout is part vinyl sleeveart showcase, part concept store with
shelves displaying hotel-branded
caps and T-shirts, eco-friendly hair
products and the result of designer
collaborations like the Ace London x
A.P.C. quilt, Ace x Hancock poncho
and Ace x Rega RP1 turntable. The
hotel also hosts some of the citys
hottest pop-up shops such as vinylonly record store Sister Ray and, this
month, fashion emporium Opening
Ceremony that stocks emerging
London designers Faustine Steinmetz
and Marques Almeida alongside
collaborative lines like DKNY for
Opening Ceremony, which will be
exclusively pre-launched in the store.
0044-207-613 9800, acehotel.com/london

The check-in
desk doubles
up as a concept
store

Handcrafted
ponchos by local
designer Avar
Saracho

ARGENTINA

FAENA HOTEL
BUENOS AIRES
Purchase a piece of Argentine
heritage at La Boutique, a showcase
for local talent at the riverfront,
Philippe-Starck-designed Faena
Hotel. Collaborating with designers
on limited-edition pieces, the shop
specialises in alpaca ponchos by Avar
Saracho, carved crystal objects by
De Maartis and silverwork by Juan
Carlos Pallarols, who has made pieces
for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sharon
Stone, Antonio Banderas, Bill Clinton
and Nelson Mandela. The boutique
features over 120 Argentine designers
works including handmade jewellery,
cufinks, Panama hats and bikinis.
0054-11-4010 9000, faena.com/faenahotel-buenos-aires

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 71

Guests can enjoy


the outdoor pool
with views of the
Arabian Gulf

DOHA
CALLING
Lush gardens, a tranquil spa and award-winning cuisine make
The Ritz-Carlton, Doha the ideal mini-break spot
72 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

TRAVELLER PROMOTION
The hotel
blends classic
European
design with
traditional
Arabic features

The Ritz-Carlton,
Doha is ideally
located on the citys
picturesque coast

Plush Junior Suites


offer complete
relaxation and
comfort

For a city break within easy reach, head


to The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, a hotel that emulates the
style of Europes capital cities, effortlessly combined
with famous Arabian hospitality. The result is an opulent,
waterfront haven, perfect for relaxing and just a short
drive from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Rooms are a mixture of classic European and Arabic
design with wooden oors, velvet and silk wall fabrics,
calligraphy pieces and large Italian marble bathrooms,
striking a balance between grandeur and comfort.
Every room comes with impressive views from large
windows facing out over the Arabian Gulf, the Marina
or Dohas city skyline.
After a morning of wandering through the nearby
Souq Waqif or soaking up some culture at the Museum
of Islamic Art, guests can take advantage of the extensive
spa facilities with rejuvenating treatments such as the
Ritz-Carlton Diamond Body Indulgence.
Theres no shortage of dining options, which include
the romantic Porcini restaurant with a menu inspired
by Northern Italy, fresh seafood and steak at La Mer,
an international buffet at The Lagoon, and the awardwinning Afternoon Tea with a View on the 23rd oor. In
the evenings, the atmosphere is lively at sophisticated bar
Habanos, which serves up signature cocktails and cigars
to a soundtrack from a live Cuban band, and the gardens
are perfect for an after-dinner constitutional amid date
palms, tropical shrubs and hidden pools.

The Amiri Suite


comes with
a private
dining area

For more information, call 00974-4-484 8000


or visit ritzcarlton.com/doha
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 73

MOCCASINS WITH TASSELS, SANTONI; BLACK OXFORD SHOES, COGNAC OXFORD SHOES, BLACK BROGUES;
ALL CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN; BELT, LOUIS VUITTON; GLOVES, SUNGLASSES; BOTH BRIONI

SLUG

EXOTIC
ESCAPE

These oversized
weekend bags in soft,
supple leather are made
for a wild adventure

LUGGAGE

WORDS: JENNY KING; STYLE: ESTHER QUEK; PHOTO: DANNY ALLISON; STYLISTS ASSISTANT: ARAVIN SANDRAN

1 Black crocodile
leather extendable
trolley, AED 73,700,
Zilli
2 Black matte crocodile
leather holdall, AED
249,000, Louis Vuitton
3 Black alligator leather
holdall, AED 121,000,
Ralph Lauren
4 Brown ostrich leather
holdall, AED 24,300,
Alfred Dunhill

HOW TO SLUG
PACK
1

RUSTIC
CHARM

Syrian fashion designer


Rami Al Ali on what he packs
for a road trip through the
Portuguese countryside
6
5
3
4
7

11

10

Hot tip
12

Ensure T-shirts are


placed at in your
case so creases are
minimized and they
are ready to wear

14

WORDS: JENNY KING; STYLE: ESTHER QUEK; PHOTO: DANNY ALLISON;


STYLISTS ASSISTANT: ARAVIN SANDRAN

13

ts all about laid-back style in this


small country nestled between
Spain and the Atlantic. Drive
through Portugals lush vineyards and
villages in an unfussy wardrobe of
polo shirts, relaxed trousers or shorts
and loafers. Transitional items in a
similar colour palette can be worn
casually for a day of exploring castles
and palaces or dressed up for a
traditional, rustic dinner. Roll up tight
to save space in your carry-on and
dont forget your playlist.

15

16

1 Jeans, AED 925, BOSS Black at Bloomingdales 2 Polo shirt, AED 1,650, Valentino at Bloomingdales 3 Shiseido Men Total Revitalizer Eye Cream, AED 301
4 Shiseido Cleansing Foam, AED 147 5 Apple iPad mini, AED 1,149 6 BlackBerry Q10, AED 1,025 7 Tortoiseshell sunglasses, AED 1,720, Tom Ford 8 Herms Eau
de Mandarine Ambre Hair and Body Shower Gel, AED 180 9 Croc-embossed leather notebook and pencils, price on request, Ralph Lauren 10 Angel Schlesser
Absolute Oriental fragrance, AED 255 11 T-shirt, AED 925, 3.1 Phillip Lim at Bloomingdales 12 Gommino loafers, AED 1,722, Tods for Ferrari 13 Leather belt,
AED 2,825, Brioni 14 Leather sandals, AED 4,500, Berluti 15 Chino shorts, AED 630, Polo Ralph Lauren 16 Leather duffel bag, AED 22,400, Louis Vuitton

ANIMAL
KINGDOM
These nature-inspired jewelled
masterpieces ensure that the great
outdoors is just a wrist ick away

WORDS: RHEA SARAN; STYLE: ESTHER QUEK;


PHOTO: EFRAIM EVIDOR; FASHION ASSISTANT: ARAVIN SANDRAN

WATCHES

1 Attrape-moi si tu maimes
watch in pink gold with
diamonds, myrtle burl and
cornelian, AED 308,600,
Chaumet
2 Ajoure Camlon
jewellery watch in white
gold with sapphires,
tsavorites and rubies,
AED 244,800, Boucheron
3 Les Ateliers dArt The
Bird Repeater timepiece
in 18-carat red gold and
hand-patinated birds,
AED 3.2 million,
Jaquet Droz at Rivoli
4 Lady Arpels Capricorn
Extraordinary Dial watch
in white gold bezel with 53
round diamonds, price on
request, Van Cleef & Arpels

NOW AVAILABLE AT THE APP STORE

DOWNLOAD YOUR DIGITAL ISSUE TODAY

Go to the App Store & Search for Viva Middle East

f facebook.com/MyVivaMagazine l @VIVAwomen

vivamagazine

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL

Petite-Malle,
price on request,
Louis Vuitton

CNT
CL A S SIC

Small but perfectly formed, these iconic


trunks are ideal for an exotic escape
EDITOR: VIRGINIA SMITH; PHOTO: ERIC BOMAN

PHOTOGRAPH: XXXXXXXXX WORDS BY: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

TRUNK
SHOW
Louis Vuittons relationship with
travel spans well over 150 years. And
though the malletier was founded
to supply well-to-do Parisians with
large-scale luxury trunks for exotic
getaways, Nicolas Ghesquire has
invoked that same commitment to
wanderlust with a charming debut
line of miniaturized accessories. Its
about transformation, Ghesquire
says. I wanted to turn the LV
trunk into a precious but functional
handbag. With their antique-style
locks and Epi leather dyed in joyous
hues, theyre a perfect passport to
freewheeling fun.
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 81

Scents & sensuality


With notes ranging from Italian rose to
Madagascar pepper to Indonesian patchouli,
these velvety fragrances are tting for an
international woman of mystery

4
2

WORDS: RHEA SARAN; STYLE: ESTHER QUEK;


PHOTO: EFRAIM EVIDOR; FASHION ASSISTANT: ARAVIN SANDRAN

BEAUTY

1 Penhaligons Tralala,
AED 900
2 Narciso Rodriguez
Narciso, AED 560
3 Roberto Cavalli Nero
Assoluto, AED 480
4 Clinique Beyond Rose,
AED 489
5 Agent Provocateur
Fatale, AED 465
6 Acqua di Parma Rosa
Nobile, AED 680
7 Salvatore Ferragamo
Signorina Eleganza, AED 370
8 Carven Le Parfum, AED 401
9 Amouage Journey Woman,
AED 1,185

SLUG

BEAUTY
SLUG

From top: The


spice souk in
Cairo inspired
Rahms scents;
her fragrances
are an ode
to New York
neighbourhoods
like Wall Street

Bond No.9 founder and perfume expert Laurice Rahm on


her favourite New York haunts and bottling the Middle East

aris-born, New York-based Laurice


Rahm began her beauty career
with Lancme, expanding the
French beauty giants presence
in the Middle East, before bringing Annick
Goutal perfumes to America then setting
up her own niche fragrance brand, Bond
No.9. Rahm fell in love with her adopted
home, where she has resided for the past
three decades, and her brand is an ode to
the Big Apple with each fragrance capturing
the personality of the neighbourhood for
which its named. As she launches her new
fragrance, Shelter Island, Rahm reveals how
her travels have inuenced her scents.
Whats your earliest fragrance memory?
When I was 14 I was given my rst fragrance,
Herms Calche. I was the only person at my
boarding school to own a bottle of perfume.
My friends owned nice soap and deodorant,
but I was lucky enough to start very young.
Is that where your passion for scents began?
No, it happened later as I travelled through
the Middle East and North Africa. I was
inspired by the scents in the souk in Cairo.
There are thousands of smells from all the

spices and they are very powerful. Coming


from Paris, where the smells are fresh and
subtle, it was a big awakening for me. One of
my fragrances, New York Oud, is inspired by
this region. It features notes of honey, saffron
and spices and is quite mysterious.
How would you bottle the Middle East?
My Signature fragrance is a fresh oud that
reects how the region is changing. You
see the architecture changing, the hotels
it is becoming more Westernised, so I
created a Western oud by adding fresh
bergamot, which is a French note. Its
quite surprising as it seems European
and then you get the oud.
What draws you to the Middle East?
Im half French and half Lebanese,
but being born and raised in
Paris I have always searched for
my other half. I love the richness
of the food, the avours, the
smells and the music they
tell a story. I wish I could
Bond No.9
bottle the smell of tabbouleh
Shelter Island
its fresh citrus scent would
fragrance,
work well with mint.
AED 1,415 at

Tell us about a recent scent youve


developed?
New York has fantastic beaches and for
Spring/Summer 14 we created Shelter
Island, based on a rustic, artistic community
in The Hamptons. Its a marine oud, which
we havent done before. The idea is that you
have the smell of the ocean, very fresh at the
beginning, then the oud hits you.
What do you love to do in New York?
I design all my bottles, so I spend a lot of
time in museums, art stores and bookshops.
I love the MoMA. Bond No.9 is a modern
company so Im interested in anything that
is new and contemporary in art.
How has Paris inspired you?
I studied at the Louvre and they run
a great art school at night. Paris is
very traditional. Whether it is art, fashion
or fragrances, it has this oldworld feel. So its good for
your taste training, but then
you have to branch out and
move into the 21st century.

Harvey Nichols
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 85

INTERVIEW: JENNY KING; PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

SCENTS IN THE CITY

Your brand is all about New York how do


you capture a neighbourhood in a fragrance?
My ofce is on Bond Street, which is where
the name came from. In terms of scents,
Chinatown is a very colourful, interesting
neighbourhood, where New Yorkers go
to eat. Its known for its spices, so I used
cardamom and cinnamon on top of
tuberose. Harlem is famous for its jazz cafs
so we used strong coffee notes, vanilla and
patchouli to create a unisex fragrance. As a
rule, we try to do unisex scents as thats how
perfumery started, but occasionally we do
mens fragrances such as Wall Street. It has a
strong kemp note with cucumber to make it
fresh and dynamic yet strong and masculine.

Written by RHEA SARAN | Photographed by MAZEN ABUSROUR | Styled by LIZZIE NORTHCOTE

A road trip through the dramatic desert countryside


needs a car and a wardrobe to match. CNT cruises
to the edge of the mystical Rub al Khali in high style
86 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Dress by Lanvin.
Shoes by
Jimmy Choo

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 87

Jumpsuit by Chanel.
Shoes by McQ by
Alexander McQueen.
Luggage by Global
Traveller at Harvey Nichols

88 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Think of taking a Rolls-Royce on a road


trip and the image that springs to mind is of
gently curving English country roads, rolling
comfortably past elds dotted with sheep
cordoned off by rustic wooden fencing. In the
distance, behind the aforementioned pastures,
a moss-covered cottage, perhaps, sits pretty
on the outskirts of a sleepy village with its one
pub. Eventually you or, more likely your
trusty chauffeur swing the extensive bonnet
through towering gates into a manor-turnedboutique hotel, where youll disembark in
time for afternoon cocktails on the terrace.
What youre not anticipating on a road
trip in a Rolls-Royce is the moment when
you pause along a highway seemingly in
the middle of nowhere, with nothing but at
desert stretching into the distance on either
side and contemplate the success rate of
stepping hard on the accelerator to take the car
off-road across a steep sand embankment. And
what youre expecting even less is that the car
will, with a barely audible growl as it engages
its twin-turbo V12 engine, oat over the terrain
and conquer the slope with so little discernible
effort that you could just as easily have been
cruising across concrete tarmac for all the
difference in ride comfort.
But thats the thing about the Wraith, a
four-seat coup that, with a 0-60mph record
of 4.6 seconds, is the fastest car in the storied
British brands stable: in many ways it dees
what youre expecting. That should have
been clear from the moment it pulled up
to the curb in Dubai. Even in this town of
exotic supercars, it stood out like a stallion
in a eld of mares. There was something
rakish, irreverent, about its stance. Even at
rest, you had the sense that it was poised to
leap forward, perhaps owing to the angular
forward tilt of the Spirit of Ecstasy over the
deeply recessed front grill and the uid
fastback silhouette. It waited for us to load
our gear with an air of impatience, as if to
say, Bring it on now!
Ill admit I wondered about taking this
sleek piece of engineering out into the wilds of
the desert. It seemed, from rst impressions,
to be more suited to a city more specically a
city like Gotham, at night, in the rain, waiting
in the shadows to leap to the aid of a fair
damsel, piercing the darkness with a ash of its
headlights. (Sweeping this ctional lady into
the car while accelerating quickly past the bad
guys would be a breeze thanks to the coach
doors that conveniently open the optimal way
for just such an operation.)
Yet, as we set off on the road to Abu
Dhabi, you could feel the car starting to

Inspired by fort
architecture from Abu
Dhabi and Al Ain, Qasr
Al Sarab was designed
to preserve authenticity

stretch its thus far city-bound legs (or in this


case, its 20in, seven-spoke wheels). We drove
cautiously initially, rendered mildly selfconscious by the stares and craned necks the
Wraith evoked from passersby as it aunted its
lithe blue body (I say lithe despite its nearly
2.5 tonne weight, because you just dont feel
it), gliding down the highway out of the city.
Theres not a whole lot to recommend the
landscape for much of the journey between
Dubai and our port of nal call, the Liwa
Oasis. Californias Pacic Coast Highway or
the back roads of Provence this is not. The
only tangible difference in the fairly uniform
view out the window over the three-and-a-half
hour drive was the changing tone of the sand,
which went from a lacklustre beige to a more
strident, eye-catching red as we neared our
destination, giving the landscape a depth it
had lacked before.
A road trip in these parts, then, is largely
about your ride and eventually, the
destination. Fortunately, the Wraith kept
us busy enough not to xate on what was
happening (or not) on the sidelines. Once
we hit open road, it truly came into its
own, showing off the smart technology that
automatically adjusts the eight-speed drive
mode based on predictions about the road
ahead, purring like a domestic feline while
achieving mph better associated with the
wilder of the species, encouraging you, the
driver, to adopt some of the devil may care

attitude the car comes loaded with. This is a


drivers car, no doubt about it.
Years ago, I test-drove a Phantom in
Mumbai, taking the drivers seat for the rst
hour until I realised that no one I knew who
owned one actually drove it themselves. And
so I handed back the reins and retired to the
expansive back seat where I could sink my
feet until they disappeared into the thick,
shaggy lambs-wool rug. That was a true Rolls
experience, I thought. Of course I hadnt met
the Wraith back then.
Thats not to suggest that this avatar scores
any lower on the comfort scale than its less
sporty predecessors. The carpeting, while
not quite as much of a shagpile as the one in
the Phantom, is still soft and luxurious. The
detailing is what youve come to expect from
the brand ne leather, violin key window
controls, circular retro-chic vents with some
sportier extras, like the blood-orange tips
on the speedometer and the chrome bullettipped leather piping of the seats.
Which is all to say, we didnt much miss the
view until we nally turned off the highway
on to a recently paved path winding along
gigantic undulating dunes. Driving to the crest
of one of these sand hills, all you could see
for miles upon miles were waves of reddish
orange rising and falling, with scrub bushes
and the occasional sand gazelle breaking up
the otherwise even palette. The desert nally
had our attention.
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 89

Dress by SW7 by Mariam


Bengali at Harvey
Nichols. Shoes by McQ
by Alexander McQueen.
Sunglasses by Wildfox
at s*uce. Belt, hat; both
stylists own

Designed like a fortress from without the illusion begins with


the crossing of what would have been a drawbridge were this a
real fort the insides are decidedly more palatial

Blouse by Philosophy at Harvey Nichols. Jacket by Reiss. Shorts by Ted Baker. Shoes by Prada

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 91

92 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Dress by Reiss.
Coat by Gucci.
Shoes by McQ by
Alexander McQueen

Given the Rub al Khalis inhospitable


conditions, theres a mirage-like quality to the
lush oasis emerging out of the dunes, sustained
by an underwater river

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 93

The Rolls-Royce
Wraiths 12-cylinder
engine makes it ideal
for the open road

Traditional
design elements
are peppered
throughout the
property
The villas come
equipped with
personal plunge
pools, backed by
vistas of endlessly
undulating dunes

he Liwa Oasis consists of about 50


villages along a 150km-long arched
belt at the edge of the Rub al Khali
(also known as the Empty Quarter),
the largest sand desert in the world. Given
the deserts inhospitable conditions, theres
a mirage-like quality to the lush oasis
emerging out of the dunes, sustained by
an underground river. Liwa is considered
particularly important to the UAE populace
with the ruling families of Dubai and Abu
Dhabi tracing their roots to this spot.
Dates, camels, water and pearls (dived
for off the coast of nearby Abu Dhabi city)
were the four cornerstones of the Bedouin
tribespeople who inhabited these parts, and
dates are still a source of both pride and
business here each July, the annual Liwa
Date Festival takes place with dozens of
Emirati farmers vying for the title of best date
grower. Prizes are handed out for excellence
in various categories and theres even an
auction, where a kilo of dates has sold for
upwards of AED 3,500. Modernisation has,
naturally, altered the lives of the locals over
time, but somehow its been done in a way
that isnt jarring.
And nowhere captures this old-world
ethos with more air than Qasr Al Sarab, an
Anantara resort that despite being only ve
years old and foreign-owned manages to give
the impression of having always been here,
a village nestled in this valley between the
dunes. Designed like a fortress from without
the illusion begins with the crossing of what
would have been a drawbridge were this a
real fort with turrets and high walls aplenty,
the insides are decidedly more palatial. With
traditional touches of the region, a room off the
main lobby area became an instant favourite:
bookshelves piled high with worn hardbacks;
94 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

large jars lled with sand lined up along a


credenza; in the corner an urn full of ornate
walking sticks; and walls covered in maps and
other desert memorabilia, including a rather
angry-looking mounted camels head. It was
like stumbling into the den of an eccentric old
nobleman-adventurer.
Having handed the Wraith off to an eager
valet, we were transported in golf buggies
that have fast become the ubiquitous
mode of transportation at most sprawling
resorts to our villa, a collection of which
are set to one side of the main building that
houses guestrooms as well as the dining
areas and a large swimming pool. The sense
of authenticity follows on in here, with a
decorative wall inset with traditional vases
and jugs as well as a thatched layer of woven
palm leaves along the ceiling (a technique
that was used by the areas tribespeople to
construct their homes). Further down, for
those requiring more privacy, is a separate
cluster of 10 Royal Pavilion Villas, with
a dedicated helipad, lobby and check-in
area, butler service, a spa (distinct from
the Anantara Spa in the main resort, where
in a unique twist, curtains are left open in
treatment rooms to provide an unobstructed
view of the desert), and evening cocktails
on the terrace with a vantage point for the
stunning dune-backed sunsets.
The views are pretty spectacular from any
point in the resort, really. It was while soaking
in the private plunge pool out the back of
our villa, gazing at the desert stretching
seemingly into innity that I began to really
appreciate sand, quite possibly for the rst
time (Im a beach person only insomuch as I
can go straight to a lounger and lie there with
a book and an umbrella-drink all day). In
contrast to the visual fatigue that the at beige

The villa roof has


a layer of woven
palm leaves
thats authentic
to the region

sand induced during the early parts of our


drive, the deep ochre of these rolling dunes
was both mesmerising and soothing. I could
have spent hours staring into the distance
contemplating the vastness of the universe
but there were crew dinners to attend and
shoot call times to stick to.
The weekend passed far too quickly
but was lled with moments of brilliance,
like watching the shadows play across the
landscape at 5am as the sun, not quite so
erce yet, glowed winningly as it emerged
from behind a dune. Or being stopped, quite
literally, in our tracks one night as we wound
our way back to the villa after an iftar feast
that included a an exceptionally large range
of mezze and a succulent on-the-bone lamb
tagine at the resorts Al Waha restaurant by
the night sky. Once youve seen a starspeckled sky in the desert, you realise just
how unsatisfactory all your previous sky-gazing
experiences have been.
Though it had only been home for a few
short days, as we re-packed for the journey
back, there was more than a little regret at
leaving this sanctuary. The only thing that
could perk us up was knowing that part two of
our tryst with the Wraith was imminent. With
that in mind, we loaded up the boot, cued the
playlist and ipped on the switch for the 1,340
bre optic stars sewn into the roof so we
could take a piece of desert sky with us.

Dress by Anthropology
of Design at Harvey
Nichols. Coat, belt; both
by Herms. Boots
by Roger Vivier.
Bag by Miu Miu

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 95

Dress by Preen
by Thornton
Bregazzi at s*uce.
Necklace by Chanel

All you could see for miles upon miles were


waves of reddish orange rising and falling,
with scrub bushes and the occasional sand
gazelle breaking up the otherwise even palette

96 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

GETTING THERE
Most carriers in the GCC y direct
to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Liwa is a
three-and-a-half-hour drive from
Dubai, and a one-and-a-half-hour
drive from Abu Dhabi city.

STAY
Qasr Al Sarab Desert
Resort by Anantara
Surrounded by rolling sand dunes,
this Bedouin-fort-style resort by
the Thai hotel chain offers an
authentic experience of the region
through food at its ve restaurants,
activities (including falconry, dune
bashing, archery, visits to date and
camel farms) and architecture.
Ideal for families with its kids club
and large pool area. An Anantara
Spa, with soothing treatments and
desert views, is on site.
Double rooms from AED 975,
Pool Villas from AED 3,175, Royal
Pavilion Villas from AED 4,800;
00971-2-886 2088, qasralsarab.
anantara.com

PIT STOPS
Tel Moreeb
One of the tallest dunes in the
world at 300 metres high, Tel
Moreeb is a natural wonder. The
best time to visit is in winter during
the Liwa International Festival,
when 4x4s, bikes and buggies
race to the top of this dune.
The event also includes other
traditional activities like falconry
and horse and camel riding. Food
stalls are on offer and theres
even a classic car show.
Emirates National Auto Museum
You cant miss this museumon
your way to and from Liwa the
gargantuan Land Rover at the
entrance is a dead giveaway. Inside
is a pyramid-shaped museum,
backed by an old airplane, and a
giant globe on wheels out front.
Housing HH Sheikh Hamad Bin
Hamdan Al Nahyans personal
collection, theres a wide range of
kitted-out automobiles, including
an old Mercedes atop monster
truck wheels.
enam.ae

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 97

Shirt by Maison Martin


Margiela at Harvey
Nichols. Trousers by
Markus Lupfer at Harvey
Nichols. Shoes by Jimmy
Choo. Clutch by Moschino

98 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Dress, coat (draped on chair); both by Chanel. Shoes by Repetto

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 99

Suit, coat; both by Dior. Top by Zayan The Label at s*uce. Shoes by Marni. Bag by Gucci

100 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Dress by Gucci.
Boots by Herms.
Black shopping trolley
by Chanel. Luggage
by Global Traveller
at Harvey Nichols

MODEL: CHRIS DA SILVEIRA AT WILHELMINA MODELS DUBAI; HAIR & MAKE-UP: MANUEL LOSADA
THANKS TO QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA AND ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS LIMITED

We loaded up the boot and ipped on the


switch for the bre optic stars sewn into the
cars roof so we could take a piece
of the desert sky with us

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 101

Early morning
view of
Thimphu,
Bhutans capital
102 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO: MARTIN WESTLAKE

BEWITCHED
BY BHUTAN
With its soaring mountains, lush valleys and unique culture,
this tiny kingdom is enchanting, says Anupama Chopra

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 103

Relax on
the outdoor
terrace at
Uma by
COMO, Paro

104 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTOS: MARTIN WESTLAKE, UMA BY COMO, PARO

The interiors
of Amankora
Gangtey

The Gangtey
Goemba
monastery

iven a choice, I would die in Bhutan. I want


to cease breathing as I sit in Punakha, taking in
the snow-capped Himalayas, the rows of prayer
ags uttering in the cool breeze and the
imposing 17th-century dzong (palace), known
as Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang or the
palace of great happiness. I cant think of a
more tting last visual.
Bhutan is the closest some of us will get to
heaven. My love affair with this reclusive country
started more than a decade ago. My husband,
lm-maker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, was born and
raised in Kashmir and three decades in Mumbai
havent dampened his love for mountains. When the intractable
conict in the state rendered home unreachable, we tried to nd
solace in a substitute a few vacations were spent wandering through
Switzerland, but after a while its clinical prettiness got tedious. Then,
one summer, a friend suggested Bhutan. And that was 14 years ago.
I still recall the rst glimpse as the plane dipped and swerved.
What came into view were trees, scattered houses and the airport
terminal building, built in the traditional architectural style with
which every building in the country is required to comply. The tiny
airport seemed like a dolls house or leftovers of a lm set. With four
check-in desks and one baggage carousel, it set the tone for the rest
of the country: culturally rooted and simple in the best sense of
the word. On that rst trip, we drove straight from Paro Airport
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 105

106 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Instead of Gross Domestic Product


(GDP), Bhutan rates its progress by
Gross National Happiness or GNH, a
measure of how happy its citizens are

to Thimphu, Bhutans capital, which is


approximately an hour away. We werent
really sure what to expect, and staying in a city
seemed like a safe bet.
Of course, Thimphu wasnt like any city we
had ever encountered. Even today, Bhutans
biggest city is famously the worlds only capital
without trafc lights trafc policemen sufce
to direct cars. Approximately 100,000 people
live in Thimphu, which also has several
restaurants, cafs, shops and museums. Among
my favourites are the Art Caf, Ambient Caf
and Karmas Coffee (where the coffee is so
good that a sign on the wall reads: Give me
my coffee and nobody gets hurt). The Swiss
Bakery is a Thimphu institution where, says
former model Kelly Dorji (one of Bhutans
most famous exports), nothing has changed
since he was a child: Not the menu, the
dcor, the old telephone booth or the speaking
monkey clock. Other major sites include the
National Textile Museum, which showcases
Bhutanese garments and weaving techniques
from the 1600s onward, and the National
Institute for Zorig Chusum (13 arts and
crafts), a school for budding sculptors,
painters and weavers.
The local zoo, Motithang Takin Preserve,
made a big impression on my children it
houses the takin, a mix of goat and antelope,
which is the national animal of Bhutan. The
zoo used to have more animals, we were
told, but it was disbanded under the rule of
the fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck,
because he felt that imprisoning animals
was against the religious and environmental
philosophy of the country. Only the takins
remained because even when they were
set free, they continued to roam around the
city and were put back in the reserve for
their own protection.
The Bhutanese people, most of whom
practise Vajrayana Buddhism, have a deep,
abiding respect for their environment. This
explains why approximately 72 per cent of
the country is covered by forest and why
360 varieties of orchid, rare animals such as
the snow leopard and the red panda, and
650 species of bird continue to thrive here.
Unchecked development, conspicuous
consumption and rampant industrialisation
have no place here. Instead of Gross Domestic
Product (GDP), Bhutan rates its progress by
Gross National Happiness or GNH, a measure
of how happy its citizens are.
This idea, too, was championed by
the fourth king, a visionary who ruled the
nation for 34 years and steered it toward
modernisation. Under him, progressive
healthcare schemes, hydroelectric projects,

tarred roads and advanced education systems


were established. He placed equal importance
on preserving the environment (he designated
about 60 per cent of the country as national
parks and other protected areas) and on
Bhutanese culture. Western-style buildings
were banned in favour of local designs and
the law continues to require citizens to wear
traditional costumes to dzongs, schools, ofces
and temples: the knee-length gho for men and
the ankle-length kira for women.
These tenets, however, are being tested as
Bhutan slowly opens its doors to the outside
world. Locally called Druk Yul or the Land
of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan, roughly
the size of Switzerland, was off limits to
tourists till as late as 1974. With the exception
of Indian government ofcials and a few
British-Indian missionaries, outsiders were
kept at bay. Even today, access continues to
be strictly monitored. Foreigners (excluding
Indians and Bangladeshis) must make travel
bookings through a registered tour operator
and pay a minimum per-night tariff of AED
920 (includes agents, commission, food,
accommodation, guide services and transport.
The off-season tariff is AED 735). The fee is
meant to keep out backpackers on a budget,
making Bhutan one of the worlds more
exclusive destinations.
In 1999, Bhutan became the last country
on the planet to allow the entry of satellite
television. The internet arrived in the same
year. When we rst visited, the country had
one newspaper, Kuensel, which was published
once a week. It now has around 15 newspapers
and magazines, and even a thriving lm
industry. Bhutanese lms are largely
bargain-basement Bollywood, with romance,
melodrama and song sequences. But unlike
India, a celebrity culture doesnt exist and
amplify the actors. When lming is done, most
just go back to their day jobs.
In November 2008, Bhutan took a big step:
Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated his throne
in favour of his 28-year-old, Oxford-educated
son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and
moved the country toward a constitutional

monarchy, even though his people were


perfectly content with his rule. In an article
in National Geographic, even the countrys
chief election commissioner said that he
would prefer not to conduct elections, but the
strongest voice for democracy was the Kings
own. Political parties were created and the
Bhutanese people were actually taught how
to vote. Such efforts at globalisation, without
a loss of identity, are a delicate negotiation.
But through the years, each visit to Bhutan
has reafrmed my belief that this country
can accomplish it.

he shrillness of the
world beyond its borders
has yet to pierce Bhutans
blanket of calm. A sense
of unhurried peace
and prayer suffuses the
country. Nowhere is this
more apparent than in the
Punakha Valley, set in lush
forests east of the Dochula
Pass. Approximately a
three-hour drive from
Thimphu, Punakha is the
winter home of Bhutans
monastic body. It is also
home to the majestic Druk Pungthang Dechen
Phodrang Dzong, a huge white castle that
stands at the conuence of two rivers Mo
Chu (Mother) and Pho Chu (Father), looming
over the breathtakingly beautiful valley.
What made Punakha even more magical
for me was the Amankora lodge, which is
designed around a traditional Bhutanese
farmhouse and surrounded by paddy elds
and fruit plantations. Built by a former chief
abbot of Bhutan, the lodge can only be
accessed via a suspension bridge. It overlooks
rice terraces and orange orchards, backed
by snow-capped mountains. There are only
eight suites and meals are served in the open
courtyard at the centre. The food is excellent
in fact, the stir-fried carrots and beans were
so fresh and succulent that my children asked
to see the chef so they could personally thank

PHOTOS: MARTIN WESTLAKE, GENTL & HYERS, UMA BY COMO, PARO

Clockwise from
top left: Archery
at Uma by COMO,
Paro; an image
of the fth king;
monks at the
dzong in Punakha

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 107

108 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

PHOTO: UMA BY COMO, PARO

The climb to Tigers Nest is arduous, but


the views are so spectacular that you will
forget your calves are on re

The Uma by
COMO, Paro sits
in a lush valley

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 109

110 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

The stir-fried carrots and beans were


so fresh and succulent that my children
asked to see the chef so they could
personally thank him for making
vegetables edible

Hiking up to
Tigers Nest

On each visit, we retrace our earlier steps


(say hello to the takins, visit the Punakha
Dzong) and we discover new and wondrous
spaces. On some days, we do nothing at all
but sit and inhale the mountain air. Even the
silence has texture here. The pristine natural
surroundings and unbroken silence soothe the
soul; they offer us reason to pause. There is
nothing rushed about a holiday in Bhutan. I
have yet to visit another country like it.

PHOTOS: GENTL & HYERS, UMA BY COMO, PARO

him for making vegetables edible. The crisp


mountain air and warm sunshine made the
food even more delicious.
Another Aman property, the Amankora
Gangtey is situated on a knoll that overlooks
the seemingly innite Phobjikha Valley
and the Gangtey Goemba, a 16th-century
monastery. Gangtey, a picturesque village,
is about a three-hour drive from Punakha.
Roads are the only mode of transport within
Bhutan and since most are so circuitous and
often bumpy, its difcult to drive at more
than 50km per hour. We carried a portable
DVD player with us so the kids could watch
movies during these long drives focusing on
the screen also seemed to help my daughter,
who sometimes gets car sick. For us adults,
the scenery was enough. Wed spread out
a blanket in the most beautiful spot we
happened to come across, and break for meals.
One time, lunch stretched into hours because
my son was having so much fun throwing
stones in a river that he just wouldnt leave.
That Bhutan is incredibly beautiful is
well known, but the Phobjikha Valley in
Gangtey takes it up several levels. The
undulating expanse of green is like a balm
for your eyes. Every winter, a ock of rare,
endangered black-necked cranes arrive from
Tibet. According to the World Wide Fund
for Nature (WWF), 11,000 of these cranes
survive in the wild, and every year some 300
spend the winter in the valley. We spent a
day trekking through the woods and spotting
cranes. It was such an adventure that even
my seven-year-old daughter walked for
hours without complaint.
Paro is likely to be your rst and last stop in
Bhutan. This gorgeous valley is home to the
famous Tigers Nest or Taktsang Lhakhang,
a monastery perched on a cliff 3,120 metres
above sea level and approximately 900 metres
above the Paro Valley. The monastery was
built in 1692. Legend has it that the seer
sage Padmasambhava (or Guru Rinpoche, as
hes known in Bhutan), who is credited with
introducing Buddhism to Bhutan, meditated
at this spot for three years, three months, three
days and three hours in the 7th century. Tigers
Nest is accessible only through a narrow,
winding road. The air is thin and the climb,
arduous. Tourist guides will tell you that it is a
four-hour trek, though chances are youll take
much longer. But the views that this climb
offers are so spectacular that you will, at least
for a bit, forget that your calves are on re.
For our family, the journey to Bhutan
has been unending. We try to go every year.

A traditional
thali at Uma by
COMO, Paro

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 111

NEED TO KNOW:
BHUTAN
WHERE TO STAY
Uma by COMO, Paro
The villas here offer butler
service and activities such
as yoga and camping.
Doubles from AED
1,745; 00975-8-27 9999,
comohotels.com/umaparo
Tigers Nest Resort
Close to the airport, this
hotel offers a direct view of
Tigers Nest monastery.
Doubles from AED 275;
00975-8-27 1310, www.
tigersnest.bt
WHERE TO EAT
Tshernyoens Caf
The best place in town for
coffee, cakes and mufns.
00975-7725 2426
WHAT TO DO
The National
Museum of Bhutan
Housed in a 17th-century
watchtower, the museum
showcases the nations
rich heritage.
00975-8-27 1511,
nationalmuseum.gov.bt
Taktsang Lhakhang
Tigers Nests clifftop perch
offers some of the best
views in Bhutan.
00975-233 3653,
tigersnestbhutan.com

THIMPHU

WHERE TO STAY
Taj Tashi
The restaurants at this
hotel serve traditional
Bhutanese, Indian and
Continental food.
Doubles from AED 1,840;
00975-233 6699,
tajhotels.com
Hotel Druk
Located in the heart of
Thimphu, this four-star
hotel is close to all the
citys main attractions.
112 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Doubles from AED 475;


00975-7719 8819,
drukhotels.com
WHERE TO EAT
Bhutan Kitchen
Built in traditional style,
this large restaurant serves
excellent local cuisine.
00975-233 1919
Ambient Caf
Coffee and pastries are
accompanied by free Wi-Fi.
00975-1711 6661
Art Caf
Bright and welcoming, this
is a great spot for cakes
and conversation.
00975-232 7933
Karmas Coffee
It serves arguably the best
cappuccinos in town.
00975-1718 1920
The Zone
The yak burger is a must-try
for adventurous foodies.
00975-233 1441
Swiss Bakery
This Thimphu institution
serves omelettes, cakes
and sandwiches.
00975-232 2259
WHERE TO DRINK
Bhutan Tiger Lounge
and Tiger Pub
Its USP is a karaoke machine
with a range of music from
K-pop to Bollywood.
00975-1711 0021
WHAT TO DO
National Textile Museum
Discover textile techniques
unique to Bhutan.
00975-232 1516
National Institute
for Zorig Chusum
See painters, weavers
and goldsmiths at work
at this shrine to Bhutans

arts and crafts.


00975-232 2302
Buddha Dordenma
This 51.5m statue overlooks
the Thimphu Valley.
tourism.gov.bt
Motithang Takin Preserve
It houses Bhutans national
animal, the takin.
tourism.gov.bt

PUNAKHA

WHERE TO STAY
Amankora Punakha
This beautiful lodge
has great views
and cuisine.
From AED 2,845 per
person based on double
occupancy; 00975-8-27
2333, amanresorts.com
Meri Puensum Resort
Set above the Punakha
Valley, this serene
hotel offers excellent
hospitality.
Doubles from AED 135;
00975-2-58 4237,
meripuensum.bt
WHAT TO DO
Druk Pungthang Dechen
Phodrang Dzong
This palace is a holy site
for Mahayana Buddhists.
tourism.gov.bt

Trekking and river-rafting


Contact local tour
operators to arrange
your adventure activities.
tourism.gov.bt

GANGTEY

WHERE TO STAY
Amankora Gangtey
This lovely property comes
with stunning views of
Phobjikha Valley.
From AED 2,845 per person
based on double occupancy;
00975-8-27 2333,
amanresorts.com
WHAT TO DO
Gangtey Goemba
Explore ne Bhutanese
art and sculpture at
this monastery.
tourism.gov.bt
WHEN TO GO
From March to May and
September to November
are the best times to visit.
GETTING THERE
Carriers in the GCC
y direct to Bangkok,
Mumbai and Kathmandu
from where Drukair
(drukair.com) ies direct
to Paro. Tour operators
will take care of visa
arrangements.

MAP: GARIMA GUPTA; PHOTO: GENTL & HYERS

PARO

A view of Tigers
Nest, perched on
a cliff 3,120 metres
above sea level
and accessible only
through a narrow,
winding road

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 113

One of
Stockholms
beautiful
metro stops

114 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

North stars

Its minimalist yet warm,


witty yet ingenious: Is it
any wonder Scandinavian
design has conquered the
world? Kate Maxwell goes
on a shopping trip through
Copenhagen, Stockholm
and Helsinki to discover
the newest (and greatest)
products, furniture
and textiles

Irresistible
Danish home
decorations
at Hay

Photographed by Floto+Warner
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 115

Youll nd vintage
furniture and
accessories many
by Scandinavian
designers for fair
prices at Stockholms
Jackson Design AB

116 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

t was Midsummers Eve


in Helsinki and I was high
on light. For days there
had been an excessive
amount of the stuff, and
every day there was a
little more. When the
sun eventually did set, at
around 11pm, it would
take a couple of breaths
and then ascend again, so
that by 3am yet another
sparkling, pellucid day
had begun.
Light does funny
things to the psyche: An
abundance of it, which
is what Scandinavia
has from May through
August, makes one feel
peppy and positive. But
an absence of light, as the
Scandis well know, has
quite the opposite effect.
As I travelled through
rst Copenhagen and then Stockholm and
Helsinki asking designers why Scandinavians
are so obsessed with good design, I kept
hearing the same answer: because of the
weather. Not summers orgy of sunlight, that
is, but rather the eight months of the year
when this isolated region is dark, cold and
depressing, and the only place to be is home.
The importance, and consolation, of having
a comfortable, warm, aesthetically pleasing
shelter from the storm in this swathe of
northern Europe cannot be overstated.
So its perhaps no surprise that over the
last century, the Scandinavian idea of home
has spawned an aesthetic thats conquered the
world. The heritage heavyweights Finlands
Alvar Aalto; Swedens Josef Frank; Denmarks
Arne Jacobsen have never gone out of
style, because though their designs may be
idiosyncratic, they are also immensely easy to
live with. And although you can buy most of
the icons of Scandinavian design globally, its a
much more resonant experience to buy them
in the countries where they were inspired.

with its heavy oak lid and single green spot at


either end that I bought at Illums Bolighus,
an irresistible temple to Danish design). That
sense of harmony even extends to food. My
meal at the legendary Noma, all 20 courses of
it, wasnt only exquisitely presented quail
eggs roosting in the hay in which theyd been
smoked; reindeer moss peeping from a vase of
wild owers it was also brilliantly balanced,
a symphony of small plates leading to a meaty
crescendo: a rich, berry-covered single beef rib.
But it is in Copenhagens contemporary
architecture that you see the most exciting
expression of its design principles. In the last
10 years, the city has added a trove of wonders
the Copenhagen Opera House, the Black
Diamond library, a new aquarium and bridges
ung like shing lines over the harbour to its
handsome 17th-century churches, palaces and
primary-coloured town houses that cast their
immaculate reections in the canals.

WHERE TO SHOP
The Apartment

Guaranteed to inspire major apartment


envy, this Christianshavn furniture gallery
masquerading as a residence offers an
exquisite selection of 20th-century Danish,
Swedish, British and Italian pieces including

original Hans Wegner Flagline lounge chairs


and Murano ceiling lamps against a backdrop
of ash-wood oors and ornate wallpaper.
Overgaden neden Vandet 33, Second Floor; 004525-37 0402, theapartment.dk

Black
Up-and-coming Copenhagen ceramicist Anne
Blacks airy new Frederiksberg concept store
mixes her delicate porcelain pieces (her Black
Is Blue line, from about AED 50, is the mustbuy) with choice fashion and accessories by
the likes of Max Mara and Min Perhonen.
Gammel Kongevej 105; 0045-33-21 7799,
blackcph.com

Hay
The decade-old store has a distinctive take on
vernacular design. This season, the products
everything from desks to sofas to storage are
rendered in shades of grey with pops of colour,
and the prices are way below those of the
mid-century icons. Look for wooden trays, bed
linens and blankets with graphic patterns.
Pilestraede 29-31; 0045-42-82 0820, hay.dk

Illums Bolighus
The ultimate Danish design store it even has
a royal warrant Illums offers a comprehensive

Hotel dAngleterre,
a historic landmark
hotel in Copenhagen,
recently underwent
a refurb

COPENHAGEN
You have only to look up at the pendant lamps
strung high above every street to recognise
that Copenhagen has design in its DNA.
A city-wide parade of perfectly turned metal
half-orbs painted an unobtrusive chocolate
brown, they make the stylistic mishmash you
nd on the sidewalks of London and New
York look downright messy.
This harmony of purpose and aesthetics
is applied to everything in Copenhagen,
from furniture (such as Hans J Wegners
impeccable Wishbone chairs) to kitchen
products (like the cream ceramic butter box
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 117

selection of modern and contemporary


furniture and homeware, and a good edit of
mainly monochrome fashion and accessories.
I found the colourful dining and lighting
sections particularly alluring, and the stores
myriad wooden objects, including the Howdy
Owl, make great gifts.
Amagertorv 10; 0045-33-14 1941,
illumsbolighus.com

WHERE TO STAY
Hotel dAngleterre

Gleaming after a two-year top-to-toe


renovation, this Copenhagen icon a 90-room
grande dame that dates from 1755 is the citys
luxe option, with a jewel box of a bubbly bar
and an excellent restaurant, Marchal, serving
caviar, fried foie gras, scallops and poussin.
Doubles from AED 1,665; 0045-33-12 0095,
dangleterre.com

Nimb Hotel
Abutting Tivoli Gardens, this 17-roomer,
built in 1909 as part of the Tivoli complex,
has a lavish Moorish exterior and New Nordic
interiors, three restaurants, a grape bar and a
cocktail lounge.
Doubles from AED 1,865; 0045-88-70 0000,
nimb.dk

WHERE TO EAT
Noma

The godfather of New Nordic cuisine is still


the top table in Copenhagen and remains
refreshingly laid-back despite all the hype.
Highlights of my 20-course tasting menu
(which changes daily) included live, stillsquirming shrimp.
Tasting menu, AED 1,065; 0045-32-96 3297,
noma.dk

Pony
Order the daily-changing four-course Pony
Kick menu at this joint packed with Ryan
Gosling lookalikes; everything I ate here
from the organic radishes with goats cheese
and black breadcrumbs to the smoked hops
sausage was excellent.
Pony Kick menu, AED 300; 0045-33-22 1000,
ponykbh.com

STOCKHOLM
If anything, you feel the climate even more
keenly in Stockholm than in Copenhagen:
Here, youre constantly crossing bridges,
dodging seagulls and listening to the creak
and clunk of old wooden boats.
Swedes fantasize about nature were
deeply aware of it, said Jerk Malmsten,
grandson of Carl, one of Swedens iconic
craftsmen, when I visited his shop,
Malmstenbutiken, in the posh stermalm
neighbourhood. That the city is enjoying a
heritage brand revival was clear from the
118 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Svenskt Tenn

The harmony of
purpose and aesthetics
is applied to everything
in Copenhagen, from
furniture to kitchen
products. It even
extends to food

lively mlange of Stockholmers packing the


store that day: everyone from elegant older
couples to young duos.
A hundred feet down the road from
Malmstenbutiken, another storied Swedish
brand is also experiencing a renaissance.
Svenskt Tenn, founded in 1924, initially
sold pewter jewellery and later became
famous for producing Josef Franks furniture
and textile designs. For Frank, the call of
nature must have sounded like a foghorn:
His sophisticated, fantastical prints, ecstatic
versions of William Morris pre-Raphaelite
designs, are stuffed with tulips, butteries,
parrots, orchids and elephants.

WHERE TO SHOP
Asplund

Youll nd clean-lined, homegrown


contemporary furniture, lighting and
accessories here, including beautifully
turned wood, marble and metal candlesticks.
The Dalahorse Puzzle, a traditional
wooden Swedish horse in a variety of
bright colours, is exclusive to the store
and the must-buy for children.
Sibyllegatan 31; 0046-8-662 5284, asplund.org

Josef Franks oral textiles cushion covers,


tablecloths and fabric from about AED 465 a
yard are the main event at this harbourside
department store. The designers furniture,
candlesticks and vases can also be found here.
Strandvgen 5; 0046-8-670 1600, svenskttenn.se

WHERE TO STAY
Ett Hem

The furniture in this 12-room hotel that


opened in a former private home in upscale
Lrkstaden in 2012 is a whos who of
Scandinavian design, with pieces by Josef
Frank, Carl Malmsten and Brit designer Ilse
Crawford. True to its name (Swedish for A
Home), it feels more like a residence than a
hotel, with a courtyard garden and plenty of
communal spaces to dine and lounge in.
Doubles from AED 2,530; 0046-8-20 0590,
etthem.se

Nobis
From the spherical suspended lamps in the
lobby to the six-storey atrium replete with
Danish sofas and objects, this 201-room hotel is
another design stunner in the city centre, with
two restaurants and a hopping cocktail bar.
Doubles from AED 1,860; 0046-8 614 1000,
nobishotel.com

WHERE TO EAT
F12

Its one of the citys most elegant dining rooms,


right down to the silverware. After dinner,
head upstairs to the crammed terrace bar/club
to dance off the meal.
Tasting menu, AED 830; 0046-8-50-52 4400, f12.se

Restaurang Volt
A petite spot serving an outstanding seasonal
four-course set meal, including, on my visit,
perfect sourdough bread, asparagus sprinkled
with ower petals and pink lamb with
cabbage, onion and oysters.
Tasting menu from AED 300; 0046-8-662 3400,
restaurangvolt.se

Jackson Design AB

HELSINKI

Come here for immaculate, fairly priced


vintage mid-century furniture, predominantly
from Scandinavia Eero Saarinen tables,
Hans Wegner chairs as well as ceramics
and jewellery.
Sibyllegatan 53; 0046-8-665 3350, jacksons.se

Finland is the red-headed stepchild of


Scandinavia: The Finns are burlier than their
Western neighbours; they speak a Uralic
language most Swedes and Danes dont
understand; they are generally even more
reserved than their neighbours. And their
attitude to design is different, too. Were
the long-distance skiers of Scandinavia, Kari
Korkman, founder and director of Helsinki
Design Week, told me. Swedes work in
teams. Finns like to strike out on their own.
Architect and designer Alvar Aalto is Finlands
aesthetic founding father his gargantuan
Carrara marble iceberg of a building, Finlandia
Hall, around which a cultural hub that

Malmstenbutiken
Carl Malmsten is one of the granddaddies of
Swedish furniture design, and this boutique
run by his grandson Jerk stocks choice pieces,
including the outrageously comfortable
Hggbom armchair and the elegant, upright
Samsas chair.
Strandvgen 5b; 0046-8-23 3380, malmsten.se

Homegrown Finnish
company Artek
specialises in quality,
functional furniture
such as Aalto chairs
and bookcases

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 119

120 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

Winters are long


in Finland, but at
textile company
Marimekko its
always summer

Were the long-distance skiers of Scandinavia,


Kari Korkman, founder and director of Helsinki
Design Week, told me. Swedes work in teams.
Finns like to strike out on their own

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 121

Marimekkos
Helsinki textile
factory churns
out thousands
of yards of fabric
every day
122 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

includes Steven Holls Museum of


Contemporary Art Kiasma (Finlands answer
to the Guggenheim) has developed, is its
best expression and you can see his
inuence throughout many of Helsinkis
design boutiques.
And though they may be modest and
reclusive, the Finns are also Europes unlikely
exhibitionists. To see them in action, head to
the new Kulttuurisauna. An attempt to revive
the citys public sauna culture (in the Thirties
there were 100 public baths in Helsinki;
now there are only six), it was opened by a
Japanese-Finnish designer-architect duo last
May and takes its architectural inspiration
from who else? Aalto, a sauna fan himself.

WHERE TO SHOP
Artek

The furniture company founded by Alvar


Aalto and his wife, Aino, is best known for its
three-legged stool (which celebrated its 80th
birthday last year). Youll nd one in most
Finnish households and they come in airplanefriendly at-pack boxes.
Etelesplanadi 18; 00358-10-617 3480, artek.

Design Forum Finland


Many young designers get their start at Design
Forums store, which sells everything from
quirky ceramics to clothing. I lusted after the
array of chunky jewellery.
Erottajankatu 9b; 00358-96-220 8130,
designforum.

Lokal
This innovative concept store run by
photographer Katja Hagelstam has everchanging theme exhibitions of Finnish arts
and crafts as well as a caf serving great coffee.
Annankatu 19; 00358-96-84 9818,
lokalhelsinki.com

Marimekko
One of Finlands most successful lifestyle
brands (25 new stores will open outside the
country this year), Marimekko has 16 branches
in Helsinki. The agship is on the Esplanadi,
which runs along Helsinkis city-centre park,
but its worth taking the subway out to the
factory store for the full range of clothes and
homewares, all at deep discounts. The tunic
dresses make excellent travel wear.
Puusepnkatu 4; 00358-97 5871

WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Fabian

Around the corner from the Museum of


Finnish Architecture, the 58-room Fabian
has large, light, mainly monochromatic rooms
with generous-sized bathrooms, a small but
perfectly scaled lobby bar and a terrace.
Doubles from AED 940; 00358-9-61-28 2000,
hotelfabian.

A chef at the
Ett Hem hotel
(Swedish for
A Home)

Klaus K
This 139-room Design Hotels property doesnt
quite get the look right the textures and
colour combinations are slightly incongruous
but it has a good buffet breakfast and is
just a few minutes from the Esplanadi and
numerous design boutiques.
Doubles from AED 655; 00358-20-770 4700,
klauskhotel.com

WHERE TO EAT
Chef & Sommelier

Heavy on the foraged fare pickled dandelion


buds, wood sorrel this little spot has an
innovative chef with an outsized personality
and serves four- to nine-course tasting menus.
Tasting menus from AED 220; 00358-40-095
9440, chefetsommelier.

Spis
Just about everything at this tiny restaurant
is Nordic even the plates and the servers
outts. The tasting menu of unfussy, fresh

dishes with thoughtful hops and grape pairings


and a different bread for each course was one
of the best I had in all of Scandinavia.
Tasting menus from AED 250; 00358-45-305
1211, spis.

...AND WHERE TO STEAM


Kulttuurisauna

Helsinkis new public sauna, with separate


areas for men and women, is a thing of beauty
and offers an authentic Finnish experience.
Bathing suit not required.
Hakaniemenranta 17; admission, AED 75;
open Wednesday to Sunday, from 4-8pm;
kulttuurisauna.
GETTING THERE
Emirates (emirates.com) and Qatar
Airways (qatarairways.com) y direct
to Copenhagen and Stockholm. Turkish
Airlines (turkishairlines.com) ies from the
GCC to Helsinki via Istanbul

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 123

1
1

Get the look


Pack right for this months destinations

McQ by Alexander McQueen A/W 14

Berlin
This edgy, arty city calls
for a street-smart look
of distressed denim,
unique accessories and
lashings of leather

1 Leather biker jacket, AED 4,970, Sandro 2 Printed top, AED 7,250, Tsumori
Chisato at Harvey Nichols 3 Multi-chain necklace, AED 5,320, Lanvin 4 Lait de
Coco bag, AED 18,400, Chanel 5 Washed denim jeans, AED 650, Bebe
6 Sempre Monica leather boots, AED 8,500, Christian Louboutin
7 Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil, AED 863
124 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

DSquared2 A/W 14

1 Zip jacket, AED 3,365, Christopher Raeburn at mrporter.com 2 White


leather iPad case, AED 1,679, Mulberry 3 Leather belt, AED 1,300, DSquared2
4 Distressed denim jeans, AED 1,800, McQ by Alexander McQueen
5 LOccitane Cade Eau de Toilette, AED 269 6 Tortoiseshell glasses,
AED 735, Ray-Ban 7 Polka dot shoes, AED 5,400, Dior Homme

1
2

WORDS: JENNY KING; STYLE: ESTHER QUEK; PHOTOS: ALAMY, GETTY IMAGES

Bhutan
4

Explore the pristine


natural beauty of
this lush kingdom
in earthy tones and
tribal prints

5
6

Aigner A/W 14

1 Skirt, AED 1,750, OTT at Bloomingdales 2 Bulgari Omnia Indian Garnet Eau
de Toilette, AED 343 3 Sleeveless top, AED 150, Banana Republic 4 Leather
backpack, AED 6,068, Mulberry 5 Sunglasses, AED 1,370, Karen Walker at
net-a-porter.com 6 Chanel Nail Colour in Intention, AED 125 7 Pumps, price
on request, Manolo Blahnik at Harvey Nichols

B o t t e g a Ve n e t a A / W 1 4

1 Cotton shirt, AED 250, Armani Exchange 2 Chess set, AED 2,410, Hackett
3 Dressage Lheure Masque steel edition watch, AED 78,100, Herms
4 Corduroy chinos, AED 699, Tommy Hilger 5 Woven belt, AED 700, CH
Carolina Herrera 6 St Ives bag, AED 17,995, Burberry Prorsum 7 Kiehls Oil
Eliminator Cleanser, AED 105 8 Calfskin boots, AED 2,895, Santoni

SLUG

f you are thinking that this looks


like limestone, youre on the right
track. Nature has eroded the rocks
over time so that their sharp edges
tower majestically, making this
spot particularly unique among karst
landscapes. The rocks rise several dozen
metres high, so anyone wanting to climb
the razor-sharp formations needs ironclad nerves. But though mere humans
struggle to nd a footing, its a paradise
for lemurs. The stone forests are in the
only country where you can see the
adorable and rare Deckens sifaka lemur.
They climb and jump over the sharp
rocks with a light gait, as if its the easiest
thing in the world. Their agile movements
give life to this greyish-brown landscape,
and their pure white, furry bodies lend
a softness to the hard rock faces. The
extraordinary landscape and the wildlife
it shelters are two of the reasons this
place is now a World Heritage Site.
Where are you?

PRIZE
Email your answer, identifying the region
and country where the photograph was
taken to contest@appgulf.com and you
could win a three-night stay for two at
Coco Bodu Hithi, Maldives. See overleaf
for details and look out for the answer in
the November issue.
126 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

CONTEST
SLUG

WORDS: MARTIN; PHOTO: STEPHEN ALVAREZ

where
are you ?

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 127

CONTEST

WIN A THREE-NIGHT STAY


FOR TWO AT COCO
BODU HITHI, MALDIVES

WINNER: JULY 2014


The winner of Julys Where are you?
competition is Amariah Andrews of Abu
Dhabi who correctly identied the location
of the picture as Huacachina Oasis, Peru.
She won a three-night stay for two at
Salalah Rotana Resort in Oman.
SLUG

CONTEST
SLUG

w re
arehe
you ?

CASE.COM

50 CENTIMOS/PHOTO
KERR; PHOTOS:

Reservations are subject to availability. The


prize is valid through September 30, 2015, is
non-transferable, cannot be redeemed for cash
and does not include public holidays or otherwise
stated dates. Flights and all other expenses not
stated in this prize are subject to payment either on
consumption or departure. For more information,
call 00960-664 1122 or visit cocoboduhithi.com.

Island Villas are


188sqm and
offer privacy
from behind lush
landscaping. Below:
Airy interiors house
a king-sized bed

WORDS: FIONA

ocated on a private island in the


Indian Ocean, this all-villa resort
offers guests the opportunity
to sit back and relax in tranquil
surrounds or take advantage of the
destinations numerous marine activities
like windsurng and diving. Each of the
100 villas offer spacious accommodation
in Maldivian style, with open-plan Island
Villas featuring a sunken living room,
luxurious bathtub and a personal pool and
terrace with ocean views. Seven restaurants
and bars guarantee a diverse selection of
dining experiences, from al fresco overwater dining at Aqua to a beach barbecue
at Breeze. At Coco Spa, the highlight is
a range of traditional treatments from
exotic locales.
To win a three-night stay for two in
an Island Villa at Coco Bodu Hithi in the
Maldives, including return speedboat
transfers, daily breakfast and a sunset
cruise with a glass of sparkling grape,
correctly identify the location of this
issues Where are you? competition
before September 30, 2014.

PRIZE
Email your answer,
identifying the
oasis village and
country where the
photograph was
taken to contest@
appgulf.com, and
you could win a
threenight stay at Salalah
Rotana Resort, Oman.
See overleaf for
details and look
out for
the answer in the
September issue.

oud be smart to
visit this desert
oasis, six hours south
of the
capitals assets.
In fact, youd be
on the money. Remote
though
it may look, it is
no lost city: the
mirage-like
village is only a
few minutes drive
from the
regions main town.
Visitors used to
journey
here for the shady
palm trees and
the cool,
blue-green water
(thought to have
medicinal
properties), but
now they come
for the
sand buggying
and boarding up
and down
the towering dunes.
The lagoon has
many
legends of how
it was formed. All
of them
start with a beautiful
princess in love
with a
young prince who
suddenly dies. Some
she cried and cried
say
until her tears created
the lake, others
claim that while
bathing
in the waters she
was startled by
a hunter.
She ran away, creating
the dunes with the
folds of her mantle.
Whatever the story,
spot takes its name
the
from two local words
meaning to cry
and young woman.
youre tempted
If
to cool off in its
depths,
however, watch
out for
laguna: the mysterious the mermaid of the
creature who tempts
new lovers into
the deep, never
to be seen
again. Where are
you?

COMPETITION RULES 1. Entries for Cond Nast Travellers Where are you? competition should be sent via email to: contest@appgulf.com 2. Winners will be judged at the discretion of Cond Nast Traveller. The decision of the
judges will be nal and binding. No correspondence will be entertained. Only one correct answer will be registered per entrant per issue. 3. Each entry must arrive no later than September 30, 2014. Winners will be contacted by
email or telephone whenever possible. 4. The entries must be in English and complete in all respects. 5. Cond Nast Traveller is not responsible for late entries. Illegible or mechanically produced entries are not eligible. Entries by
text message are not eligible. 6. Prizes will not be transferred or exchanged for cash or any other item. No refunds or credits for changes or cancellations are allowed. All other expenses and costs, which are not specied as being
included in the prize, are the sole responsibility of the winner. 7. All prizes must be redeemed prior to the expiry date. 8. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winner. 9. The Where are you? competition is open to readers of
Cond Nast Traveller aged 18 and over on the date of entry and who are ordinarily residents of the GCC. 10. Employees of Cond Nast Traveller (Arab Publishing Partners), ITP, participating promotional agencies, contributors to
Cond Nast Traveller, and the families of any of those above are not eligible to contest. 11. All entries to the Where are you? competition become the sole property of Cond Nast Traveller and will not be acknowledged nor returned.
12. Entries become the property of Cond Nast Traveller and may be used for such purpose and in such media as the company deems t, without requiring the participants prior permission. 13. Acceptance of the prize constitutes
consent for the use of the winners name and likeness and those of his/her travelling companion for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes. 14. Cond Nast Traveller will not be liable for any loss, damage or expense incurred
by a prize winner or by his/her travelling companion (for example, costs of repatriation) as a consequence of any party participating in providing the prize becoming insolvent or entering into liquidation or bankruptcy. 15. Cond
Nast Traveller reserves the right to amend any or all of the terms of this contest, or the prizes on offer, at any time without prior notice. 16. Contestants, by entering the competition, agree to be bound by the above rules, terms
and conditions.
128 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

CO M I N G N E X T M O N T H . . .
50 meals you cant miss in Singapore

Xiao long bao


with superior
stock & Ibrico
ham and
wonton with
white trufe at
Sky on 57

PLUS

Take a slow food break in Alaati, Turkey


The American Souths culinary revolution
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 129

gourmet

The GCCs favourite food magazine

WIN!
000
,
5
3
s
Dh
of
worth !
ies
good

Bake a cake, save a life!


Dhs35,000
WORTH OF PRIZES

t
e
m
r
u
go
f
f
O
-

s*EWELLERYFROM
&2(UEB
s!SPADAYFORYOUTOENJOY
WITHNINEOFYOURFRIENDS
s!PINKSTANDMIXERFROM
4AVOLA
s!PROFESSIONALCAKE
DECORATINGCLASSFORTWO
PEOPLE
In association with

e
k
a
B
k
Pin

gourmet
 n)3+%'  '

SEPTEMBER

5th Year Anniversary

2014

3Rn')  n')

gourmet SEPTEMBER

RGPDJD]LQH
7KH*&&
VIDYRXULWHIR

2014

Back
to
School
&RROOXQFKER[
LGHDV

FOR MORE INFORMATION


Pick up the latest edition of Gourmet or visit:

FAST &
FILLING
FAMILY
MEALS

On the
table in 40
minutes at!

/AhlanGourmet

Whats Up

ENTARY
COMPLIM
COPY

AN ITP CONSUMER
PUBLICATIO

t? st foods at home
Copyca
ite fa
favour
your
Clone

NOT FOR RESALE

FROM

KITCHEN
CATWALK TO
couture

ed by haute
e eats inspir

Fashionabl

Supported by

@Ahlan_Gourmet

@
@GourmetUae

GourmetUae

ADVICE

The
experts

Take in great views


and history in
Istanbuls riverfront
neighbourhood
Ortaky

Travel wisdom from those


in the know

WHERE WOULD YOU


RECOMMEND PEOPLE
TRAVEL FOR THE EID
AL-ADHA BREAK?

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

CATALIN
MARIN

CARO
DEGRYSE

SAMIR
TABBAH

PHOTOGRAPHER AT
MOMENTARYAWE.COM,
DUBAI

PRODUCT
MANAGER
AT EMIRATES
HOLIDAYS, DUBAI

CEO OF DESERT
GATE, DUBAI

One of the reasons I moved to this region


13 years ago was because of how easy it is
to travel to so many places. Zanzibar is
one such destination: a relatively short
ight away with gorgeous beaches,
spectacular diving and interesting history.
Before you head out to the beaches, you
should spend one night in Stone Town,
the capitals old district, getting lost in
its narrow alleys and sampling some of
the local seafood. Then spend three to
four days in Nungwi at the northern tip of
the island, where youll nd a variety of
accommodation options from swanky vestar resorts to laid-back guesthouses. From
there, snorkelling or diving trips to the
Mnemba Atoll, which is full of colourful reef
life, are a must, as is a visit to the Mnarani
Natural Aquarium, a sanctuary protecting
the Hawksbill turtle population.

A break in historical Cyprus is a great


option for Eid, especially as its only
three to four hours from the GCC. The
ve-star Le Meridien Limassol Spa &
Resort is located on the outskirts of the
port town on the way to Nicosia, basking
in a secluded spot on a 300m stretch of
beach. While there, visit the new marina
in Limassol, which is great for a relaxed
lunch or dinner with fresh air and views
of the yachts. Maldives is the classic
beach holiday and a rm favourite with
couples looking to relax and switch off.
Only about four hours from the GCC, its
another good option for a short break.
And nally, Turkey is the gateway to
the East from Europe. The welcoming
hospitality, along with spectacular food,
entertainment and places of interest make
Istanbul an ideal short break.

Our region is full of hidden surprises. One


of my favourite getaways is in the perfume
capital of Oman, Salalah. It has a wonderful
tropical climate, stunning beaches and
mountain wadis. I would highly recommend
the Salalah Rotana Resort: Its a great mix
of old-world Oman with all the comforts
expected from a ve-star hotel. And with
direct ights from around the GCC, its
an easy trip. In the UAE, Desert Islands
Resort & Spa by Anantara in Abu Dhabi is
a unique experience with its nature reserve,
wildlife and outdoor activities. I stayed
there with my family, including four young
children, and seeing the giraffes was a
highlight for them. The resort is laid-back
yet has something for everyone, with many
activities on offer like safaris and marine
sports, and is an ideal place to disconnect
from our fast-paced life.

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 131

ILLUSTRATION: NINA FUGA/DUTCHUNCLE.CO.UK

TEA FOR TROUBLE

Leave the gowns at home, keep those pinkies down and, most importantly, relax and youre
on your way to becoming a pro at afternoon tea, says Laurel Munshower

he tea time meal has become a


fashionable tradition around the world,
with hotels attracting diners with tiered
trays full of exquisite desserts, dainty
sandwiches and a perfectly brewed
cuppa. But for the uninitiated, this now
ritualised experience can be daunting: Do you
pour the milk into the cup before or after the
tea? And what exactly is tea time attire?
Fortunately, the rules are easy to master
and it may help to know that even hotels
havent got it quite right, with most confusing
the regal sounding high tea with what they
actually serve, afternoon tea. A term that
originated in England in the early 1800s, high
tea was essentially the heavy evening meal
of students and workers, consisting of a hot
dish served with bread and cake. Around the
same time, afternoon tea was created by Anna,
the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who decided to
combat her midday hunger with light snacks
and tea that she and her friends would enjoy
together, an idea that Londons fashionable
society quickly adopted.

132 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

High tea as it was originally intended no


longer exists, but the term continues to live on
in modern days albeit used to describe a ritual
more closely resembling afternoon tea.
The difference might not seem like it
matters these days, but every so often it trips
someone up. I was recently contacted by an
angry guest of honour at a high tea gone wrong
a beginning-to-end disaster that left people
hungry and confused, says Diane Gottsman,
founder of The Protocol School of Texas
(protocolschooloftexas.com) and author of Pearls
Of Polish. Scheduled at noon, guests arrived
expecting endless portions of elaborate tea
courses to sate their hunger, but were instead
met with afternoon teas nger sandwiches and
small slices of dessert. They asked for seconds
from the unprepared caterers.

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION
The answer to the age-old question What
to wear? has changed over the past couple
decades as far as afternoon tea is concerned.
In the early Nineties, men were required

to wear suits and ladies to wear dresses,


says Rebecca MacDonald, marketing
representative at Fairmont Empress (fairmont.
com/empress-victoria) in Victoria, Canada.
Guests who arrived for tea wearing strictly
forbidden jeans had the option to change into
a pair of polyester dress pants provided by
the hotel. Once, a visiting A-list Hollywood
celebrity failed to meet the Tea Lobbys dress
code. Even for a celebrity, the hotel refused to
bend their tea style standards. A compromise
was reached when the guest agreed to take
tea in the Library. David Morgan-Hewitt,
managing director of The Goring (thegoring.
com) in London, adds, We do encourage
people to dress up, but nowadays, like at most
places, the dress code is smart casual. Some
clients once turned up for tea in full evening
dress: she in a ball gown and he in black tie
and tails. The manager on duty welcomed
them, commenting on how smart they looked
and asked if they were going somewhere
else. As it turns out, they were so excited they
genuinely thought that full evening dress was

ETIQUETTE
required for afternoon tea at The Goring.
When it comes to appearance, its not only
your clothes that matter poise is important,
too. One of the most popular misconceptions
about afternoon tea is cleared up by Gottsman:
Its a myth that pinkies up is highbrow;
actually, the protocol is to keep your pinkies
down when drinking tea.

The aristocracy added


milk last as a show of
wealth, demonstrating
that they could afford to
break bone china

MILKING THE TOPIC


The subject of milk has been hotly debated
among tea acionados. More specically,
do you add it before or after the teas been
poured? Originally, milk was poured rst to
infuse poorly made china and help prevent it
from cracking, although the true aristocracy
added milk last or not at all as a show of
wealth, demonstrating that they could afford
to break bone china. There are those who
say that adding the milk rst changes the
taste of the tea, but most etiquette experts
agree that its acceptable to add milk
whenever you prefer. Yet despite todays
stronger china, most people still add the
milk rst with one notable exception.
The English make such a big deal about
adding the milk rst that everyone assumes
the Queen does the same, says Raymond
Gairdner, tea server at Fairmont Empress.
I was part of a contingent who served the
Queen and her staff on her Diamond Jubilee.
Every bigwig from across Canada and America
was in the hotels Crystal Ballroom making a
big show of adding the milk and sugar rst.
We went to add milk and sugar for the Queen
and she scoffed, Im not a MIF. I asked one
of her staff what MIF meant and she replied,
Milk in rst, of course.

Whatever your personal preference, be


prepared to anticipate your guests choices as
well. On one occasion I was having tea at a
hotel with friends and one decided to act as a
hostess, recalls Diana Mather, senior tutor at
The English Manner (theenglishmanner.com).
She poured milk into every cup before the
tea. Three of us didnt take milk, so she had
to ask the waiter for fresh cups and start again.
She could have avoided this by pouring the
tea rst and then letting the guests add milk
if they so wished, which would have been
considered appropriate etiquette.

STANDING ON CEREMONY
While the most widely practised of tea rituals
originated in England, tea time is important
in other cultures, too, practised in a variety
of ways. In India, the popular drink is often
casually served by small chai wallahs who
can be found everywhere from busy street
corners to rural foot paths, while in Morocco,
the beverage is carefully prepared with fresh
mint and served in colourfully stained glasses
to present a feast for the eyes. Viviane Neri,
principal of Swiss nishing school Institut
Villa Pierrefeu (ivpworld.com), says Japans tea

ceremony is highly ritualised and can take


women years to learn. Every movement
counts in a Japanese tea ceremony, and the
students may ask precise questions, like Do
you position the teaspoon at 3.15 or 4.20 (in
relation to space)? or Do you place the spoon
in front of you when you have not yet started
or are still drinking your tea, and behind the
cup when you have nished?
Even in the West, the interpretation of
afternoon tea can vary depending on where
youre taking it. For instance, when hosted in
a friends home it can differ greatly from the
grand events found at international hotels.
Says Neri of the home ritual, Its about
friends sharing a nice cup of properly brewed
tea and food, which can just be some buttered
toast, not necessarily elaborate pastries.
Which might be just the way Duchess Anna
would have liked it.

HIGH TEA DOS


AND DONTS
DO leave sportswear, trainers and
baseball caps for another occasion
DONT use your own spoon to dip into
the shared jam or clotted cream dishes
DO serve tea around 4pm, but any time
between 2pm and 5pm is acceptable
DONT serve lemon wedges. Slices are
the appropriate way to prepare lemon

TEA WITH A TWIST

PHOTO: JULIANNE VERACCHI

Try one of these global concepts for a new take on typical afternoon tea

Gents Afternoon Tea at Sanctum Soho


in London isnt just for guys but anyone who
prefers savoury to sweet. Dig into items
like seared steak with peppers and
mushrooms on toasted sourdough, and
rabbit, pancetta and leek pasty.
AED 310 per person; 0044-20-7292 6100,
sanctumsoho.com

Imperial Afternoon Tea at Tian Fu Tea


Room in Singapore features a selection of
three premium Chinese teas paired with nine
handcrafted dim sum. The menu, designed
by tea connoiseurs, includes Deep Fried
Green Tea Glutinous Rice Balls.
AED 88 per person; 0065-6428 3170,
parkroyalhotels.com

Cha-An in New York City offers afternoon


tea with a taste of Japan in a serene
atmosphere. Light mini bagel sandwiches
are served with sweets like Japanese
fruitcake, and theres an authentic menu of
Asian teas, including nely ground matcha.
AED 66 per person; 001-212-228 8030,
chaanteahouse.com

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 133

Stockists
FASHION
3.1 Phillip Lim at Bloomingdales: Dubai,
00971-4-350 5333
Anthropology of Design at Harvey Nichols:
Dubai, 00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City,
00965-2-228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11273 4444
Armani Exchange Abu Dhabi, 00971-2681 1464; Dubai, 00971-4-339 9472;
Doha, 00974-4-416 1003; Kuwait City,
00965-2-530 9581; Riyadh, 00966-11465 3606
Banana Republic Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-443
7006; Dubai, 00971-4-339 8462; Doha,
00974-4-450 7965; Kuwait City, 009652-259 7320; Jeddah, 00966-12-612 2968;
Riyadh, 00966-11-207 7811
Bebe Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 1379; Dubai,
00971-4-434 0614; Manama, 00973-1-717
8670; Kuwait City, 00965-2-220 0644;
Jeddah, 00966-12-612 2599; Riyadh, 0096611-452 0417
Berluti Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-643 2068;
Dubai, 00971-4-399 6443; Doha, 00974-4416 1860; Kuwait City, 00965-2-220 0580
Brioni Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-626 6730; Dubai,
00971-4-434 1418; Kuwait City, 00965-2299 7663
BOSS Black at Bloomingdales: Dubai,
00971-4-350 5333
Burberry Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-667 1411;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8357; Doha, 00974-4413 4551; Manama, 00973-1-713 1028; Kuwait
City, 00965-2-220 0634; Jeddah, 00966-12215 0264; Riyadh, 00966-11-211 1003
CH Carolina Herrera Abu Dhabi, 00971-2412 4050; Dubai, 00971-4-339 8132; Doha,
00974-4-413 4748; Manama, 00973-1-711
2721; Kuwait City, 00965-2-259 7785;
Jeddah, 00966-12-641 0433; Riyadh,
00966-11-273 0780
Chanel Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 1030;
Dubai, 00971-4-382 7100; Kuwait City,
00965-2-245 9290; Jeddah, 00966-12-667
8436; Riyadh, 00966-11-211 2710
Christian Louboutin Abu Dhabi, 00971-2412 4030; Dubai, 00971-4-399 0998; Doha,
00974-4-450 7004; Manama, 00973-1717 8076; Kuwait City, 00965-2-297 9011;
Jeddah, 00966-12-261 0304; Riyadh,
00966-11-211 2819
Christopher Raeburn at Mr Porter:
mrporter.com
Dior Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 7477; Dubai,
00971-4-330 8739; Doha, 00974-4-413
4665; Manama, 00973-1-753 4160; Kuwait

134 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

City, 00965-2-297 9021; Riyadh, 0096611-211 2452


Dries Van Noten at Boutique 1: Dubai,
00971-4-425 7888
DSquared2 Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-412 4020;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8709
Gucci Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 6844; Dubai,
00971-4-339 8953; Doha, 00974-4-421
7824; Kuwait City, 00965-2-530 9997;
Jeddah, 00966-12-668 7034; Riyadh,
00966-11-211 2627
Herms Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-666 9720;
Dubai, 00971-4-351 1190; Doha, 00974-6-601
1882; Manama, 00973-1-753 5519; Kuwait
City, 00965-2-227 0215
Jimmy Choo Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-676 9399;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8925; Doha, 009744-468 4850; Manama, 00973-1-758 2807;
Kuwait City, 00965-2-530 9912; Riyadh,
00966-11-288 4010
Karen Walker at Net-a-Porter:
net-a-porter.com
Lanvin Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-677 1180; Dubai,
00971-4-330 8008; Doha, 00974-4-413
4765; Kuwait City, 00965-2-220 0590;
Jeddah, 00966-12-661 2812; Riyadh, 0096611-288 5455
Louis Vuitton Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 2166;
Dubai, 00971-4-330 8060; Doha, 009744-413 4931; Manama, 00973-1-753 7543;
Kuwait City, 00965-2-220 0522; Riyadh,
00966-11-211 2705
Maison Martin Margiela at Harvey Nichols:
Dubai, 00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City,
00965-2-228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11273 4444
Manolo Blahnik at Harvey Nichols: Dubai,
00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Markus Lupfer at Harvey Nichols: Dubai,
00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
McQ by Alexander McQueen Dubai, 009714-339 8760; Doha, 00974-4-495 3876 ext
2231; Kuwait City, 00965-2-575 7748
Miu Miu Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 4920;
Doha, 00974-4-464 4082; Kuwait City,
00965-2-220 0678
Moschino Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-676 7707;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8079; Kuwait City,
00965-2-259 7657; Riyadh 00966-11211 1750
Mulberry Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-412 4010;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8990; Doha, 00974-4495 3876 ext 1111; Kuwait City, 00965-2259 7790

OTT at Bloomingdales: Dubai, 00971-4350 5333


Philosophy at Harvey Nichols: Dubai, 009714-409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2-228
3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Prada Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-491 9218; Dubai,
00971-4-501 6990; Doha, 00974-4-464
4908; Kuwait City, Kuwait 00965-2530 9782
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at s*uce:
Dubai, 00971-4-344 7270
Ralph Lauren Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-626 6724;
Dubai, 00971-4-330 8005; Doha, 00974-4451 7057; Manama, 00973-1-711 2720; Kuwait
City, 00965-2-220 0631; Jeddah, 00966-12211 2513; Riyadh, 00966-11-211 2513
Ray-Ban ray-ban.com
Reiss Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 6642; Dubai,
00971-4-341 0515; Doha, 00974-4-486 8361;
Kuwait City, 00965-2-259 7651; Riyadh,
00966-11-281 5206
Repetto Dubai, 00971-4-325 3633
Roger Vivier Dubai, 00971-4-501 6625
Sandro at Bloomingdales: Dubai, 00971-4350 5333
Santoni at Level Shoe District: Dubai, 009714-501 6888
SW7 by Mariam Bengali at Harvey Nichols:
Dubai, 00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City,
00965-2-228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273
4444
Ted Baker Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 4711;
Dubai, 00971-4-434 0623; Kuwait City,
00965-2-530 9979; Riyadh, 00966-11-253
4990
Tods Dubai, 00971-4-341 3033; Doha,
00974-4-413 4937; Manama, 00973-1-713
1090; Jeddah, 00966-1-2284 2862; Riyadh,
00966-1-1293 9440
Tom Ford at EyeZone: Abu Dhabi, 00971-2679 7378; Dubai, 00971-4-325 3182; Doha,
00974-4-479 0157
Tommy Hilger Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-645
9927; Dubai, 00971-4-339 8097; Muscat,
00968-24-55 2160; Doha, 00974-7-787
3203; Manama, 00973-1-717 9306; Kuwait
City, 00965-9-794 7934; Jeddah, 00966-12215 0641; Riyadh, 00966-11-216 1080
Tsumori Chisato at Harvey Nichols: Dubai,
00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Valentino at Bloomingdales: Dubai, 009714-350 5333
Wildfox at s*uce: Dubai, 00971-4-344 7270
Zayan The Label at s*uce: Dubai, 00971-4344 7270

WHERE TO BUY
WATCHES & JEWELLERY
Alexander Arne arne.com
Boucheron Dubai, 00971-4-341 0039, Doha,
00974-4-425 7744
Cartier Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-491 9716; Dubai,
00971-4-434 0434; Doha, 00974-4-450
7798; Kuwait City, 00965-2-530 9656;
Jeddah, 00966-12-660 0720
Chaumet Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-412 4080;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8758; Riyadh, 0096611-461 0353
David Morris Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-677 7607;
Dubai, 00971-4-434 3888; Doha, 00974-4413 1391
Hublot Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 1822; Dubai,
00971-4-324 4040; Kuwait City, 00965-2220 0685
Jaquet Droz at Rivoli: Abu Dhabi, 009712-681 3035; Dubai, 00971-4-341 3121;
Muscat, 00968-2-455 8290; Doha, 009744-479 0107
Mikhailov Gallery vmikhailov.ru
Piaget Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-667 0044;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8222; Doha, 009744-495 3875; Manama, 00973-1-754 0123;
Kuwait City, 00965-2-530 9629; Jeddah,
00966-12-284 1568
Ulysse Nardin ulysse-nardin.ch
Van Cleef & Arpels Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-643
2088; Dubai, 00971-4-339 8001

BEAUTY
Acqua di Parma at Harvey Nichols: Dubai,
00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Agent Provocateur Dubai, 00971-4-339
9570; Doha, 00974-4-495 3876 ext 2271
Amouage Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-558 0108;
Dubai, 00971-4-330 8184; Muscat, 0096824-56 0533; Manama, 00973-1-700 5380;
Kuwait City, 00965-2-220 0862; Jeddah,
00966-12-261 1436
Angel Schlesser at Paris Gallery: Abu Dhabi,
00971-2-681 6662; Dubai, 00971-4-330
8289; Manama, 00973-1-717 8581
Bond No.9 at Harvey Nichols: Dubai, 009714-409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2-228
3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Bulgari at Bloomingdales: Dubai,
00971-4-350 5333
Carven at Areej: Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-443
7055; Dubai, 00971-4-340 5223; Muscat,
00968-24-55 8752
Clinique at Harvey Nichols: Dubai, 00971-4409 8888; Kuwait City, 00965-2-228 3008;
Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Kiehls Dubai, 00971-4-330 8843
LOccitane Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-681 6691;
Dubai, 00971-4-339 8148; Doha, 009744-450 7585; Manama, 00973-1-717 9505;
Jeddah, 00966-12-215 0672; Riyadh, 0096611-205 6970

Jacket, leather
blouse, trousers,
boots; all by Gucci

Narciso Rodriguez at Bloomingdales:


Dubai, 00971-4-350 5333
Penhaligons Dubai, 00971-4-434 3122
Roberto Cavalli Abu Dhabi, 00971-2-677
0033; Dubai, 00971-4-339 8893; Kuwait
City, 00965-2-573 3631; Jeddah, 00966-12661 4442; Riyadh, 00966-11-211 2111
Shiseido at Sephora: Abu Dhabi, 00971-2445 3690; Dubai, 00971-4-339 9828; Doha,
00974-4-450 7345; Manama, 00973-1-717
9521; Kuwait City, 00965-2-259 7769;
Jeddah, 00966-12-215 0496; Riyadh,
00966-11-207 8075
Sisley sisley-paris.com

MISCELLANEOUS
Alfred Dunhill Dubai, 00971-4-434 0403;

Doha, 00974-4-413 4788; Manama, 009731-758 1999; Kuwait City, 00965-2-249 8611;
Riyadh, 00966-11-810 2632
Apple at Virgin Megastore: Abu Dhabi,
00971-2-644 7882; Dubai, 00971-4-341
4353; Doha, 00974-4-413 5824; Manama,
00973-1-717 2300
BlackBerry Dubai, 00971-4-325 3117
Dolce & Gabbana Dubai, 00971-4-341 0626;
Doha, 00974-4-416 1007; Jeddah, 00966-12665 3219; Riyadh, 00966-11-211 2340
Global Traveller at Harvey Nichols: Dubai,
00971-4-409 8888; Kuwait City, 009652-228 3008; Riyadh, 00966-11-273 4444
Hackett at Bloomingdales: Dubai, 009714-350 5333
Zilli Dubai, 00971-4-434 1406

SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 135

ISLAND LIFE

Look beyond Qatars coastline for the regions newest private island
retreat the upcoming Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara. The
tranquil hideaway just a short boat ride from the capital features a
wellness centre, reef conservation centre and nine-hole golf putting
course. For a special indulgence, check into one of the two- or threebedroom over-water villas with a personal pool, surrounded by the
Gulfs calm, crystalline water.
For more information, call 00974-4040 5050 or visit doha.anantara.com

MOST
WANTED

Treasure map
Get ready for a unique shopping holiday. At the Leela
Palace New Delhi, indulge in a package thats been
carefully crafted to take guests on a multi-day shopping
extravaganza they wont soon forget. Bargain in Delhis
bazaars, peruse boutiques in Hauz Khas Village and snag
some Indian designer pieces in Mehar Chand Market.
The shopping package starts from AED 6,815 and
includes a three-night stay in a Grand Deluxe room,
breakfast, airport transfers, a 60-minute spa treatment,
an art walk and three days of tours throughout Delhi
with a personal shopper; 0091-11-3933 1234, theleela.com

The destinations that caught our eye this


month, from New Delhi to New York

Lifes a beach

From Dubai, the Maldives and Cape Town to the Great Barrier
Reef and the Bahamas, One&Only resorts can be found in some
of the worlds most stunning locations. Each is situated on its own
beautiful stretch of coastline with a style inspired by local culture,
and offers the opportunity to make the most of your destination
by learning a new skill, whether thats surng in Los Cabos, an
Arabic lesson in Dubai or the chance to become a grape
connoisseur in South Africa.
oneandonlyresorts.com

REGAL RAJASTHAN
Experience India like a Maharajah when you stay at three of Taj
Hotels, Resorts & Palaces historic properties in colourful Rajasthan.
In Jaipurs Rambagh Palace, situated on 47 acres of land, guests
can spend the afternoon watching a game of polo, the sport of
kings. Rising from Lake Pichola, the remarkable Taj Lake Palace was
the former summer palace of the Maharana of Udaipur, which now
houses 83 rooms and suites. Take advantage of the lake setting
with a massage on the Jiva Spa Boat, one of the hotels newest
experiences. Finally, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur beckons from
its hilltop perch above the city, built entirely from golden yellow
sandstone and featuring a private museum in addition to its newly
renovated Maharani and Maharajah Suites and Jiva Grande Spa.
0091-22-6601 1825, tajhotels.com
136 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

MOST WANTED

EID ESCAPE
Located less than ve hours away, the Seychelles is an ideal
destination for the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday. Check in
to Rafes Praslin, a luxurious resort featuring pool villas and
pristine beaches, with the Short and Suite offer, where you
book four nights but pay for just three. The extra day gives you
plenty of time to explore the national park, Valle de Mai, swim
with abundant marine life and make the most of the resorts
facilities, including three restaurants and an award-winning spa.
The Short and Suite offer starts from AED 3,065 per night and
includes accommodation in a pool villa, breakfast and luxury
car transfers from Praslin airport or jetty; 00248-429 6780,
raffles.com/praslin

THE ART OF FOOD

Suite dreams

Get a dose of modern glamour when you check in to a themed


Designer Suite at the St Regis New York. Choose from Tiffany,
Dior, Milano or Bentley and sip on complimentary bubbly while
looking out over 5th Avenue from oor-to-ceiling windows.
In the Master Suites, state-of-the-art technology, including an
HD Mirror TV, comes with a 10-person formal dining room, full
kitchen and an Italian marble bathroom complete with a rain
shower and deep-soak tub. Situated in the heart of Manhattan,
less than a bagels throw from Central Park and the Met, its
the ultimate New York experience.
Suites from AED 38,570; 001-212-753 4500, stregisnewyork.com

In a country known for its sensational food, look no further


than Hotel Arts Barcelona for a classic yet contemporary
culinary experience. Of its six restaurants, two are helmed
by Michelin-starred chefs and have become favourites of tourists
and locals alike. Chef Paco Prezs eight-course tasting menu at
Enoteca is art on a plate, with classic Catalan cuisine made from
fresh market-bought ingredients and seasonal produce. Sunsets
are best viewed from the terrace of Arola, where chef Sergi
Arolas cutting-edge tapas dishes are the ideal accompaniment
to a cocktail or two.
Doubles from AED 1,103; 0034-93-221 1000, hotelartsbarcelona.com

PHOTO: HIMACHAL TOURISM

Head for the hills


When you need a break from urban stresses, Indias mountainous
state Himachal Pradesh offers a wealth of natural wonders to
soothe the soul. Situated in the western Himalayas, the regions
diverse landscape spans from high-altitude deserts to dense
forests and snow-capped peaks. Once in Himachal, a variety of
destinations beckon, including Kullu, a green valley ideal for
hiking, and Chamba, where 84 shrines make up the impressive
Chaurasi Temple complex.
himachaltourism.gov.in
SEPTEMBER 2014 COND NAST TRAVELLER 137

ROOM WITH A VIEW


A M E R I C A The Line Hotel, Los Angeles

The Hollywood
Hills, home to
many a movie star,
stretches for seven
miles and has great
trails for hiking and
mountain biking

H O L LY W O O D H I L L S V I E W K I N G
CALIFORNIA

USA
LOS
ANGELES

Close to Hollywood, this design hotel is the result of a collaboration between the Sydell Group
and several supporters of note, including Chef Roy Choi and designer Sean Knibb, who are
responsible for the complete reimagining of the public spaces and bedrooms. Housed in a building
designed in 1964 by Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall, who also created the American Cement
Building, the hotel sits amid the pre-1940 colonial architecture that is characteristic of Koreatown.
The aking and apparent neglect of the walls is a deliberate decorative tool, revered by the citys
lovers of industrial style. Its a complete contrast to the lush, picturesque view from this room
of the Hollywood Hills. After a feast at Roy Chois POT, which is authentically Korean as youd
expect from the neighbourhood, sink into the rooms king-sized bed, anked by Negril chairs
by Knibb. Amenities by Baxter of California, a minibar stocked with treats from both America
and Korea, and original designs, works of art and photography complete the picture.
Its a refuge in a neighbourhood that never goes to sleep.
Doubles from AED 690, Hollywood Hills View King from AED 780; 001-213-381 7411, thelinehotel.com

138 COND NAST TRAVELLER SEPTEMBER 2014

PARIS

STARTING FROM

3010AED

R/T

AIRFRANCE.AE
Book your all-inclusive Economy Class ticket before September 9th and enjoy a free stopover in Paris. Offer valid for travel now until December 15th, 2014. For more information, please visit airfrance.ae, contact Air France on 800 23 823 or your
travel agent. Terms and Conditions apply.

cartier.com

Ballon Blanc de Cartier New Collection

UAE Condenast Traveller UAE PUWA1614 275x215 EN indd 1

From UAE: 800 Cartier (800-227 8437)


Outside UAE: +971 4 236 8345

31/07/14 16:09