Tag Archives: luxury

Tobago

Tobago & Trinidad – Discover the true Caribbean!

Social Share Toolbar

If you search for the words tropical, paradise and relaxing when looking for your holiday destination then look no further as Tobago is the destination for you! Experience and explore the tropical island that is Tobago;

Bird watching: Tobago is home to over 400 species of birds from the blue-crowned motmot to the great black hawk. Asa Wright Nature Center in northern Trinidad and Little Tobago are both popular locations for bird watching.

Nightlife: if you’re in search for a buzzing nightlife then Tobago’s capital Port of Spain is the place to be; packed full of bars and clubs along the popular Ariapita Avenue (also known as “The Avenue”.

Caroni Swamp: take a boat tour through an intricate maze of mangrove-lined channels; a great way to see flocks of the rare scarlet ibis (T&T’s national bird). Most tours begin in the late afternoon and run through until dusk.

Costal Cruising: take a cruise along Tobago’s Caribbean coast and get see the island’s scenery from a different perspective. You will get to visit the enchanting Bon Accord Lagoon and some of Tobago’s spectacular beaches including the waters of Nylon Pool.

Tobago Jazz Festival: experience the world’s most idyllic tropical islands which will host an exciting celebration of Jazz. The Tobago Jazz Experience is Tobago’s biggest annual music event and previous performers have included the likes of Chaka Khan, Angie Stone & Emeli Sandé.

Tobago Carnival: every February or March Tobago’s famous carnival takes place and is a big celebration on the whole island with spectacular costumes, colours and music! An event not to be missed!

PalmJumeirah-Blog

Beaches, Food and Spas. The best in Dubai.

Social Share Toolbar

If you’ve never been to Dubai before then your missing out; this amazing city which is located within the United Arab Emirates offers tourists the ultimate luxury experience and is well suited for any type of traveler from couples to families to honeymooners and business trips, whatever you’re looking for Dubai, has it all. Plus whilst you stay in Dubai make sure to check out some of the finest beaches, restaurants and spas that this great city has to offer.

Dubai Beaches:

Discover some of the most spectacular beaches in and around Dubai.

Many of Dubai’s beaches are private and belong to hotels – therefore we have taken a focus on a couple of the best public beaches, some of which are free to access and others have a small charge.

Mamzer Beach Park

Mamzer Beach is a large and beautiful beach which has recently been awarded the blue flag beach status making it one of the most desirable beaches to visit both for tourist and local residents. It has 5 beaches around the coast of the park and each beach has its own sheltered areas with changing rooms and showers. There are also 2 swimming pools if you don’t feel like venturing into the sea. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available to rent and there is a small selection of cafes around to buy food and drinks. For your safety there are also lifeguards on duty. There is a small fee to enter the beach; 5dhs if you walk in and 40 dhs if you drive in.

Jumeirah Beach Park

With its handy location this has become one of Dubai’s most popular beach parks around. Located along the golden sands with palm trees around help to set the perfect atmosphere for a fun day out at the beach. There are cafes located at either end of the beach with a lifeguard on duty until sunset. To enter the beach will cost you 5dhs,

 

Cuisine:

Try some of the best and award-winning cuisine available in Dubai –

Pierchic

Cuisine: European

Set along a bedecked pier out in the Arabian Gulf sets the perfect romantic atmosphere away from any noise/bustle. The Pierchic offers some of the finest seafood in Dubai and for a second year in 2010 was awarded the ‘Time Out Dubai’s Best Seafood Restaurant’.

Margaux

Cuisine: French

Before opening the Margaux the Executive Chef Julian Mercier worked under the legendary triple Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse.

The cuisine is inspired by French Mediterranean produce as is the décor of the restaurant. Guests have the option to either dine in the wood paneled dining room or under the vaulted arcades overlooking the amazing Dubai Fountain.

 

Spa Treatments:

Rejuvenate and relax at some of Dubai’s best spas that will leave your body feeling out of this world -

One & Only Royal Mirage

Services: Offers a diverse range of spa treatments with 12 individual therapy rooms

On the lower floor you will find a traditional Oriental Hammam with two steam rooms, two private massage rooms, two Jacuzzis and a resting area.

Signature treatments: experience the amazing Royal Hammam and a Deeply Relaxing Bodycare with Hot Stones.

Six Senses Spa at Zighy Bay

The Six Senses Spa offers a tranquil experience away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and is worth a trip to the Musandam Peninsula in Oman. Featuring nine treatment rooms this award-winning spa offers an amazing yoga pavilion overlooking the ocean and mountains for the ultimate relaxation which will no doubt help you clear your mind.

Signature treatments: Slow Life Treatment.

How does Oman compare to its glitzy Gulf neighbours?

Social Share Toolbar

The first thing you need to know about Oman is that it’s a lot more like a traditional Arab country than Las Vegas. Don’t be fooled by its proximity to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with their imposing glass towers and boasts of having the world’s biggest, most expensive and flashiest of everything.

Oman shares a good deal of history with its neighbours, but its beauty lies not in how things are changing rapidly, but how they’re not changing too much at all.

The capital of Muscat is a beautiful low-slung city that looks like something out of Arabian Nights. This is typical of Oman – understated, classical beauty. The buildings that do stand out above the white stone parapets aren’t glass towers, but its mosques built according to the principles of traditional Arabian architecture.

The most dramatic scenes in Oman aren’t the topping out of a new skyscraper, or the creation of a new archipelago of artificial islands, although that can be exciting. In Oman, your breath will be taken away when the sun goes down behind the mountains surrounding Muscat, and the lights come on to create a bowl of Arabian light.

 

 

Luxury vs modesty

Oman has its fair share of luxury restaurants and hotels, where (like Dubai) alcohol is available to western visitors. But here the hotels blend in with their surrounding architecture immaculately, and many of them are in perfectly maintained old Arabian buildings. Even the new builds have been designed specifically to fit in with the region’s traditional aesthetics rather than to overshadow or refashion them.

Oman is by and large a more modest place than its neighbours. Many visitors who go to Oman for the first time after visiting Dubai or Abu Dhabi feel more at ease in Oman. Not only because all those reflective surfaces in the middle of a desert can hurt your eyes, but because it’s just generally a lot less flashy.

Providing guests respect the local customs, they will find Oman to be a peaceful and calming place. A walk through the back streets lit by old lamps, or moonlit dinner on the terrace of a restaurant can be as good as, or even better than the high-octane glamour of Dubai.

That’s not to say that Oman is boring, or there is nothing to do. On the contrary. From designer shopping to water sports and turtle watching, Oman is a place where relaxation is best enjoyed after a hard day’s fun.

Anantara Residences Palm Jumeirah Dubai

What to expect from the Anantara Dubai Palm Resort & Spa

Social Share Toolbar

Stepping onto the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai for the first time, it’s hard to know what to expect. The man-made archipelago of islands, which have the shape of a palm tree when viewed from above, are being constructed with an unprecedented vision of hyper-modernity.

On 13 September 2013 the next piece of the jigsaw will be in place with the official opening of the Anantara Dubai Palm Resort and Spa. The luxury resort will be the fourteenth hotel and residency to have opened on the Palm, with many more projects still to be completed.

The Anantara Dubai Palm Resort and Spa is located on the eastern crescent of the Palm, and has been constructed as a leisure retreat for guests who like their luxury to come with serenity and subtlety.  Inspired by traditional Asian architecture, the accommodation comes in a series of villas surrounding 11,000 metres of lagoon pools. Twelve of the villas are located next to the resort’s own private beach, which has a nearby ballroom to accommodate 300 people. The Anantara Dubai Palm Resort and Spa also introduces one of the most beautiful aspects of Far Eastern culture to Dubai – over-water villas, poised over the peaceful waters of the Persian Gulf.

Anantara Dubai Water Villas

Anantara Dubai Water Villas

The facilities at the Palm resort and Spa cater for all tastes in one deluxe palette. This means you only really have to use the monorail to the mainland twice – when you arrive and when you leave – although central Dubai is reachable in one short journey. At the resort you will experience taste overload in the six world-class restaurants. The flagship restaurant is Crescendo, which serves Middle Eastern and International cuisine, while the Beach House offers fine Mediterranean dining on the beach front. And in keeping with the Far Eastern theme, the Mekong restaurant serves impeccable Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.

Much like the city of Dubai itself, the resort’s three infinity pools offer views of an endless horizon. At sunset, the views from the pools are particularly awe-inspiring, as the whole Persian Gulf is bathed in a cocktail of magnificent colour. After witnessing such a sight, the only thing left to do is to dance the night away in the ballroom, and to wonder what next for the world’s most advanced city.

Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort One Bedroom Beach Pool Villa

Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort One Bedroom Beach Pool Villa

Burj al Arab, Dubai

Is there really such thing as a 7-star hotel?

Social Share Toolbar

The star rating system for hotels was thrown into disarray in 1999 when, legend has it, an unnamed British journalist referred to the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai as ‘seven star’. In doing so, the writer breached an international consensus that the most of stars a hotel could be awarded was five. Or at a push, five-star deluxe. But definitely not seven.

Burj al Arab, 7 star?

Burj al Arab, 7 star?

Now there are a few hotels around the world claiming to be – or being described as – seven-star. The question, then, is whether this reflects a genuine improvement in the quality of hotels at the top end of the spectrum since the star system was introduced, or whether it’s a case of grade inflation that could render the whole system meaningless.

Official definitions

In all official tourist-board classifications, a seven-star rating is officially nonsense, like a batsmen who hits a big six in cricket telling people it’s worth 10 runs. It’s not.

But there are many hotels now claiming that five stars don’t do them justice – and they may have a point. So they’ve gone into the examiner’s desk drawer and awarded themselves an extra couple of stars. Some of the hotels claiming to be seven-star include: the Town House Galleria in Milan; the Emirates Palace in Dubai; and the Pangu Seven-Star hotel in Beijing.

Funnily enough, the Burj Al Arab never refers to itself as having seven stars. They leave that to other people.

Lucky stars – are they worth it?

When the Burj Al Arab opened in 1999, it looked like something we had never seen before. It could therefore said to have exceeded a five-star rating, a grade which was drawn up at the beginning of the 20th century, before hotel inspectors had even considered the possibility of being handed a gold-plated iPad along with their room keys.

Perhaps most important, though, is that many people who visit the Burj Al Arab – and the Emirates Palace – say that the hotels are not only worth the price of their suites, they also deserve those seven stars. If you’re not sure, read the reviews on Trip Advisor. They’re not just glowing, they’re gold plated.

Opulent Emirates Palace

Opulent Emirates Palace

Looking at the current rate of development in cities all over the world, it’s quite possible that in 50 years we’ll have hotels that outdo the Burj Al Arab, and make the five-star Plaza in New York look like a provincial bus shelter – highly unlikely, but possible. So as long as the star system – whether five, seven or ten – marks a standard the customers are happy with, and signifies a genuine difference in quality at the top of the pile, it doesn’t seem like there is a problem.

If anything, it could be a good thing to help people decide between the merely excellent and the out-of-this-world good, which is what we’re talking about when we quibble over five stars or seven.

Shadow_PP_4500965

Palm Jumeirah – The New Dubai

Social Share Toolbar

If the city that defined the last century was New York City, the 21st Century looks set to belong to Dubai. The second city of the United Arab Emirates is already an iconic visual landscape, with many of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced buildings.

As a city experiencing rapid modernisation, Dubai is one of the world’s most coveted destinations for the rich and famous, who frequent the city’s palatial hotels and bid for space on the futuristic new developments, and holidaymakers looking for a taste of luxury.

One of the Emirate’s most desirable locations is the Palm Jumeirah, just off the coast of Dubai in the Persian Gulf. Built from reclaimed land, the islands that make up the Palm have been made to look like a palm tree when viewed from above, which you can see from one of Dubai’s many helicopter and seaplane tours.

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

While at the forefront of contemporary landscaping, many of the Palm’s landmark resorts and hotels have been designed to replicate traditional architecture. With its iconic twin towers and immaculate Arabian design, Atlantis, The Palm is the kind of resort you can imagine forming the backdrop to movies in the same way as Manhattan, Los Angeles and Las Vegas do currently.

Atlantis, The Palm

Atlantis, The Palm

Future Island

What is perhaps most amazing is that relative to its surroundings, the Atlantis resort – which opened in 2008 – is a historical landmark, for the Palm Jumeirah, at least. It exudes the charisma of Dubai’s classical monuments, and is clearly built to last.

But while resorts such as the Atlantis currently have the benefit of being historical by default, it is not hard to imagine the current batch of hotels attaining heritage status in the near future, such is their place at the forefront of 21st century innovation.

 

Coconut Court Beach Hotel

Barbados – The Caribbean Favourite

Social Share Toolbar

Barbados, for decades now it has been the number one choice for the British holiday maker in the Caribbean. It’s not hard to find the reasons why so many of us visit and the richest of people live on this beautiful friendly island. Famous inhabitants from our shores have homes on the island. With the $100 million airport renovations over the last 10 years the island now serves direct flights from the UK and welcomes visitors all year round.

The Island has two coastlines that have a number of resorts up and down the coast. The West coast has the more tranquil Caribbean Sea, whilst the south coast borders the Atlantic, perfect for those who like their water sports and body boarding. If you like your hotel to be small but perfect then the Crystal Cove hotel would be perfect for you. If you want to have a range of All Inclusive options to choose from, and a perfect family resort then the sister Turtle Beach hotel set in over 6 acres of land it offers everything from tennis to watersports, and if that isn’t enough, you can jump on a free watertaxi to the other elegant resorts on the Island of The House, Tamarind, Colony Club. So if that doesn’t offer you enough choice for your money nothing will.

 

Turtle Beach Resort Barbados

Turtle Beach Resort Barbados

Barbados isn’t just beaches however, for those who like to get out of the resort and explore the island, the below are just a few of the best excursions and things to do the island has to offer:

  • Harrisons Cave, an amazing trip under the heart of the island to see beautiful natural cave formations
  • Go Quad bike riding along the wild, untamed east coast, where the Atlantic waves make for spectacular scenery
  • Visit the islands wildlife reserve, a perfect family holiday
  • Go to the Crane Beach, the most beautiful beach on the island, or even stay at the Crane Hotel
  • Enjoy the local rum and see how they make in the factory

One thing is certain wherever you stay the bajan hospitality the island is famous for will make you return again and again.

A Holiday to Barbados will leave you leave thinking about when you will be back.