• Oman
  • 9 days in Oman-Oman blog

    Oman, known as the jewel of the Middle East, a country with little publicity, it has a lot of mystery surrounding it. Located in the Arabian Peninsula, it is a hidden jewel bordering with Dubai Saudi Arabia and Yemen, also well known as the land of frankincense. This beautiful destination has often made it as a top destination to visit over the recent years by the likes of Lonely Planet 2017, The Telegraph newspaper, and the Guardian, thanks to its beautiful wadis and natural reserves, which offer endless exploring of its untouched beauty. As Oman competes to become a well-known contender on the Middle Eastern map, it's set apart from its more commercialised sister countries in the sense it still greatly retains its culture and charm. This has attracted larger luxury brands such as Anantara, and Shangri-La and The Chedi, all of which have designed their properties to work in harmony with the natural surroundings. It's an ideal place for just about everyone from individuals seeking its mountain peaks or luxury resorts, to its beautiful sunsets alongside its untouched culture and heritage. Recently placing itself as the 4th safest country in the world (Times of Oman), you need a real good reason not to visit such a beguiling place

    I wanted to challenge the people's views and knowledge of this little-known country, so I knew Oman was the perfect destination for me. Started my trip off with Wahiba Sands, I departed North back towards Muscat. For this, I hired a 4x4 via Muscat airport. The main roads are well

    Bimmeh I took the coastal road to the Wahiba Sands, allowing me to visit Wadi Shab and Bimmeh sinkhole. Bimmeh sinkhole is known as the 'Hawiyat Najm' in Arabic, translating to the 'falling star'. Located in a small village of Bimmah just off the coastal road, it makes a great day trip visit but gets pretty busy on weekends.

    Wadi Shab, in contrast, requires a full day, where the further you hike, the more of the oasis you will discover. You began your journey across the bank by boat, followed by some walking on rocky terrain, where you are slowly rewarded by magnificent views through the valley.  Its submerged with mesmerising swimming spots and waterfalls throughout,  with a beautiful cave which awaits you at the end. This is definitely a must do, and one of the most beautiful wadis Oman has to offer.

    Wahiba sands

     About 3 hours from Muscat you will arrive in Oman's empty quarter. It's perfect to spend a day or two for desert during or camel riding. It gets extremely hot here so October to Early April make it the best season. The desert its perfect for astrophotography/ star gazing, camel riding or dune bashing. If you want the full experience, there are many traditional Bedouin camps. I opted for desert nights camp which was isolated enough to make you feel deserted from civilisation, but close enough to the town Al Wasil for comfort

    Wahiba Sands

    Dune bashing essentials

    Stargazing under the stars

    Jabal Akhdar Two of the most visited mountains in Oman are Jabal Shams (Arabic for the mountain of sun) of Jabal al Akhdar (mountain of green). Perfect for hikers or thrill seekers alike. From here it's easy to pass through the mountainous range when driving back to Muscat which is ideal to spend a couple of nights. In 2011 this was listed as a nature reserve by Oman's' government and is home to rocks as old as 6000 years. There is ongoing research in the area, and a bid to protect the biodiversity, making it ever so more special. It's at least 20 degrees cooler from Muscat, so understandably becoming an increasingly visited place to escape the heat during warmer periods. There are police checkpoints leading up, and a 4x4 is necessary to pass, so make sure you are prepared.

    Where to stay?

    It's home to two major resorts at the top, and I opted for the Anantara due to their fabulous hospitality I experienced in the past. This beautiful resort only opened in late 2016, and being 2000 metres above sea level'; the highest in the Middle East, you can be sure you grabbed the most exclusive seat to view the canyon. With a picturesque infinity pool, 82 canyon view rooms and 33 private pool villas alongside temperatures 15 degrees cooler than its neighbouring Muscat, it's the perfect retreat for the summer. I also love their approach to sustainable tourism, and the hotel has been built to harmonise the surroundings, giving you escape of peace and tranquillity associated with the mountains. It's the perfect home for Anantara and was the ultimate place in Oman for me. You can't come to Oman and miss this out

    Anantara's' private dining experience (needs to be pre-booked)

    Coffee on the summit

    Views into the canyon from Dianas point -Princess Diana once observed the view from this exclusive spot

    Consisting of 9 villas and 28 bedrooms, Anantara blends traditional Omani lifestyle into it architectural design, with exclusive views of the canyon. I really enjoyed the sophistication of the hotel, and the detail put into all the design throughout the whole residence. The reputable spa intertwines the Arabian garden space, combining indoor and outdoor ambience, giving an insight to how Omani people spend their free time.The spa includes traditional Arabian rituals such as a hammam and mud treatments

    Private pool villa

    Lobby fountain

    Anantara's' infinity pool overlooking Al Jabal Al Akdar

    Outfit by Ralph Lauren

    All rooms are equipped with Amouage cosmetics, one of the more premium cosmetic brands of the middle east, and the private villas are each equipped with a private pool. You will find an abundance of recreational activities to enjoy during your stay,  as rock climbing, biking, hiking and cooking classes as well. Anantara's' concept is always about incorporating the cultural surroundings and values of their location, so residing with them will never be a typical 5-star experience.

    Abdullah Saif the local rose water producer

    Depending on the time of year you come, the mountain has some seasonal attractions.I loved their collaboration with Abdullah Saif, a local producer of rose water located in Al Ain. Guests are able to experience his rose water production skills in person by visiting I'm or from the Anantara on Fridays, where he hosts an observational event for their guests to watch I managed to catch the rose water production in April, a extraction method used to turn rose petals into consumable and cosmetic products, all 100% organic. agricultural products including pomegranates, walnuts, apricots, black grapes and peaches. It is also the site of honey bee

    Price: Approx £300 starting £££

    Address: 110, Postal Code 621, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman، Nizwa 621, Oman

    Phone: +968 25 218000

    Jabal Shams

    Jabal Shams is in close proximity to Al Jabal Al Akdar and the highest mountain in Oman, it's a well-known hiking and camping spot. There are plenty of spots you can just drive around and park up to enjoy a private picnic. It's quite a long drive up and requires some skill due to non-paved roads, however, it is perfectly manageable. Al Jabal Al Akdar is a great alternative if you are uncomfortable with off road driving, and can give you the same experience if you're willing to wander off course a little, but both these mountains offer unique views.

    Mountain goats

    Views of the canyon

    Nizwa fort is approximately 55km away, a beautiful area derived of the souks, once known as the Islamic capital of the Middle East, and prehistorically the capital of Oman. Here you will find traditional museums, historical forts lined with handicraft stalls and silversmiths. It's very close to Jabal Akhdar, and it makes a great day trip if you're looking to experience more of a cultural face of Oman


    Muscat, the capital city is becoming an important hub for expats residing here and home to a few new hotels as it takes its peak in development. The Chedi is very popular amongst tourists and offers tranquil privacy on the beach of Al Ghubra in its 21 private acre Garden Oasis. With a spectacular trio of pools, one of which is a whopping 103metres long, whitewashed architecture, glorious sunset and the Hajjar mountain backdrop, you could be fooled into believing you were on a Greek island. The hotel is popular for business and pleasure and gives easy access to site seeing a stone fall away.

    The 103-metre pool at The Chedi

                                                            Outfit by Noor_s_closet

              Outfit by Ralph Lauren

    With its arresting architecture, the hotel has a beautiful vibe, but they didn't have any evening entertainment and the pool closes pretty early. For the price tag I did feel this was a pretty important factor, so some evening I did head over the Crowne Plaza not far down the road, which has a very cool bar.

    Things to do in Muscat

    The Sultan Qaboos Mosque This grand mosque is central to Muscat, a magnificent mosque with breathtaking regal architectural features imported from different parts of the world. Their handcrafted rug took 4 years to produce in Iran (largest in the world) and has 1,7000000 knots, with a unique chandelier designed and manufactured by Italian designer Faustig. This great Moorish structure really is one to be appreciation by architectural lovers, and more of a peaceful presence amongst the bustling capital.

    Souq Mattra doesn't compare to some of the Souks in the middle east. It's been reformed from earlier days, so it no longer looks traditional, however its worth doing for the beautiful bay its located by, where Bait Luban and The Palace is nearby

    Muscat top eats:

    Bait Luban is a wonderful Omani restaurant, where you can eat traditional food the traditional way. Compromising of floor seating, or exclusive balcony views which need to be booked in advance, if its authenticity your looking for this is the place

    Traditional Mishkak: If you're willing to brave it go for Omani barbeque style street food (Mishkak) at Shatti Qaram.It gets rather busy in the evening as crowds gather around several stalls In a large parking lot, where you can choose from a variety of selections. You can buy a selection of meats with bread, dipped in a traditional sauce, and great as a quick snack or treat. Personally, I enjoyed this one the most, and I live by the rule, if the locals are all eating there, it must be good!

    Traditional Mishkak

    If your missing Western food head over to the wave, a newly formed shopping district with western restaurants and brands including Pizza Hut, Shakespeare and Co found mostly in the middle east with a variety of exotic milkshakes, bakery and ice creams, international restaurants such as Shang Thai and coffee house Starbucks or Costa.

    Events to look out for:

    Rose season in Jabal Al Akdar- April

    Tour de Oman bicycle racing- Feb 14-19th

    Yearly Al Jabal Akhdar summit hike

    Hotels were booked through www.middleeastluxury.com

    #oman #omaniblogger #muscat #jabalakhdar #anantarajabalakhdartwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

  • Marrakech Riad
  • Marrakech Top 10


    If your thinking of going to Marrakech for a short trip , why not take a look my inspirational guide below? it's just a tip of the iceberg of all the things you can do! I will be taking another trip to Marrakech in September to bring you the best of food!

    Visit one of the top hotels in the world

    Marrakech has some top boutique hotels, and La Mamounia certainly set the standards when it was voted Best Hotel in the World by Conde Nast Traveller UK in September 2015. The intricate property is a aficionados dream come true, and with its equable ambience, you will truly appreciate the hard work thats gone into this place. Originally the 3-ha park was given by the Sultan 'Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah' to his son, Moulay Mamoun, for his wedding in the 18th century. It was green oasis behind the city’s Kasbah and became quickly known for his lavish garden parties. Later updated to a hotel in 1923 the 'La Mamounia'  a property that proudly exhibits moorish opulence seamlessly. It's a must see.



    Gardens patio of La Mamounia Marrakesh


    The Jardin Majorelle


    The famous Jardin majorelle also known as the' Yves Saint Laurent gardens' , features a abundance of blue architecture. Its a modern masterpiece created to work in harmony with the hand crafted botanical gardens of exotic and rare species with surroundings, making it a pleasurable experience . Designed by French artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and 1930s, it later belonged to Yves Saint Laurent in the 1980's who described it as 'a unlimited source of inspiration, dreaming many times about the unique colours.

    Try some targine


    Targine at cafe arabe

    Get traditional by trying some local cuisines. I recommend Cafe arabe or nomad for some delicious home made targine, a dish slow cooked in a targine plate with a choice of lamb, fish or chicken!. If you love targine you may want to get hands sticky, and dive straight into a  Moroccan cooking class at fez such as the one here below:

    If you decide to buy your own targine pots, read the guide on safe targines

    Visit the Ben Youssef Medersa

    Officially the largest quranic school of North Africa , the Medersa (meaning school in Arabic ) once had 900 students in 132 dorms arranged around the courtyard studied religious and legal texts here. It's now open to visitors and boasts a array of colours and intricate wall designs




    It's hard to travel somewhere like Marrakesh and not want to take a piece of it back with you. The medina is the perfect market to shop in, but you will have to be ready to haggle . The medina will erupt your imagination back to the stories of alibaba. The souks sell a variety of spices, artisans and handmade decorative home pieces. It's easy to get lost here so make sure you have a local sim card which allows you to use internet for £1 a day



    The red walls of the Medina


    Carre Eden located near Jemma al Fna

    Or if your looking for somewhere a bit more contemporary hit Gueliz, the newer part of the city, is a more modern vibe featuring extensive European shopping brands, eateries and cafes. Best of all, you don't have to haggle. Their grandest shopping complexes include the Menara mall or Carre Eden

    Menara; Avenue Mohammed VI, Marrakech, Morocco

    Stay in a Riad

    al maha marrakech

    One of my favourite Riads in Kesbah , the Al Maha

    I love riads, I hope I can own one one day! Read my favourite riad guide here. They really are a true rendition of traditional Moroccan life. Many riads have since been restored under the UNESCO scheme by foreigners, bringing out there original characters and artisans, and each riad has something new to explore. The roads are a architectures dream, based on a central atrium with a fountain surrounded by trees and bedrooms.  They are a architectures dream!

    If you havent accoodated yourself in a riad and simply want to visit one, how about just going to one for dinner. Try the Dar Cherifa, its the oldest riad in Marrakech, and the food is delicous!

    Take a excursion to Ouzoud


    The picturesque falls

    I done my tour to here with click excursions which can be booked here , after extensive research they were the cheapest company and provide really good service. Ouzoud was only two hours away, and its the largest waterfall in North Africa. It's very impressive, and you can hike all the way round it, where you will end up at restaurants on the other side close to the exit. You can have a Moroccan barbecue right beneath the falls,surrounded by berber monkeys. It will surely be a memorable experience

    contact@clickexcursions.com 00 212 661 165 800


    Jemma al Fna


    Taken from Glacier, overlooking the square



    The Jemmaa al Fna has some mixed reviews, and its not a place for all of us. But if you like the idea of snake charmers, belly dancers, and monkeys, it will rock your boat. It comes alive at night, and its usually to come with a few people rather then travel alone. If you decide to come alone, jus watch your bag, and keep some change (10-20 dirham just about does it) to give to performers if you decide to photograph them. I find its good to be stern if you don't want something as their quite pushy here, or just stand to the side and watch from a distance. I kept my sunglasses on and earphones in if I didn't want attention- just a tip!

    A note to women; its good to free slightly modest here. Fashion of all types is tolerated in Morocco, but the rule slightly changes here. Why attract unwanted attention if its just going to ruin your night?

    Derb Chtouka, Marrakesh 40008, Morocco

    Have a hammam treatment

    Originating from Turkey, the Islamic variant of the Roman bath, steam bath is a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam followed by a scrub down. Ham is a popular treatment in Marrakech and you will be spoilt for choice! I recommend heading down to hammam de la Rose

    Address: 130, Dar El Bacha | Medina, Marrakech 40000, Morocco Phone Number: 212524444769


  • Marrakech Riad
  • Marrakech: Where to stay

    Weather its the food, exotic smells, abundance of culture, beautiful architecture, art, or call to prayer, it's easy to be seduced by Marrakech. I'd often read a lot about marrakech, but visiting was a experience in itself. I will actually admit, I have Marrakech fever. It's difficult not to fall in love with this city! Marrakech has always seemed slightly cliche to me, and always struck me as a place to visit to experience the quintessential Saharan life of North Africas' region. It's the fourth largest city in Morocco, located in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, and is the perfect destination to visit if you want to introduce yourself to Morocco. Due to its geographical location, it'a accessible, in only 3 and a half hours from London, making it one of the easiest journeys to do Its bursting with a abundance of culture in such a short fall of time. In other words, it's perfect! Being a islamised Country has made it subject to certain stereotypes due to prevailing political problems nearby, however keep an open mind and you will be welcomed with open arms. Somehow the city manages to balance its culture and assent western values seamlessly.

    Where to stay?

    You will find countless riads in the Medina and old city, or countless hotel chains in the new hotels. If you want to experience real moroccan hospitality, go for a Riad, even if it's only for a night! Once owned by the wealthiest citizens such as merchants and courtiers focused around family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco, They will take you back in time ,. Many of the restored riads in the districts of Mouassine and Lakssour offer the finest examples of restoration as historically these areas contained many of the grand palaces from Marrakech's Saadian period, now owned mostly by foreigners, helping restore UNESCO sites.


    Luxury: Riad Al Maha

    Almaha is a relatively new premium boutique Riad, with a decor fit for royalty. With large spacious suites, amongst only 12 rooms, your truly likely to have a unique one to one experience here. All the food is home made, and you could spend hours bird watching on the hotel grounds, or admiring the rooftops from the Terrace.

    When I arrived to Al maha, I was greeted to a average wooden door from the main street. I did't really know what to expect. When I entered, I was greeted by wonderful staff with a mint tea, in a quaint front room with a large bookcase. 'Ma'am, there is a secret door in here, can you guess where '? I had a look around, and from watching one too many movies I guessed a moving bookcase would't be far off, although I couldn't see any entry points. She pushes the book case and asked me ' please come in' . I approached with suspicion, enjoying the banter at the same time. After this, I'm sure the wow in my facial expressions said it all. How is this great hidden gem, hidden behind that one door? I already have a feeling I won't want to leave. And thats what I love about Marrakech. On every corner or through every door, it holds a little secret waiting to be explored.


    Beautiful grounds of AlMaha


    This riad is cleverly designed by Charles Kaisin, a Belgian architect. With the thick walls, and centre water feature, and beautifully draped curtains, it was at least 10 degree cooler as you enter. With only 8 exclusive boutique rooms individually tailored, their accomodation is fit for a king (literally)! It's a surreal experience, with only the sound of birds or fountain to keep you company. This is definitely my number one property in Marrakesh!

    marrakech riad

    Almaha Boutique Marrakech hotel grounds

    Marrakeh riad

    Homemade traditional Moroccan Cuisine


    In hotel spa


    The pixel room- each pixel is handcrafted to imitate the 'Jna Al Fna' Square


    Key Features: Luxurious interior design exclusive by Charles Kaisah, located in prestige Kesbah, boutique rooms,  ;Price ££££

    55 Derb Ben Zina، Marrakesh 40040, Morocco; +212 5243-86782; http://www.almahamarrakech.com

    Perfect for romance/couples


    Budget: Riad Adore

    Marrakesh is full of a range of beautiful options if on a budget. There are many reasonable priced riads dispersed around the Medina with a beautiful boutique feel , each one to its own identity. I was lucky enough to try our Riad Adore. Its a small chic read, run more by a small number of staff, making the service exceptionally personal. With 10 individually decorated rooms, newly decorated by Christoper S , Its located in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of the Medina.

    The patio area is decorated with pretty greys, authentic feeling window shutters, and the sound of the fountains make you feel you are sleeping out in the open at night. The property facilitates a hammam, a salon offering a wide range of treatments, a library, and a rooftop berber tent perfect for shisha summers, or fire lit winters.

    The boutique riad comes alive at night, lit with candles and chillout music, making a magical atmosphere for the guests.


    Fatima room 


    Riad Adore grounds



    Riad Adore,94 Derb Tizouagrine, Dar El Bacha, Marrakech Medina 00 44 (0) 7935 079 983 (UK) Riadadore.com


    Medina: Riad Star

    If you want to opt into staying deep in the Medina and experience the old city first hand, then head to Riad Star. It's owned by Mike wood, but was the original home of Josephine Baker in the early 1940's, so it's got a unique character which sets it apart from other riads.  The  7 bedrooms character property has changed very little, with just the much needed updates to the bedroom keeping the original artefacts to give the feel you are stepping into her original home. Its a fun modern art deco property with Moroccan spirit, and stepping into the riad is like taking a step back in time to the 1940's flapper era without sacrificing modern comforts. You will have fun dressing up as Josephine, as they still have her costumes on display for guests to try on.


    Colourful doors on the First floor terrace



    Conveniently located near the Ben Youssef Mederessa, its one of the tallest buildings in the neighbourhood with astonishing views of the rooftops and Koutobia mosque especially at the sunset hour .You can take a stroll on the terrace at night, enjoy the sunset, prayer time next to the rooftop fireplace with some tasty homemade dinner.


    Rooftop terrace


    The terrace top room which I stayed


    The rooms have small dainty artisans belonging to Josephine herself, and all rooms are equipped with top of the range en suites with power shower, luxury robes, silk sheets, hairdryer, mini fridge and

    Watch me having fun at riad star!

    staff are extremely attentive and friendly, and you feel part of a family from the day you step in . Most importantly, they provided a prepaid mobile phone to each of their guests to call them if they take a stroll out and hesitate to find their way back. Even on my third trip to Morocco I was hopeless in the Medina! Safety is a huge thing and the Medina can be daunting at night, especially if its your first time! This service really sets this Riad apart.

    Riad Star, 13 Derb Alilich, Kaat Bennahid District, Marrakesh; 800-845-0810; riadstar.com.

    Key Features: Boutique Riad, Medina location, Excellent views of rooftop and Koutoubia, Events can be arranged here, onsite hammam

    Perfect for solo travellers/ groups of friends/female travellers Price ££


    Chain hotel: Four Seasons

    On the other hand, if you are after something a bit more commercial, you won't have a shortfall of a well known large chain group to choose from. Marrakesh has attracted properties from the Four Seasons, Sofitel, Sheratton and Fairmont. I resided with the Four Seasons, and although it comes at a larger price tag,they have done a fabulous job of keeping the Moroccan identity, whilst amalgamating their signature image well. This property is located at a prestigious part of Marrakesh, and it has 141 rooms, alongside 27 suites – all with private balcony and terraces, on site Le Spa, swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness grounds. Their tranquil gardens are a world away from the bustling city and most importantly which goes without saying, you will be treated with the exclusive hospitality as a Four Seasons. I recommend their properties worldwide!


    Four seasons signature fountain

    four seasons marrakesh

    Hotel grounds at night


    Four Seasons signature coffee  leaf

    four seasons marrakesh


    Generous views from the deluxe rooms

    four seasons marrakech

    Look who we bumped into! Zoz Alajail follow him on Insta @zozalajail

    Key features: 5 star hotel, chain group hotel, Situated in premium neighbourhood of Marrakech, 3 nights get one free; Price ££££

    One things for sure, if your coming to Morocco, you should't miss out on the serenity and hospitality of riads, lets face it, how many times will we get the chance to experience a riad?

    perfect for couples, families, people with a high budget


  • Uncategorized
  • 6 great eats in Marrakesh

    Theres no denying that one of the best things about Morocco is the food. Marrkaech is very famous for its range of eats and I remeber how I got sick of just targine on my first trip.. I spent my recent trip exploring some new eats (their not all high end or touristy!!) to realise there is more then just targine to Morocco. Sometimes the simple things can be best. It's easy to get stuck in the a typical tourist trap and eat with just google as a helping hand. Ive comprised a list of a few places i was impressed by below


    Zaatar Maa Zit Firs things first, Morocco is not really a arabic, so their breakfst varies from Moroccan pancakes and bread. I decided to mingle more with the locals on this occasion and see where they were eating. One of my favourite places turned out to be 'Maatar Za Bit' in Mohammed 5. I found in Marrakech you can fall in a tourist trap when it comes to food, but it was just good honest, simple food. Everything is cooked fresh so the service may seem a bit slow, but I thought it was a good sign. They were very attentive and I spent most of my mornings for breakfast here, and they didnt hesitate to a few requests. They do everything from targines, mediterranean breakfast,chicken shewarmas, kebab and pizza. They don't do any pushy selling either, just clean , tasty and honest. A great sign of a good cafe is checkout how many locals are using it. If its good enough for them, it will be good enough for you! fullsizerender img_7089

    Address: Avenue Mohamed 5 Num 268 | 30 meters from Dino Coffee & 300 meters from Mc Do, Marrakech 40000, Morocco


    Grand Cafe de la posts The perfect French alfresco daytime dining ambience with a spritz of Mediterranean to it. French tourists spend their lunch times here. A relaxed but stylish complexion  poste


    Avenue Imam Malik, Marrakech 40000, Morocco



    Azar What a remarkable place! A perfect gothic style dimly lit restaurant gives this restaurant a almost perfect romantic atmosphere. I would recommend going for the set menu for two, which includes 9 fezzes, 2 mains, and a selection of sweets. This menu is a selection of flavours of North African with mediterranean, slowly ascending into  berber style cusine and desserts, leaving an array of flavours in your mouth. It will set you back slightly £££ howevermell worth it for a special night out. Whilst eating you will enjoy a impressive bellydance show, and a live guitarist. This place was oh so special!



    Price £££

    Address: Rue de Yougoslavie، Marrakesh, Morocco Phone: +212 5244-30920

    Les Jardins De Bala  Set on top of one of the most beautiful Riads you will ever see, the Les Jardins de Bala is a classy , contemporary Indian restaurant serving one of the best biryanis i have ever tried. The decor is fit enough for a Raja from the Mughal era! The serve everything from South Indian, to North and Pakistani cuisine. It's a peaceful way too end your day in the Medina,and you will briskly hear the bustling Jma al Fna in the distance a short fall away.




    High end

    Royal Mansour If your after come classy dining, Marrakech has countless award winning hotels. The afternoon tea at the Royal Mansour is a great compliment to the traditional high tea. They have cleverly combined French, English and Moroccan  savoury and sweet snacks to bring you the ideal tea experience, whilst admiring traditional designed architecture nd surroundings. This hotel is owned by the Toyal family of Morocco as is the Royal mansour, setting the standards. I did find the Moroccan tea slightly unusual, and perhaps not to everyones liking, but its  great insight to berber sweets and savoury pieces. The French was exceptional!

    26 rue de la Koutoubia, 40000, Marrakech 




    Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

    La Mamounia If you really do want to treat yourself, then this is the one. Im going to finish my post with this one. Theres not a lot to be said but WOW! It's a world class hotel, and won conde naste traveller awards 2015. Le Marocain dining will cost you approx £70 one average. If however its too pricey for you, and you want to experience the surroundings, opt into using their outdoor gardens and having some drinks instead! You will still get a similar experience for less!




    Avenue Bab Jdid، Marrakesh 40040, Morocco

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  • France
  • 2 Luxury eats in Paris

    The Peninsula Paris

    France is famous for its love of food and french cuisine, and what better place to try it other then the romantic city of Paris. With so many luxury properties, it offers a variety of culinary styles and experiences adorned by authentic chefs from all over the globe group task management. The Shangri-La and The Peninsula, two major Asian luxury hotel brands, play a a trivial role in Paris and both specialise in traditional concepts of asian hospitality, so I decided to try them both out! I was invited exclusively by 'The Peninsula' to try their 'Lili restaurant',  a dark seductive gothic themed Chinese sitting, serving authentic Cantonese cuisine prepared by award winning chefs from Hong Kong itself. The Peninsula is the perfect host for this beautiful restaurant as the deep rooted history tells us. Since the mother hotel, the Peninsula Hong Kong, opened in 1928 when Hong Kong was still a British colony and was meant to be “the finest hotel east of Suez,’. It's easy to see why Lili is such a important asset for The Peninsula. Everything about this restaurant oozes class and sophistication, from the grand decor , high ceilings, and hand crafted panels imported from Shanghai.In fact the restaurant design is based around a traditional Chinese opera, with grandeur architecture complimented with long draping curtains and deep chairs.

    dsc_0230"Traditional food with added sophistication. Detail in every bite".

    For starters we tried two varieties of dim sum dumplings. Deep-fried taro and chicken puffs, and Steamed vegetable dumplings with mushrooms . Although dim sum is quite easy to make, Lili have worked extremely hard to add a touch to their pieces to make it a enjoyable experience adding a variety of textures and tastes in each piece. The chicken puffs were perfectly crispy on the outside, later melting in your mouth like truffles from the inside. The homemade garnishes of three sorts, chilli, garlic and , and a sharp touch, but not over empowering the ingredients.


    Pretty dim sum, with home made oriental garnishes

    To top everything off, we tried some special 20 year Sake, a traditional Japanese/Korean alcoholic beverage made from rice and vinegar, (much like having wine in the west but stronger) bought to China by the Japanese. The drink provides a important insight to oriental culture and cuisine, and although I only had a small dose, it went well with the food, and made me slightly too jolly by the end. Chinese references state a lot about the behaviour of the Japanese singing and dancing  Apparently this is a sign its doing the trick. I can see why this drink is enjoyed so much. It makes the setting a bit more causal and enjoyable and has the kind of warmth you get from having a whisky on the rocks.


    Line-caught codfish braised in claypot with garlic and shallots

    If dim sum isn't for you why not try out the duck? This was a rather enjoyable procedure to watch, as our host impressively carved our duck immaculately preparing it for serving. They were served with a traditional plum sauce, spring onion, cucumber, pepper and a unusual but sweet twist of melon which helped break up the strong flavour and character you get in duck pancakes. the additional duck is taken away and served as a second helping fried in batter with garlic and chilli.

    We moved onto mains of the line caught cod, mixed with shallots infused with chilli. Overall the dining experience was heightened by the pristine service. It will cost around 100 approx, and whilst it is expensive, it is worthwhile for a special occasion.

    In fact, Lili is more then a gastronomical experience. Its a insight to the opulent Cantonese lifestyle which was once enjoyed exclusively by the riches. I could see from the custom just how important asian food is in Paris, and Lili is not shy of a good display. Food should be a enjoyable experience and they execute the ideas so well. The restaurant has definitely left a new benchmark on me for fine dining. Unfortunately I had to jump on a plane back to London shortly after my sitting, but I can say I was definitely reminiscing over the restaurant my whole flight home. If I return to Paris this is a place I need to return to.


    LiLi Restaurant, Hotel Peninsula Paris, 19 Avenue Kléber, 16th Arrondisssement, Paris

    Tel. (33) 01-58-12-28-88.

    Metro: Kléber Open daily for lunch and dinner.

    Average 100 Euros. www.paris.peninsula.com

    From 21 January to 5 February LiLi is being transformed into a veritable theatre stage, lifting the curtain on its “Splendour of Chinese Opera” display, rich with costumes in shimmering colours, adorned with delicate embroidery and featuring sculpted headdresses, as well as photographic works highlighting the mysterious and refined aesthetics of Chinese opera


    Shangri-La Paris

    Shangri-La is a newer hotel group founded originally in Singapore in 1971. In Paris, Shangri-La own a rather smaller but trivial property which was originally home to Roland Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon. The Shangri-la group is focused around the concept of Asia Pacific , and the Paris property

    I visited the 'La Bahunia' named after a flower which roots in Asia but combines the hotels history with botanist Roland Bonaparte.. It's perfect for midday light lunches, and has a combination of  asian food with a French twist. I started off with the 'Tom Kha Kai' soup, a coconut flavoured chicken soup with lemon grass. It was the perfect started to any meal, light, sweet and punchy at the same time. We were first presented with the ingredients in a  bowl, where the soup was poured in front of us after.

    A lot of the menu was based around Thai food because its ingredients make it light and easy to eat.

    The Shangri-La christmas tree


  • Switzerland
  • A guided travel of Lake Lucerne

    Zurich- B2B Boutique hotels

    There is a number of trips you can do in Switzerland depending on what you are looking for on your trip. I had a time limit of 5 days, and as I wanted to start from scratch,so I decided to do Lucerne as it is connected with excellent transport links, and Lucerne is such a big place it has a lot to do. This made it easier for me to have a diverse itinerary, and see multiple things my trip such as food, views, rural, urban, and the city. Naturally, I started off my trip in Zurich which I only stopped off for the night. I was lucky enough to stay in the B2B boutique hotels, a ex-beer factory which has been renovated to a young hip, modern rejuvenation. Each of the rooms is painted in natural neutral tones, with efficient use of space, mindfully fitting in a wet room and discreet toilet. The decor really has minimalist in mind, where focus has been diverted to the hotels concept of wellbeing.

    The industrial style rooms at the B2B boutique hotel Zurich

    It features a luxury heated rooftop pool where you will have generous views of the whole of Zurich, even in the ice cold winter. The spa serves as a top secret in the hotel, promoting health and well-being, and being on a different platform in the hotel, many people are not aware of its presence. It almost feels like a secret members club, with its private underground Roman bath tubs, where couples can enjoy a romantic ambience in a historically rich setting with a Swiss vibe. It's a must see!

    Lucerne- The Grand National Hotel

    I would say for the first trip to Switzerland, Luzerne is a great choice. Everything is conveniently located around the lake and you could do a week of sightseeing concentrating one entirely on its surroundings. It's less then an hour from Zurich and has great transport links  This pretty little town has a taste of everything from traditional Swiss food, shopping, architecture, and scenery. Most of the large hotels are located across the lake as soon as you exit the station. The thing I loved most about this town was its convenience. It's small do it can be done in a day. The streets are almost reminiscent of Dutch towns, and the lake of Italy. I stayed at the Grand National Hotel in Luzerne, a beautiful Renaissance style architecture hotel b founder of the Ritz hotel group. With beautiful staircases and golden architecture with high ceilings, the hotel makes you feel like royalty.I stayed in the junior suite on the second floor, with panoramic views of the lake.


    Balconies looking onto lake lucerne


    The junior suite


    Grand National staircase

    The hotel has a classy charm, and a peaceful presence after a adventurous day around lucerne town. each of the rooms are equipped with Baylis and harding cosmetics, Bose speakers,I pad for room service, complimentary waters, and Swiss chocolate, all followed by a Germanesque Breakfast by the Lake, with walking distance to all the nearby sights.

    Tour around the lake

    There are numerous towns and villages to visit around the lake, and a great tour of Luzerne is hopping from one town to the other. They are all unique in character with a abundance of hidden gems. I took the chance to visit the pretty town of Ennetburgen, residing for one night at the beautiful log cabin style boutique hotel which has been categorised as top 10 views of the world. Villa Honegg is a beautiful retreat high up in the hills boasting a infinity pool looking into the magical Lake Lucerne. I advise to wake up early to get a view of the magical sunrise, where you can see life awakening slowly below you, from the peace of your pool

    Ennetburgen dsc_0266

    Views from the magical infinity pool


    Serene views of the mountains


    Sunrise when the mountains become lit


    Hot tub jacuzzi

    Breakfast is done in a afternoon tea style fashion starting with some local swiss favourites with a selection of cheeses,Veal bacon and sweet treats presented beautifully on a 3 tier stand, followed by a hot food mains selected from the menu by choice. The very unique aspects of this hotel that have bene thought through is what makes it such a special number.


    Neutral tone suites


    Cosy bedrooms with balcony views of the mountains


    Slippers, blankets and binoculars to add to the country retreat feeling


    Poolside, wearing Superdry snow jacket, New Balance trainers, Tommy Hilfiger leggings, Nixon watch and Noisy May top


    balcony views

    You will not be disappointed. At £700 a night per couple, it's a big stretch but one worth doing. I've been to many hotels which claim a 5 star and but there are always niggly things to point out. When it came to Villa Honegg, I could not point a single negative point. Coming back down from my hotel to Ennetburgen left me with a sense of being back to reality, and I knew nothing was going to beat this breathtaking hotel


    The pretty town of Weggis was once described by author Mark Twain as "This is the charmingest place we have ever lived in for repose and restfulness, superb scenery whose beauty undergoes a perpetual change from one miracle to another, yet never runs short of fresh surprises and new inventions. We shall always come here for the summers if we can"

    Its a pretty little town made up of chalets and beautiful valleys. I can almost imagine christmas here.  With small boutiques and shops, it consists of a  small close knit community which harbours at the south of Lake Lucerne opposite Ennetburgen. This quaint town is very picturesque and you could spend hours on end sitting on the edge of the boat docks feeling what Mark Twain did.


    Travel tips

    Switzerland requires much planning, or as I found, things go wrong!


  • Turkey
  • The scenic range of Cappadocia

    I have to say firstly, that Cappadocia has left me mesmerised. Cappadocia is a natural region which has been formed through volcanic eruptions  1000's of year ago, leaving behind a scenic landscape and unusual rock formations which pulls in millions of tourists each year. Besides this, Cappadocia possesses the perfect weather and views making it the ideal destination for hot air ballooning. If you have alway wanted to do a hot air balloon ride, look no further.


    Morning views from the terrace Millstone Suites

    Lets observe a bit closer. You need to wake up in time for sunset approximately 5 am to view the balloons in all their glory. Somewhere between 30-40 balloons set off in the distance, making it the most surreal observation you will have ever seen. It's a moment that will truly grasp you, and one not to be forgotten. The balloons drift over the rose valley, and with the sunrise lighting up the valley, it will almost seem like you are staring at a painting.


    Many of the local land formations were historically made into caves. You need to look in Cappadocia history to truly appreciate the nature of the caves in this UNESCO world heritage site, and what makes it so special. Local people have bought caves, and transformed them into 5 star suites, also known as 'cave hotels' which brings us onto our first attraction here; it's a must if your visiting the area. I was lucky enough to stay with Millstone Suites; a 7 bedroom luxury boutique cave hotel located on the edge of Uchisar.


    Turkish 'Menemen' for breakfast


    Breakfast with views of the valley

    This pretty property is run by Alper Kankilic and had a beyond wonderful ambience. Each suite is traditional with the modern fitted luxuries, making it a perfect romantic setting, but still articulating the original features of the cave. Every evening the terrace comes alive, as guest mingle together on the wonderful fire lit terrace looking over the Rose valley, enjoying some homemade Turkish cuisines. With the relaxed ambience, chilled music, and the two resident puppies Whisky and Malt running around, I almost felt pleasantly at home.

     The Flamin Marvellous restaurant is a perfect addition to this already beguiling property. They restored old stone bakery which was located originally where the hotel is built, unlocks a piece of history and produces the most delicious Turkish flavours, expanding your imagination to how delectable the bakery must have been 100's of years ago .They serve everything from house wine, traditional Turkish cuisines intertwined with Armenian and mediterranean influences, burgers, and continental breakfasts. I love Turkish food, it has so much soul to it and recommend to try their dishes as part of your journey to this incredible place. I enjoyed the menemen for breakfast; its a perfect way to start the day consisting of eggs, peppers and tomatoes , and 'testi kebabi' for dinner. They also have a impressive collection of liqueurs, wines and cocktails, so you will be spoilt for choice!


    Millstone cave suites The perfect cave hotel


    Starting price for rooms will set you back about £125.00, includes breakfast



    Address: Tekelli mah. Divanlı sok. No:20 Uchisar/Nevsehir Turkey

    Phone: +90384 219 2288

    Email: info@millstonecavesuites.com

    Museum Hotel Uchisar


    Jacuzzi at the Museum hotel suite

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    Museum hotel The cave suite

    If your looking for a very high end luxury hotel with a Byzantine feel to it, the museum hotel is located a few walks away. This 30 bedroom award winning premium property includes silk furnishing details, mosaic marble bathrooms accompanied by jacuzzi bath tubs in each and every one of their rooms. Their proudest asset is their infinity pool which offer 'Alfresco' massages on demand, with views of the valley which will have you reminiscing for a long time.


    The museum hotel Rooftop infinity pool: winner of the luxury hotel awards, best luxury boutique hotel Europe


    Views from the courtyard


     They have a Michelin restaurant which I really recommend called Lil'a, which blends food from the historical influence of the Ottoman empire, including the likes of Armenia, Anatolia and greece. This combination, and a touch of culinary consultant Murat Bozok, gives the restaurant such a impeccable edge. They own their own 500 acre of land where their produce is freshly grown, ensuring you only have natural and local products on your plate.   Cappadocia was home to so many civilisations, and being the only Relais & Châteaux hotel in Turkey, I wouldn't give this number a miss! Their food will ensure you take a journey into history


    Price £300 p/n

    Address:  Tekeli Mah. Goreme Cad. No 1 Uchisar, 50240 Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey Phone: +90 384 219 2220


    Top things to do in Cappadocia

    Besides Cappadocia being a relaxing retreat, if you find yourself wanting to explore, read my guide below which touches light on just some of the many things this wonderful destination has to offer

    Go shopping for a turkish carpet. Ikman carpets is popular amongst tourists, and they have beautiful Turkish rugs priced from anywhere between £100- £2000 . All their products are handmade and they have a impressive gallery display. Prepared to be enticed by Turkish coffee and shish whilst you haggle


    Ikman carpets: Aydinliorta Mah. Hakki Pasa Meydan Goreme, Nevsehir 50180, Turkey

    Pasabag Valley (Valley of the monks)  Visit the Pasbag valley and knock up a camel ride to visit the fairy chimneys. It has a beautiful landscape with twin and triple chimneys . Paşabağ means "Pasha’s Vineyard", a name it received after the Byzantine Greek population left the region which is located in the middle of a vineyard.


    Camels at the Paşabağ valley

    Uchisar castle is a fort/castle, originally used as a safe house when enemies were nearby. It is located nearby the cave hotels in the town of Uchisar. It has small dwarf like holes throughout which has aroused some myths of dwarf like people living here. People would leave their homes in Uchisar, and flock to the fort and hide. This castle really gives the town some character, and as the fortress can be seen from almost every suite, its not hard to imagine how life may have been. From here you can also walk further onto the pigeon valley

    Open air museum, a monastic settlement from 4000 bc. It has approximately 9-10 churches with beautiful preserved artefacts, due to the lack of light. One of them even resembles petra. This was my top place to visit in Cappadocia

    Saruhan, used as a stopover house by during the era of the silk road, by the Perisans. Its now used as a show house, and in the evening you can find the art of sufi dancing which is so prominent in Turkey, known as the Dervish whirlers. A must go if your a Rumi or Turkish/Persian literature fan. Tickets are approximately 25euros for the show

    Underground City, a historical underground network used by the christians to escape persecution by the Romans, and later muslims. the largest underground city is 10 floors deep, and you will find yourself ducking and diving, in between the cold atmospheric walls. You will see everything from their fridge rooms, to their living rooms. It's a very odd experience, just make sure you don't get lost!

    Hot Air balloons It's the most scenic place in the world for a hot air balloon ride. You will witness approximately 30-40 balloons around you, with epic views of the rose valley. You will be expected to wake up early, as balloon rides begin about 5am or according to sunrise.


  • Dubai
  • Dubai travel and food guide

    Dubai is the largest city amongst the 7 of the UAE.The beautiful state of the Emirates, a tranquil desert Oasis on the Persian Gulf, is a dream city built on ideas and concepts never explored before. Everytime you visit Dubai, you will find something new from your previous visits. It's a relatively new blue print drafted up and built over 45 years, and its hard to believe what once was a empty desert, is evolving at such a fast pace as it is. It has attracted expats from all over the globe to join the large financial hub and hospitality industry. Along with the establishment of Dubai, it has also become a attractive holiday destination with a bustling party life , clubs, tranquil residences, beaches , and shopping experiences to remember! Dubai travel has to be ticked off your bucket list

    My regulars will know all about my love affair with Dubai. I love the emirates and their limitless . They can take any idea , and make it into something bigger and better. Just take the Burj Khalifa for example, officially the tallest building in the world, and getting taller! It has 148 floors in total boasting 360 panoramic views of Dubai. Don't underestimate what Dubai has to offer!

    Where did I Stay?

    I was invited along to SPG hotels, The Sheraton Dubai mall of Emirates situated inside of Dubai Mall, the premium, glamourous end of the SPG brand, with all amenities built within, where you can simply walk out of your hotel directly into the world famous 'Mall of Emirates'.

    They boast some breathtaking views of the Burj Khalifa Skyline,the burj Al Arab from the southside, twin rooftop pools, 433 rooms, and 3 restaurants with a beautiful shish terrace. You won't be short of things to do here. Visiting Dubai previously, I always chose to stay Downtown, or Jumeirah, however I always felt exahausted by the traffic and hustle and bustle of Downtown. Mall of Emirates is a considerably more feasible option, located on the 4th interchange of Sheikh Zayed road, and Downtown is only 10 minutes drive from here!



    The beautifully decorated reception at Sheraton


    SPG Hospitality at its finest


    Beautiful views of the Burj Khalifa skyline from the terrace

    IMG_4848 Shisha Terrace lounge @ Sheraton MOE


    Bedroom views of Burj Al Arab

    Pricier Luxury residence options? 

    If your after something luxury, head over to The Palm or Jumeirah. The man made island has some beautiful properties such as the Atlantis, Four Seasons, The One and Only and the Fairmont. if you don;t have a budget to cover these hotels, you can always use their bar or attend one of their restaurants, and have a leisure around the hotel this way!


     Dubai is a shoppers dream. The mall of emirates multi-level shopping mall currently features more than 630 retail outlets, 7900 parking spaces, over 100 restaurants & Cafes, 80 luxury stores and 250 flagship stores. They also have themiddleeasts first indoor skiing resort- Ski Dubai. Best of all, everything is available tax free! Dubai 2008




    My mall of emirates shopping experience



    Take a excursion to Ras Al Khaimah : Yes there is lots to do and see outside of the city centre. As the UAE is not so large, you can easily hire a car, and drive to local cities. in fact the drive to Ras Al Khamiah took us the best part of 2-2.5 hours, and its a huge change of scenery! You will be close to the border of Oman, which has a stunning insta worthy mountainous range, and a jaw dropping sunset to watch. we saw the fortress, and  wall of Ras al Khaimah, and visited the reserves. If your looking for something less strenuous, there is tonnes of companies offering desert duning or camel riding tours


    Looking into Oman from Ras

    Visit the Burj Khalifa

    It's the worlds tallest building, and you can visit the 128th floor observation deck for a price of £30.00. If you have a bigger budget pay and additional £15.00 for the sunset, or £80 to of to the 148th floor. I much like the night views, Dubai just comes alive at night


    Get the best of the city with a view from a rooftop bar

    Yes there is a extrenuous amount of bars and choices here. On Every corner, and every hotel, there is a competition of which bar will have the best views, best coctails. If i had a choice, I would visit very bar possible in Dubai. If your a first timer, stick to bars in Jumeirah or the Palm- I love the Royal mirage One and Onlys' 101 bar for its ambience, or the Four Seasons Jumeirah where their perfectly formed arches resemble the city.


    Views from Four Seasons Bar


    For rooftop city bars try out 'Shades' at the address in Dubai Marina, they have a gorgeous rooftop pool and breathtaking views of the Dubai Marina, or somewhere closer to downtown I recommend the level 43 @ four Points sheraton.One of my favourite bars is Four Points sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road. It's the perfect place to enjoy the heart of the city, and glance over the skyscrapers and phenomenal views of the Burj Khalifa, whilst sipping on state of the art cocktail.



    Try some Indian food

    The UAE is obviously a arabic country, however historically, it has tied in a lot of trade from nearby areas such s India, Pakistan and iran. In fact in the 1940's many people flooded into dubai for work and business and it has had a large influence from Asia, culturally, in terms of language and food. You cannot come to dubai without trying some Indian food, because its much part of their culture now, and alongside this its attracted some top ranked Indian chefs!



    Just a 'taste' of the House of curry dishes

    I was invited along to the House of Curry on Jumeirah Beach, an exotic array of indian dishes which takes you through a incredible journey taste journey from the South to the North. I particularly loved the Kerala fish, lamb Bhoti and the drinks. Being Indian, this took me back to my childhood, and it was as good as home made. This place does not cease to disappoint! The beautiful Indian garden setting is amazing too with colours and themes dating back to the Mughal Empire. They have a beautiful tree growing through the centre with traditional Rajasthani and Jaipur paintings and architecture.


    Beautiful views from the Mint Leaf Dubai

    Based on the original sister restaurant Mint Leaf based in London, there has been much success to Dubais' branch after its initial launch in August 2015. Mint Leaf, located in the emirates financial tower is a whole new take on Indian food. They present their food as a three course menu, with a taster style presentation of several starters, mains or desserts. The food palette is immensely colourful, and tastes amazing. Its a modern take of Indian food, where they play with new tastes and styles which you may not have tried before, giving it a Michelin star feel. Take the gulab jaman , a traditional Indian/ Persian desert. It has been adapted to a cheese cake, or soft shell crab/ wild mushroom and fennel soup with white truffle oil. Their food is cooked in front of you, and monitored by Chef Vivek. It truly is a beautiful experience visually and taste too, as there are beautiful views of the Burj Khalifa in front of you, and looking down on the city! They also have a lovely bar upon entrance, which gets pretty busy on weekends!

    Visit the Burj Al Arab

    If you can't afford a night here like the rest of us, you can always visit one of the restaurants or bar;s. Using the facilities in a hotel is a great way to get access and a wonder around.  This is a 7 star hotel who's architectural design is down to Chinese artist Kuan Chew. It's of great significance to Dubai and a proud achievement. It will probably be the most surreal hotel you have been to! Wether you find it impressive or just plain odd is unto you!


    Fountains in front of the Burk Khalifa

    Dubai Fountains

    Every half an hour, in front of the Burj Khalifa, you can watch Dubai fountains spring into a beautiful water show, each show is choreographed individually to work in ambience with the music and something new from the show before. I recommend sticking around after a show is complete to get to the front before the next one, as crowds gather up pretty fast here. It can also be seen from the Terrace of the Palace hotel situated behind Souk Al Bahar whilst enjoying some Thai food at 'Thipara'.

    Cultural Villiage

    After getting lost in all the above, its easy to forget what the Emirates are really about. It;s important to leave the sky scrapers behind and develop  a better understanding of Emirate culture and life before the creation of Dubai. Situated in the Shindaga neighbourhood of Bur Dubai, the museum is small but informative exhibits on display. You’ll find bags of spices, incense, rose petals, and traditional medicinal products stacked outside each stall. From here you can walk to the Dubai creek, get a Dhow (boat) across the river and visit the Spice Souk or gold Souks'.


    Spice markets in the Cultural Village 


    Visit a theme Park

    The theme parks are endless in Dubai. Wild Wadi, Aqua adventure, Ferrari world... the list is endless. I love Wild Wadi, and for a extra fee, you can go swimming with dolphins. It's a amazing experience as towards the end, the dolphins will perform a show for you and show you their best tricks. You can visit the theme park at the Atlantis Hotel Dubai



  • Italy
  • South Tyrol and the Dolomites

    This week a made a exciting trip into the Dolomites of north Italy, not knowing what to expect! There very little information online, partly due to the area having border conflicts due to being inhabited by its Austrian neighbours, and secondly not having the typical climate and landscape usually associated with Italys more famous south. With a   strong German essence which is evident by the architecture, food, and culture, you will almost forget your in Italy.

    Unfortunately, the Dolomites is subject to bad weather, and I had no idea what to expect. We drove from Venice, which took much longer then expected due to the bad weather, but was greeted by a beautiful white landscape upon arrival, contrary to my expectation. My first impressions was it was equally as beautiful in the winter as in the summer, but with a particular added danger- the snow. This poses many limitations for driving, where a 4x4 or snow tyres are absolutely essential. The activity chart also goes down and is particularly limited to skiing. You really need warm clothing here such as thermals, and due to lack of information, I would double check with the Pragser Wildsee hotel located on the lake, weather the lake will be visible or not if this is the primary reason of your visit.

    Lago Di Braies

    The moon was visible quite early in the day, and a beautiful mist appeared in front of us making it picturesque. As temperatures soared it did become somewhat unbearable. We decided to carry on watching the view from our very warm hotel room located directly on the lake. The hotel do a half board package for £90 a night which includes breakfast and a 3 course meal. It has a post war charm about it, with traditional Eastern European wooden log cabin feel to it. All the lakes up the valley are easily accessible from here, but unless you have common experience with snowy conditions, it would be suggestible to visit in safer spring

    Merano/ South Tyrol

    Next morning we packed and headed for south Tyrol , to a picturesque town called Merano located within the Western Dolomites. I recommend to do the journey by car, its absolutely stunning. Id heard about a beautiful Boutique hotel called Miramonti, a small family run business with a infinity pool boasting some beautiful views the surrounding area and Merano. Its a rather long drive up the mountain, but worth every minute. It took me back to  Villa Honnegg in Switzerland, boasting beautiful views of the mountain tops, but only 1/3rd of the price.   I was really impressed. The hotel is mid-high luxury, and being a boutique hotel, the service is extremely personalised, and its a great retreat to visit as a couple for two days. They arrange skiing and walking trips nearby amongst other activities. Think eco friendly tree house with a infinity pool. The pool is heated to 30 degrees as winter periods are long, so you can enjoy the mesmerising ice caped mountains in a perfectly serene environment. As the sun goes down, Merano town lights up beneath you, and this is when you really start to sense how high you are.

    View from our room

      I really enjoyed the view from the tree house hot tub room. It was tranquil and it had a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains straight ahead. Our classic room had a view of the pool with a add on balcony terrace, wide screen tv and Loccataine products. We were definitely left relaxed before our move to our final destination Venice which is under just under 4 hours away, but a significant change in scenery.

    Address: St. Kathreinstraße, 14, 39010 Hafling, Bozen, Italy Phone: +39 0473 279335

     All guests get a welcome drink on arrival and a selection of sweets/cakes

    Approx £180 starting ££



    The beautiful island of Venice, only accessible by boat,  has some gorgeous architecture, and our trip was not complete without a ride on a very expensive gondler venetian style. Don't let this put you off. Near the Plaza Palace, you can get a small boat ride across the river for only 2 euros. Enough to get your picture without breaking the bank Venice was very focused around shopping and eating. You will find everything from leather parades (very decent priced so a great place to buy a leather bag) or Italys' classic designers such as Missomi and D&G. One thing which differentiates Venice is their coffee culture. You will be charged a service fee of 10% for sitting in a restaurant to have a coffee which cost about 5 euros, or you can go to the traditional Italian cafe which means standing up. These are approx half the price, and the coffee not being so hot, can  leave much to be desired. I opted to go to hotels along the river, their coffee  was reasonable, and they had some beautiful views to admire whilst having your coffee, with added privacy and exceptional views if their located beside the canal.   twitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagramtwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagramtwitterpinterestyoutubeinstagrammail

  • hong kong
  • Inside of Hong Kongs Luxury Intercontinental

    I'm a sucker for rooftop pools, and The Hong Kong Intercontinental really exhilirates my senses. There is something slightly surreal about watching the world go by from a rooftop infinity pool

    The prestige property is located on the edge of the victoria Harbour in the Kowloon district. it has 1600 individually appointed rooms. For a surcharge of   HK450  (£37) you can sit back in comfort with a signature 'nine dragons' cocktail, in the knowledge you've snagged one of the most desirable spots in town with the most epic panoramic views!

    310370_10151050471408309_1117263953_n 247616_10151050477908309_1330925895_n

    Views from the rooftop pool

    75145_10151050479088309_591469127_nIntercontinentals egg benedicts breakfast

    246708_10151049917778309_581552155_nRooftop pool Bar

    252500_10151057137138309_2131711423_nNight view from the pool 262858_10151050476073309_2100817074_nSignature cocktails in the lobby


    If you love cities, Hong Kong is a huge contender against the city out there with the likes of Dubai, Tokyo, London and New York. It's pretty impressive in its lineup, and I love the fact the cultural experience is so vast here! Theres a lot more to Hong Kong then just Hotels and skyscrapers. It boasts a rich cultural and historical heritage,with a dash of western values which has come about from its pre British reign. With more then one island to explore in a city that never sleeps, you will be pretty rapt in Hong Kong. Choose from various things to do in this cosmopolitan city such as panoramic views from the Victoria Harbour and peak, cultural trips to Lantau Island, or excursions to Macau. Make sure you guys head over to my review of 'The venetian hotel- Macau'


    View from the top


    Avenue of the Stars

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    monu's lifestyle diaries

    monu's lifestyle diaries