Favourite Dining Experiences

​​Café Carlyle @ The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, New York, USA

If you’re looking for a high-end, yet intimate experience that plays host to some of the world’s greatest jazz players, this supper club (a New York institution) is definitely one to visit. And if you drop in on a Monday evening, look out for Woody Allen who often shows up to play the clarinet with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band.

 

The Restaurant at Forest Lodge, Grootbos, South Africa

When you’re in South Africa the food is almost always fantastic, and Grootbos doesn’t fail to deliver on that front. The contemporary restaurant at Forest Lodge offers an exceptional dining experience, with daily changing menus that make the most of all the wonderful organic produce grown in the gardens, including its own raw honey, made from 200 beehives dotted over the hills, plus hand-reared pork from the farm and freshly caught fish. Even the breads, jams, pasta and mayonnaise is home-made.

Most Heavenly Hotel Rooms

  • Ulusaba, South Africa

    ​My first South African experience was to Ulusaba, and as soon as I stepped into my room (Cliff Lodge – just a short stroll from the main house at Rock Lodge) I was completely blown away. Perched high on the summit of a kopje, you get some of the best panoramic views of the Sabi Sand, so grab a pair of binoculars and see what you can spot! This traditionally-African suite comes with offers a spacious lounge with two bedrooms, a fireplace, separate kitchen and bar, a mini spa, gym and an outdoor deck with a large pool. It was a room I will never forget, and a trip that will always hold a very special place in my heart.

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  • ​Zaya Nurai, Abu Dhabi

    ​I just loved the design of the one-bedroom Beach Villas here, all with spacious terraces, palm-fringed gardens, views out to sea, a private pool, and the perfect combination of chic design and luxury lifestyle.

Most Sublime Spa Experiences

The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland

There’s something quite magical about sitting in the spa in big fluffy robes, fresh from a spirit-lifting massage, with a glass of champagne in your hand as the snow falls outside; before retreating to your super-smart room or suite (think Alpine chic meets Asian sleek), complete with cosy fireplace and impressive mountain views.

 

Anne Semonin Spa at Daios Cove, Crete, Greece

This spa experience was really unexpected, with glorious sea views over the cove from its floor-to-ceiling windows; the perfect accompaniment to the state-of-the-art interiors and the plethora of pampering treats –from the Finnish sauna and hydro-massages to Cryo-freeze facials, body-contouring masks, proprietary exfoliations and detox wraps – all guaranteed to make the stresses and strains of home feel like they’re a million miles away.

Best Rooms with a Pool

Soneva Jani, Maldives

All the rooms at Soneva Jani have the wow factor – all come with their own private pool, and many also enjoying the added bonus of a super-fun slide – perfect for bringing out your inner-child! I was lucky enough to stay in the four-bedroom Beach Villa, and was instantly wowed on my arrival as the pool was as big as most other hotels’ main pools.

 

W Retreat & Spa, Maldives

There’s something about an overwater villa in the Maldives which makes your holiday just that little bit extra-special. But W Maldives’ Wow Ocean Escape takes this experience to a whole other level. Our stay meant we rarely left our own private playground. Days were spent swimming and snorkelling in the lagoon straight from our deck, and taking sneaky siestas on our super-spacious sun-deck (the hub of our holiday with its oversized infinity pool, sublime day bed, and never-ending ocean views). Then by night, we grilled up a feast on the barbeque, indulging in the freshest catch of the day with a fine vintage from our very own wine fridge. Total and utter bliss!

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