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Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts, Crete

In the heart of Crete’s Elounda Bay along the azure coastline of Europe’s south rests a collection of family-owned resorts characterised by discrete luxury and sophisticated Greek charm. With remarkable service, endless facilities and unimaginable serenity, we’re certain both couples and families will find their seaside paradise at Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts.

Recommended By

Rosaria, one of our travel experts whose extensive knowledge transcends beyond the laid-back coastal towns of Europe into the Middle East and Indian Ocean. Her stay at the three award-winning Elounda resorts was made particularly special by the outstanding staff whose attentive and friendly nature was faultless.

Where

Overlooking the dazzling Bay of Elounda on the pristine sands of Greece’s largest island, Crete. You’ll also have Mirabello Bay’s crystalline waters and the historically significant Spinalonga Island to admire, while the bustling yet sleepy seaside town Agios Nikolaos is just a short drive away.

Couple Two Bedroom Suite
Peninsula Aerial

Best For

Porto Elounda Golf Resort & Spa is our top pick for families. The exceptional kids club will have younger travellers occupied for hours on end – shallow pools and waterslides, beach Olympics, Pyjama Parties, Cinema Nights at Elounda’s home theatre and trampolining is just the beginning. Adults will love the nine-hole golf course, all-pampering Six Senses Spa and dedicated swimming pool where cocktails can be sipped from overwater hammocks. And for time spent together, the brand new beachfront swimming pool is the place to be.

We recommend Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel for couples for – you guessed it – the absolutely incredible suites. The resort itself feels boutique and intimate while all the white-washed suites are impressively spacious with panoramic sea views and almost all come with private salt water swimming pools. Last but certainly not least, Elounda Mare Hotel’s serene and authentic Greek village ambience and super spacious bungalows makes it another great choice for couples and well-deserving of its title as the only Relais & Châteaux in Crete.

Beach aerial
Six Senses Spa

What To Do & Where To Eat

From rounds of golf and endless activities for younger guests to private Blue Flag crystal clear beaches and days spent out on the Aegean waters, there’s plenty for everyone at Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts. While days could easily be spent within your heavenly accommodation – Tom Hanks and Charlize Theron are with us on that one – we couldn’t recommend the massages at the iconic Six Senses Spa enough where experts are on hand to give bespoke wellness advice and assist the mind, body and soul on its journey to complete relaxation.

When it comes to the dining all the restaurants are phenomenal, but the two standouts are Koh and Old Mill. Koh served Rosaria the ‘best sushi of my life’ while the waterfront setting lit by candlelit with the lapping waves below illuminated by the moon gives evenings an intimate feel. Set around an ancient millstone, the Old Mill is a fine-dining restaurant perfect for enjoying lunch overlooking the sea. The Cretan infused dishes, timeless character and astounding wine list make this a guest favourite.

Old Mill
Water ski

Our Favourite Room

While all the rooms at Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel have a sea view, the Presidential Villa is a clear winner. We love the enormous living room with tailor-made furniture and spacious marble bathrooms with more than enough space for walk-in showers and separate bathtubs. Guests are greeted with a glass of champagne during VIP check-in and treated to their own generously spaced swimming pool with an overwater day bed, direct access to the hotel’s private sandy beach and lounge areas boasting spectacular sea views.

For a more traditional stay, the Bungalows at Elounda Mare Hotel – each with their own private pool – have an alluring soul and character to them. Their perfect balance between traditional and classic makes them a close second.

Presidential villa
Bungalow

Good To Know

If you’re looking to have a romantic dinner at Koh Restaurant (and we recommend that you do!) you need to book far in advance as this restaurant is extremely popular.

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/europe/greece/crete/elounda-peninsula-all-suite-hotel

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/europe/greece/crete/porto-elounda-golf-and-spa-resort

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/europe/greece/crete/elounda-mare-hotel

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Travel

48 Hours In Singapore

Singapore is often overlooked as merely a place to touch down on the way to somewhere else – and with an airport that has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a butterfly house and free movie screenings it’s easy to see why. But there’s so much more to this island city-state beyond the airport terminals, from Michelin-star dining and rooftop bars to show-stopping sky high gardens.

Read on to find out where to eat, what to do and where to sleep when you have 48 hours in Singapore – even if it is just for a stopover.

Day 1
Morning

Eating is one of the locals’ favourite pastimes – and what better way to start the day? Sit down to a traditional breakfast of kaya toast, toast – a concoction of coconut jam, sugar and beaten eggs – best eaten alongside a hot cup of coffee.

Fuelled up, hop in a vintage vespa with Singapore Sidecars for an off-the-beaten-track tour of the city. Experience the sights, sounds and smells as you drive down alleyways and get snap-happy with plenty of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. And with a number of tours available – from heritage-focused rides to bespoke tours taking you to the filming locations of Crazy Rich Asians – you’re sure to find something to pique your interest.

Afternoon

For lunch, taste your way through Singapore’s melting pot of cultures at Folklore. Championing the idea of “heritage food” chef Damian D’Silva serves up dishes inspired by China, Malaysia, India and Europe using artisanal cooking methods. If there’s one dish you can’t miss out on, it’s the fried rice – the New York Times says it’s a “must try”.

This afternoon you’ll have the chance to engage in Singapore’s second favourite pastime – shopping! On the Treasures of Kampong Glam Passion Tour you’ll walk your way through the charming neighbourhood of Kampong Glam, with its cool cafés, live music venues and cocktail dens. Browse artisan shops including spice traders, perfumers and rattan handicraftsmen to pick up a unique souvenir to take home. Or head to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands for high-end brands like Louis Vitton.

Kampong Glam Neighbourhood
Kampong Glam Shop

Evening

Time for a little pre-dinner entertainment with the Garden Rhapsody Light Show. Held every evening at 7.45PM and 8.45PM this music and light display at the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay is free and open to everyone – we love that the show changes every month.

Then it’s on to another round of eating with dinner at Po. The flagship restaurant of the sophisticated Warehouse Hotel, dishes here are inspired by classic comfort food served up by popos – grandmother in Mandarin – and taken to the next level of fine dining. The speciality here is the popiah platters, similar to a spring roll – half the fun is wrapping the ingredients up yourself! Elevate your dining experience by pairing your selection with a glass of champagne.

Late

End you evening with after dinner drinks at The Long Bar, a quintessential Singaporean experience. On the second floor of Raffles Singapore, this tropical-inspired bar is famed as the home of the pink-hued Singapore Sling. Created in 1915 by barman Ngiam Tong Boon, the cocktail – with gin, lime, pineapple and Bénédictine – was designed to look like fruit juice, as it was socially unacceptable for women to drink alcohol in public at the time.

Long Bar Raffles Singapore
Singapore Bay Gardens

Day 2
Morning

After an action-packed first day, it’s time to take things slow, starting with tai chi in the Botanic Gardens. Over 150 years old and one of only a few gardens to make it onto the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this is an oasis within the urban landscape. After your session, feel free to explore the vast grounds – the National Orchid Garden with over 600 plant varieties on display is unmissable.

Afternoon

Lunch today is an elegant affair at Clifford Pier in Fullerton Bay. Dine on signature heritage dishes including soup kambing, a traditional mutton soup infused with local spices while listening to the sounds of piano and jazz.  Weekends here are well-known for their dim sum menus and buffet dining with live cooking stations.

Relaxation continues as you chill out beside the 25-metre long rooftop swimming pool at The Mandarin Oriental. Inlaid with lilac and purple mosaics and lit by fibre optic lighting in the evening, this is one of the most impressive pools in the city thanks to its spectacular views of the city skyline, including Marina Bay Sands.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Evening

After sunset explore the Marina Bay area on two wheels with a Let’s Go Bike tour with a local guide. Spend two hours cycling the riverfront promenade – this time of day is perfect with a gentle night breeze often blowing – passing by the iconic Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer observation wheel.

Hungry again? Dine al fresco at Makansutra at Gluttons by the Bay where local dishes are served up by street food hawkers. Aside from satay, noodle and rice dishes, this is one of the best places on the island to try the famed chilli crab, a seafood dish where stir-fried crab is covered in a sweet, savoury and spicy tomato based sauce.

Late

Your final stop is Atlas for gin-based cocktails. Ranked as one of the top bars in the world, the interiors pay homage to art deco style with a definite 1920s Great Gatsby-esque feel with plenty of gilded gold, velvet and leather. The standout feature is the three-storey case housing over 1,000 varieties of gin from all over the world – but if you’re after a different kind of tipple, there’s a rose gold Champagne Room, too. Our recommendation? Book your seat in advance!

Singapore Bay Area
Singapore Street Food

Staying For Longer?

If you have an extra day spare to spend in Singapore, take the cable car over to Sentosa Island. You’ll easily fill your hours at Universal Studios Singapore, on the beach, trying out activities like the skyline luge or swinging your clubs at the golf course.

Where To Stay

It has to be the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. A standout hotel since the late 1980s, this is one of our go-to hotels thanks to its incredible staff, excellent dining and amazing views of the bay. Read our full review!

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Travel

JA The Resort: Brand NEW Addition!

Discover JA The Resort, Dubai’s largest experience resort on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. If you’re after a stress-free holiday with all expenses covered in the Middle East, then this is the 5* All Inclusive resort for you! Sprawled over an impressive one million square metres, you’ll find landscaped gardens, golden sands, excellent dining and an abundance of activities – what more could you want for a couples escape or fun-filled family holiday?

A Day at JA The Resort

Start your day with a buffet breakfast at La Fontana overlooking one of the swimming pools, or make the most of the views as you enjoy beachfront dining at The Anchor. Once you’ve had your fill, you can spend a chilled-out morning at one of the seven temperature-controlled swimming pools with swim-up bars or relax on the 800-metre private beach. Then head to Calm Spa & Salon where there are over 40 rejuvenating treatments and beauty services on offer – or find your Zen with yoga on a stand up paddle board!

Prefer to be active? No problem! There’s a 9-hole championship standard golf course and the David Leadbetter Golf Academy as well as an Equestrian Centre with expert instructors. At the ‘Watercooled’ watersports centre you can try out water-skiing, wakeboarding, Hobie catamarans and much more or head to the private marina for a fishing trip, boat trip or even a seaplane flight. Back on land there’s a tennis academy with ATP certified coaches and floodlit courts and a shooting club to test your aim. And if you’re travelling with younger guests, they’ll be entertained at the Kids’ Club.

When the sun goes down, you’ll really be able to make the most of Ultra All Inclusive as you take a culinary journey through 25 restaurants and bars from family-friendly options to romantic beach dinners. Dine on world cuisine as varied as Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian – we highly recommend Kinara, a brand-new Indian restaurant by Michelin-acclaimed chef Vikas Khanna.

Now, all you need to do is choose which of the THREE unique hotels to stay at within the resort!

JA Beach Hotel
JA Lake View Hotel
JA Palm Tree Court

JA Beach Hotel

One of Dubai’s landmark properties, families love to return to JA Beach Hotel year after year. Given a refresh in 2019 you can expect updated rooms with an updated colour scheme of royal blue, neutrals and soft grey – plus brand new all-glass balconies. The Italian restaurant on the 7th floor with 360-degree views is sure to be a hit with guests of all ages.

JA Lake View Hotel

A brand-new addition to JA The Resort, set at the back of the resort overlooking the golf course, JA Lake View Hotel is set to open in September 2019. There’ll be five vibrant culinary concepts including an Australian gastropub and a rooftop mixology lounge with live DJ. And of course, you’ll have full access to the leisure facilities of the wider JA The Resort complex.

 JA Palm Tree Court

An oasis-like retreat, the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court is set across low-rise buildings, with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living: every single suite comes with a private balcony or terrace furnished with sun loungers to make the most of the sea views. Experience the A-List lifestyle and stay in one of the Residence Suites for butler service, one complimentary green free per stay and access to the Premium Lounge with food and drink throughout the day.

Book your JA The Resort holiday at: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/ja-resorts/middle-east-ja-resorts/dubai-ja-resorts

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Travel

Where To Go in Greece

The picturesque beaches, laidback style of living and fresh food that Greece is so well known for tempts visitors year after year. But if you’re struggling to decide where to begin your Aegean holiday, our travel experts have the first-hand knowledge to point you in the right direction.

There’s More to Athens

No matter if you’re drawn to the unbelievable black sand beaches of Santorini or the party life of Mykonos, Athens, in all its ancient glory, is the gateway to your idyllic Greek getaway. Marked as one of the oldest cities in the world, Greece’s grungy yet classical capital contains remnants of the 5th century – the rocky hilltops of Acropolis boast the goddess Athena’s Parthenon, and The Temple of Poseidon offers a window into Greek mythology. But there’s more to Athens than these archaeological treats. Movie screens move outdoors in the summer months at Cine Paris Plaka, rooftop bars come alive and there are National Gardens to be explored.

Shane, one of our Europe travel experts, ventured a few kilometres south from here to the Athens Riviera defined by vast stretches of emerald coastline and rocky coves teeming with watersports, esplanades and marinas and inviting blue flag beaches. His stay at the 5* Grecotel Cape Sounio was nothing short of luxury – think waterfront dining, poolside cabanas and treatments at the open-air Elixir Spa Retreat. Families are more than well accommodated for with family-friendly suites and villas with private pools, a designated kids’ pool and endless activities at Grecoland.


Grecotel Cape Sounio, Athens Riviera

Charismatic Crete

Crete is the largest and one of our favourite islands in Greece for its charismatic towns, indescribably clear water and surreal landscapes. Beyond the beach, Shane’s days were spent in the company of the hospitable locals at the opulent Grecotel Amirandes where Picasso originals hang modestly in the restaurants, the open-air amphitheatre is perfect for taking in starry nights and higher end suites come with their own private gym and swimming pool. Exquisite local produce can be found at the hotel’s own Agreco Farm where afternoons are spent sampling the vineyard’s wines and perfectly paired local cheeses, and getting hands-on at the minizoo with younger travellers. And if you’re looking for a vibrant day out, head to Rethymno for postcard-worthy moments and lively waterfront strolls.

Grecotel Amirandes, Crete

Mykonos – The Summer Hotspot

Charlotte, another of our Europe experts, ventured to the glamorous shores of Mykonos where the white-washed Cycladic buildings with their splashes of blue alongside the infamous nightlife make it an attractive summer hotspot for VIPs and celebrities. The family-owned and run Myconian Collection has some of our favourite hotels on the island. While each emit a very distinct personality, they all make the most of the picturesque Aegean Sea views from ultra-cool swimming pools and furnished private balconies, and serve gourmet cuisine inspired by farm-to-table ingredients. Nestled on the hillside of Elia Bay, the 5* Myconian Villa Collection was no exception, greeting Charlotte with personalised round-the-clock service and impossibly chic interiors and she was continuously impressed by the luxury resort’s ability to capture the essence of lavish living. The opulent villas acting as your own private house in Mykonos, 360 degree panoramic views from the saltwater infinity pool and world-class Thalasso spa make it a perfect secluded escape for couples and honeymooners.

Myconian Villa Collection, Mykonos

When you manage to pull yourself away from the resort – everything you could possibly need or want for an upscale retreat is at your fingertips – Mykonos flaunts plenty of trendy bars and excellent places to eat just 20 minutes away. Little Venice is one of the island’s more romantic spots to eat and drink. The neighbourhood is lined with charming aged houses right on the water’s edge with the crystal waters lapping precariously close to cobblestoned walkways and dining tables. But if you’re looking for the place to be seen – Mykonos is Greece’s answer to an upscale Ibiza after all – we recommend heading to Scorpios or Nammos Beach. These two exclusive clubs open both day and night sit right on the beachfront offering some of the best places to watch the sunset on the island and can often be seen encircled by the rich and famous’ private yachts.

Little Venice, Mykonos

And for those looking to learn a little of Greece’s mythological and historical past, Delos Island – one of the country’s most important archaeological sites – is just a ferry ride away. The uninhabited island became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for obvious reasons. Mythology claims it was the birth place of gods Apollo and Artemis and to this day remains a sanctuary to them. Unearthed statues and temples are scattered across the island in their honour and give an insight into ancient life here, the most famous being the Naxos stone lions and columns of the House of Dionysus.

Naxos lions, Delos Island

Check out all our Greece holidays here: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/europe/greece-holidays

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Travel

Mandarin Oriental, Singapore

The ultimate urban retreat, the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore has been welcoming guests with a mixture of classic interiors and warm, friendly service since 1987. The impressive service, understated style, awe-inspiring views of the city, harbour and marina and excellent dining options make this one of Singapore’s stand out hotels.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Recommended By

Best at Travel’s Head of Marketing, Renée Dyson who stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore on a recent trip to Singapore and Thailand. She loved cooling off in the rooftop pool whilst taking in the incredible Singapore skyline. And yes, that is Marina Bay Sands you can spot from your sun lounger!

Where

With a prime harbour-front setting in Marina Bay, the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore sits in the city-state’s leading area for dining, entertainment and shopping. An ideal base for exploring – and well connected to the heart of the city – you’ll be close to top attractions from the Singapore Flyer to the Gardens by the Bay.

Best For

Luxury at its very best! From the seamless service by the warm and welcoming staff to the incredible dining options – the in-room dining menu includes champagne and caviar breakfasts – this is what 5* hotels are all about.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Mandarin Oriental Singapore

What To Do & Where To Eat

Second only to shopping, dining is Singapore’s favourite pastime – and it’s a real highlight at the Mandarin Oriental. There’s fantastic dim sum at Cherry Garden, innovative tipples at MO BAR, authentic Italian dishes at Dolce Vita and even a chocolate fountain at the buffet-style Melt Café. But if there’s one thing you cannot miss it’s the signature MORtinis and complimentary filet mignon steak sandwiches at Morton’s, The Steakhouse every evening from 5PM – 7PM. After all that eating, retreat to The Spa our top pick for an effortless way to relax, take part in a private yoga class at the outdoor pavilion or dive into the 24-metre-long outdoor swimming pool surrounded by greenery.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Our Favourite Room

While all the rooms and suites here come with calming interiors filled with subtle Oriental touches, rich silks, elegant artwork and contemporary furnishings, we love checking into a Marina Bay View Room. Aside from the large baths and walk-in showers and the fact that the mini bar is stocked with the right ingredients for a DIY cocktail, it’s the floor-to-ceiling windows which let you make the most of the incredible views of Marina Bay that really put it over the top for us.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Good To Know

Elevate your holiday by staying – or upgrading – to Oriental Club Level. Not only will you get private check-in plus late check-out until 4PM, you’ll have full access to the exclusive Club Lounge on the 19th floor. Here you can drink and dine on champagne breakfasts, afternoon tea, all-day beer, wine and soft drinks plus evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres – all complimentary, of course.

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/singapore/mandarin-oriental-singapore

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Travel

The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

With its 270-degree ocean views, stunning natural backdrop and friendly vibe, The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is one of our top places to stay on Thailand’s second biggest island. Carefully balancing traditional Thai hospitality and aesthetics with signature luxury and plenty to do, it is all-too-easy never to stray from this blissful retreat.

Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui
Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

Recommended By

This was the second stop on Renée Dyson’s – our Head of Marketing – trip to Singapore and Thailand. Her favourite thing about the resort? The choice of dining options and the stunning views they each offered. The six restaurants at this stunning resort serve up cuisine inspired by the island – from chili-spiked southern Thai cuisine to the tasty delights of the bustling food markets.

Where

On the northern tip of the island, The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui sits on what was once a former coconut plantation. Wonderfully exclusive, the resort is tucked into a private bay with two white sand beaches overlooking the Gulf of Thailand – island bliss, guaranteed!

 Best For

Getaway-from-it-all escapes where you can chill out completely stress-free and leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and recharged.

Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui
Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

What To Do & Where To Eat

Activities at the Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui centre round wellness programmes, cultural immersions and culinary concepts. The Spa Village is a serene oasis with its open-air massage pavilions, yoga studio, Muay Thai boxing ring, lap pool edged by cabanas and health bar, while the Swim Reef –the largest in southeast Asia – lets you swim with tropical fish in a calm environment. For jaw-dropping views accompanied by maki sushi rolls and creative cocktails head to the One Rai bar, while the biggest highlight from six restaurants is Bann Talat where a market-style dining experience pops up every Saturday with Thai dancing performances and authentic street food dishes.

Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui
Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

 Our Favourite Room

Renée checked in to one of the Exclusive Pool Villas complete with oversized terrace with sun loungers, dining area and – of course – private pool. Inside, the neutral colour scheme creates a light and airy atmosphere and allows the stunning views to steal the show – we recommend the villas with unobstructed ocean views.

Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui
Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui

 Good To Know

Every evening the hotel hosts complimentary cocktails and nibbles at the lobby’s reflection pool – it’s one of our favourite places to sit back, relax and watch the famed Samui sunset.

 Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand/koh-samui/the-ritz-carlton-samui

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Travel

Thailand Beyond the Beach: Wellness & Spiritual Escapes

Get in touch with your spiritual side and put your personal wellbeing first with these rejuvenating treatments and sessions across Thailand. Learn the art of Muay Thai boxing from a professional trainer, pamper yourself with Zen-inducing spa treatments – there are plenty of award-winning places to choose from – or delve a little deeper into the humble life of a novice monk.

Chat with a Monk in Chiang Mai

Sit down and converse with a monk in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai. If you’re curious about the inner workings of the monastery, this is a great opportunity to delve deeper into the Buddhist lifestyle and get all your questions out on the table and exchange cultures – plus help the monks to practice their English! There aren’t really any restrictions on what you can ask, just be sure to dress respectfully and women to avoid touching a monk at any time due to ritual taboo.

Floating Yoga

Be one with your mind, body and soul with Aleenta Resort & Spa Phuket’s yoga with a twist. Put your balance and core to the test at the resort’s floating yoga led by an instructor in the beachfront swimming pool – not a bad way to start the day! This luxury all-suite and villa resort also tempts with plenty of private spaces, supreme levels of service, the irresistible Ayurah Spa and a wellness program designed to invigorate all the senses – think tailored state-of-the-art exercise programs, therapeutic tai-chi sessions and comprehensive facials complete with hydrating oxygen masks.

Monks in Thailand

Spa Sensations

Bamboo Forest

Treat yourself to perfect serenity at Four Seasons Golden Triangle’s outdoor spa where a chorus of jungle birds greet you for your signature Four Seasons treatment in the Bamboo Forest. The massages draw on the natural surrounds including ‘Gentle Giant’ to relax sore muscles and bamboo to strengthen and make it easy to reconnect with nature before retreating to your heavenly 5* ‘tent’ (complete with outdoor rain shower and private wooden hot tub).

Salty Salvation

The award-winning Linger Longer Spa at Koh Lanta’s Layana Resort & Spa offers a unique salt treatment – complimentary during our Thailand holiday sale! This hypo-allergic and hypo-bacterial room replicates the microclimate of natural salt caves during a cleansing and therapeutic 45 minutes. All you have to do is sit in your reclining chair, listen to the relaxing music and breathe normally to rid your lungs of bacteria and other irritants.

The Pinnacle of Luxury

Ultimate bliss welcomes guests at Keemala’s healing Mala Spa spread over eight pod-like treatment rooms. Carefully curated to incorporate elements of earth, ocean, fire and air and the Keemala clan distinct way of living, this holistic approach is an idyllic sanctuary for wellness – expect traditional pampering, seaweed massages, rain showers with exotic fragrances, singing bowls and more. The magic continues with the resort’s unique accommodation where guests are housed in bird’s nest-like villas with private pools and sun terraces in the forest treetops of Phuket, all interconnected by jungle walkways.

Bamboo Forest massage Thailand

Read our Guides to Thailand Beyond the Beach:

Looking for more? Check out our Island Hopping Guide, 13 Weird & Wacky Things To Do in Thailand and read The Best Time of Year to Visit to start planning your next Thailand adventure.

Browse our collection of Thailand hotels, tailor-made tours and multi-centres on our website: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand-holidays

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Travel

Thailand Beyond the Beach: For Food Lovers

Thailand is a must-go destination for any food lover. Every region has its own cooking styles and famous dishes – the north is well-known for its hot and spicy cuisine, while the south is a little milder. Our round-up of unmissable foodie experiences are sure to help you savour the flavours of Thailand.

Cooking Classes

Learn the secrets of Thai cuisine with a cooking class, where you’ll be taught everything from how to use herbs and spices to expertly flavour a dish, to the proper cooking techniques. Many classes within our collection of resorts will include a trip to a local market to source fresh ingredients, and sometimes you’ll benefit from a real one-on-one experience with your very own personal chef.

Destination Dining

Where do you want to eat tonight? Take meal times to the next level with one of these private dining experiences:

  • The Grotto, Rayavadee: set within an ancient limestone cliff, enjoy feet-in-sand dining with an evening barbeque overlooking the spectacular Phranang Beach
  • Candlelit Jungle Waterfall, The Sarojin: one of many experiences offered by this 5* resort in Khao Lak, you’ll be sat beside a tropical waterfall and served by a private chef
  • Treetop Dining, Soneva Kiri: sit in a bamboo pod tucked within the jungle foliage as your meals are delivered by a zip lining waiter!

Thailand Cooking classes
The Sarojin dining Thailand

Street Food

Cheap and delicious, Thailand’s street food is infinitely better than anything you’ve tasted at home! Across the country you’ll find stalls serving up rice and noodle dishes, deep fried treats, spicy curries and of course, sticky mango rice. And in Bangkok, one street food eatery has earned itself a Michelin-star: chef Jay Fai was awarded the honour in 2017 for her famed crab omelettes (khai jeaw poo) and stir-fried crab with curry (poo phad phong karee) – believe us, the queues are worth the wait.

Get App Happy

A food-inspired trip to Thailand wouldn’t be complete without a few nights in the capital. Bangkok has one of the most cosmopolitan dining scenes in south-east Asia – and to help you navigate the best places to eat, at the best prices, we recommend turning to your smartphone.

  • Eatigo: this app helps hungry diners find empty tables and offers time-based discounts, sometimes up to 50%
  • Goloco: finds restaurants near you and allows you to reserve a table while also offering discounts and deals on your meal

Where to stay: The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani

Why: this laidback resort is fronted by a private stretch of sand and backed by lush rainforest. It’s family friendly but also quiet enough for couples thanks to its spacious layout. We love the collection of fun activities on offer including cooking and cocktail making classes!

The Sands Khao Lak Thailand
Thailand street food

Read our Guides to Thailand Beyond the Beach:

Looking for more? Check out our Island Hopping Guide, 13 Weird & Wacky Things To Do in Thailand and read The Best Time of Year to Visit to start planning your next Thailand adventure.

Browse our collection of Thailand hotels, tailor-made tours and multi-centres on our website: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand-holidays

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Travel

Thailand Beyond the Beach: A Guide Through the Night Markets

After the sun sets, Thailand’s infamous night markets come alive and the city streets turn into a carnival-like spectacle teeming with delicious food stalls, locally crafted items, live music and, of course, good bargains! Be a part of the local nightlife with our guide to some of our favourite night markets throughout this country that knows how to have fun long after dusk.

Rot Fai Market, Bangkok

In the bustling and somewhat hectic streets of Thailand’s capital, the colourful Rot Fai Market at Srinakarin is a unique and expansive market so big it’s split into different sections. On the outskirts at the Warehouse Zone you’ll find retro collectibles, leather jackets, old-school cameras and vintage cars. Venturing on you’ll be tempted by the wafting smells of Pad Thai, the dexterousness of vendors rolling fried ice-cream into delectable tubes and the spicy soups on display. There are also dozens of lively bars and plenty of haggling for sunglasses, shoes and shirts, so even if you don’t buy a thing, your evening at this trendy hangout will still be incredibly entertaining.

Phuket Walking Street

Set in Phuket’s Old Town, this large weekly market is definitely one for Instagram. Every Sunday evening, the usually quiet Thalong Road lined with gorgeous historical buildings transforms into a vibrant and creative hub bustling with quirky vendors, arty corners and young street performers – expect everything from linocut flip flops and handmade soap carvings to plenty of local treats to sample. Make sure you barter down your prices, but don’t forget to give back to the Thai locals – a small amount makes a large difference to the young performers.

Rot Fai Market, Bangkok Thailand
Phuket walking street, Thailand

Chiang Rai Night Bazaar

What it lacks in size it makes up for in liveliness and deliciousness. Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar in the town centre is the definition of atmospheric and makes for an excellent evening mooch – the area is entirely pedestrian-only.  Most people come here for the post-dinner snacks, artisan shopping with products crafted by hill tribes and Thai dance performances.

Fisherman’s Village Walking Street, Koh Samui

Attracting both foreigners and locals, Bophut Road is the place welcoming everyone on Friday nights with market stall-filled streets. On top of the usual clothing and knick-knacks, Fisherman’s Village Walking Street defines itself as one of the more popular night markets of Koh Samui with premium local fabrics, unique jewellery pieces, personalised handicrafts and musical instruments as well as beat boxing, Thai dance and Muay Thai demonstrations in front of the pier.

Soap carvings Thailand market
Thailand rolled ice-cream

Where to Stay: SALA Samui Choengmon Beach

Why: For its close proximity to Fisherman’s Village Walking Street – only a short drive away! Its secluded and stylish accommodations create your own uninterrupted spa-like paradise and there is a selection of sea, jungle and mountain activities available from zip lining through the canopy to private island tours.

SALA Samui Choengmon, Thailand

 

Read our Guides to Thailand Beyond the Beach:

  • Nature’s Best
  • For Food Lovers
  • Wellness and Spiritual Escapes

Looking for more? Check out our Island Hopping Guide, 13 Weird & Wacky Things To Do in Thailand and read The Best Time of Year to Visit to start planning your next Thailand adventure.

Browse our collection of Thailand hotels, tailor-made tours and multi-centres on our website: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand-holidays

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Thailand Beyond the Beach: Nature’s Best

Swap days spent on the sand for active experiences that take you beyond the beach, exploring tropical jungles, rice paddy fields and mangrove forests. We’ve picked our top experiences for adventure and nature-focused holidays.

Canopy Adventures

Leave terra firma behind as you take to the treetops for an adventure high above the jungle floor. At eco-friendly centres around Thailand you’ll be able to walk across sky bridges and tree-high platforms, sail Tarzan-like on rope swings, test your nerves on a tight rope walk, speed through the trees on a zip line or descend back down with abseiling. Many of these activity centres – including Flying Hanuman and Treetop Adventures – have taken care to ensure that the natural surrounds have not been negatively impacted.

Connect With Nature

It’s time to get your hands dirty! If you want to discover what it’s like to spend your days working in a rice paddy field, we have the destination for you: Four Seasons Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. This five star resort offers guests the chance to try on traditional clothing and plant your own rice paddy shoots while learning about the harvest process. We also have a soft spot for resident albino water buffalo, P’Tong – you can even help bathe him!

Jungle Adventure Thailand
Rice Paddy Thailand

Get Walking

Strap on your hiking boots – or just put on your comfiest trainers – and stretch your legs! Whether you want to take things slow or try something more extreme, there are a number of walks, hikes and treks you can do throughout Thailand. Many resorts will have guided or self-guided strolls through their tropical grounds, where you can come across mangrove trees and fragrant orange jasmine, or take your holiday to new heights, hiking to view points for the best panoramas of the island below. And if you’re staying at The Sarojin you might want to sign up for their ‘Extreme Jungle Trek’ where you’ll climb, swim and learn survival techniques in the wilds of southern Thailand.

Ethical Elephant Encounters

For an ethical way to engage with elephants in Thailand we recommend a stay at Elephant Hills. At this luxury tented camp there is strictly no riding allowed, instead you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wash, feed and interact with these gentle giants, scrubbing them with coconut fibres and helping to prepare their daily meal.

Elephant Encounter Thailand
Thailand Hike

Sea Kayaking

Instead of exploring the world below the water, head out on a sea kayaking tour, gliding through mangroves, canyons, caves and lagoons – your guide will be sure to point out friendly ‘locals’ from monkeys and exotic birds to lizards. One of our favourite spots to explore is the Ao Thalane mangrove forest off the coast of Krabi.

Where to stay: The Vijitt, Phuket

Why: On a quiet stretch of beach, this is a secluded and tranquil hideaway with glorious surroundings. We love that this is an all-villa resort with excellent dining and plenty of activities including botanical walks and rubber tapping where you collect latex from a rubber tree!

Sea Kayaking Thailand
The Vijitt Resort Thailand

Read our Guides to Thailand Beyond the Beach:

  • For Food Lovers
  • Wellness and Spiritual Escapes
  • Through the Night Markets

Looking for more? Check out our Island Hopping Guide, 13 Weird & Wacky Things To Do in Thailand and read The Best Time of Year to Visit to start planning your next Thailand adventure.

Browse our collection of Thailand hotels, tailor-made tours and multi-centres on our website: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand-holidays

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Thailand Beyond the Beach

As irresistible as Thailand’s beaches may be, this country’s beauty transcends the sun and sand and can be found in the heart of the jungle, in its local customs and on the city streets that come alive for the bustling night markets.

Let us guide you through the best that Thailand has to offer: swap beach days for treetop adventures, zip lining through the canopy and channelling your inner Tarzan on rope-swings, or strap on your hiking boots on to explore paths less travelled. Barter your way through the infamous night markets teeming with affordable trinkets and souvenirs, live music and wafts of Pad Thai. Foodies will love taking part in cooking classes, the unparalleled street food and incredible destination dining experiences at some of our favourite hotels – candlelit jungle waterfall anyone? Plus there are plenty of opportunities to put your wellbeing first with al fresco spa treatments in bamboo forests and floating yoga to soothe mind, body and soul.

Read Our Guides to Thailand Beyond the Beach:

  • Nature’s Best
  • For Food Lovers
  • Wellness and Spiritual Escapes
  • Through the Night Markets

Looking for more? Check out our Island Hopping Guide, 13 Weird & Wacky Things To Do in Thailand and read The Best Time of Year to Visit to start planning your next Thailand adventure.

Thailand Hike
Bamboo Forest massage Thailand
Soap Carving night market Thailand

Explore Thailand with award-winning EVA Air. Fly direct from London Heathrow to Bangkok and connect to Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. Browse our collection of Thailand hotels, tailor-made tours and multi-centres on our website: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/asia/thailand-holidays

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‘Lost at the End of the World’ – The Highlight Reel of a 12 Day Argentina Tour

You may know it for its avid football fan base and talent, the expressive Argentine tango deep rooted in local heritage or their iconic wine and steak – renowned as some of the best in the world. But Argentina – as one of the largest countries in the world – is a canvas painted rich with culture, diverse stop-you-in-your-tracks landscapes and teeming with bucket list-worthy hotspots that will have culture-lovers itching to explore.

Rob, one of our Senior Travel Experts, recently arrived back from an astounding 12 day tour and relayed why Argentina should be added to your holiday wish list.

Buzzing Buenos Aires

Strolling down the streets of Buenos Aires feels unexpectedly European for a South American country – like Paris with a twist of New York. Yet this beloved capital encapsulates the soul of the friendly Argentines far beyond its grandeur. A blast of colour defines the streets of La Boca and is one of the many Camden Market-type pockets around the city where you can find the smell of indescribably delicious food wafting down the street. The popular empanadas and choripán (grilled chorizo in a crusty bread filled with flavoursome additions) are both must-tries and there are plenty of al fresco rooftop bars to relax and watch the world go by – with beverage in hand, of course!


Shops here sell everything from bags and fruit to old vinyl records and Maradona merchandise. Urban décor acts in the form of street art lining the walls, ranging from vibrant cartoons to Banksy lookalikes while rainbow checkerboards act as shop flooring.

The people are welcoming to the point where they are walking up to you to offer a sip of their mate tea infusion, but the real laugh with the locals comes from an evening of tango lessons. The intimacy and accuracy of the professionals dancing in the show beforehand act as a stark contrast for what’s to come. Watching a bunch of amateurs stepping on toes and turning the wrong way is entertaining enough, but taking part and being one of those amateurs is even more so!

La Boca
Tango lessons

El Tigre – Buenos Aires’ ‘little Venice’ – is another area worth day tripping to. It’s fascinating to watch floating shops, houses on the water, the children commuting to school on the school boat rather than bus. This town is popular for its bustling weekend artisan market, Puerto de Frutos, but there are plenty of other avenues, or rather channels of the delta, to explore.

El Tigre

Tierra del Fuego by Air, Land & Sea

The south eastern province, Tierra del Fuego, was Rob’s favourite region by far. Los Cauquenes Hotel, a high-end resort on the cusp of Ushuaia with chalet-type buildings reminding you immediately of Switzerland, is in a prime location to take in the natural wonders this coastline has on offer. As the most southern city in the world, the Jacuzzi on the room’s terrace was ideal to gaze into the horizon – a horizon so expansive that it extends into nothingness until it hits Antarctica. These privileged views create a real sense of feeling ‘lost at the end of the world’ and are absolutely stunning.

It’s one thing to see the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, in all its breathtaking glory from afar. But it’s a whole new level to get the grand tour via helicopter! It’s truly a vision that’ll be etched in your mind forever, as is stepping down on these snow-capped peaks for a 360 degree vantage point.

Andes by Helicopter
The Andes Mountains

The scenery just keeps getting better on Tren Del Fin del Mundo – the ‘train to the end of the world’ which traverses its way through the beautiful terrain of Tierra del Fuego National Park, bypassing lakes full of otters, gushing waterfalls, mountain ranges and more. There’s also fishing to enjoy  in Puerto Almanza with crab cooked Patagonian-style, whales to spot off Puerto Williams as they come up for a breath, and guanacos to wave to – close relatives to the llamas and alpacas.

Tren Del Fin del Mundo
Guanaco

If you’re looking for further adventure, hire a 4×4 in Cabo San Pablo and drive out with a picnic to the Desdemona shipwreck – a colossal ship with an interesting story stuck on the shore of the beach. There’s a gorgeous hike from here up to an abandoned lighthouse leaning like the tower of Pisa.

Desdemona shipwreck Cabo San Pablo
Cabo San Pablo 4x4

The Glaciers

And finally, we get to Rob’s crème de la crème of the whole tour – Perito Moreno Glacier. The pictures themselves are astonishing, but being there in person is a surreal experience. To add to the anticipation, Rob and his tour group were blindfolded on the bus and led up to the viewing platform, all the while hearing the crackling of ice and feeling the cold whipping their faces. When the blindfolds were removed, absolute awe washed over the group. The famous glacier over 30 kilometres long stretched out before them, backed by the mountains embedded with autumnal hues of orange and gold. Out of all the wow-worthy moments across Argentina, this was the most remarkable and a cherry on top of an all-round amazing and well recommended trip.

Perito Moreno Glacier

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Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai

Sleek and stylish with a whitewashed minimalist décor, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai brings more than a little of Miami Cool to the Middle East. Interiors are designed with a sense of the beach, sea and sky in mind, with suites and villas a mixture of superior comfort, pleasing aesthetics and welcome practicality. Outside the beach is lined with palm trees, there’s sunken sun loungers in the pool plus there’s a handful of dining options – be sure to stay over the weekend to take part in the famous Friday Brunch.

Nikki Beach Dubai Aerial
Nikki Beach Dubai Pool

Recommended By

Bonnie Rakhit, who we sent to get the inside scoop on Nikki Beach as part of our Alternative Guide To Dubai. She’s dubbed it one of the coolest places in Dubai to see and be seen thanks to its chic interiors, gorgeous suites, incredible views and lively pool parties. Read what she had to say about her stay, here.

Where

On what may be one of the best stretches of sand in the city, Nikki Beach makes the most of its waterfront location in the neighbourhood of Pearl Jumeira – we love taking in the uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf from the white cabanas.

Best For

Fun-loving style seekers wanting a laidback retreat right on the beach where music, fashion, dining and entertainment come together in one undeniably cool destination.

Nikki Beach Dubai
Nikki Beach Dubai

What To Do & Where To Eat

It will come as no surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with the Nikki Beach brand that the resort’s highlight is its Beach Club – free access for hotel guests. With a leisure pool filled with brightly coloured inflatable, swim-up bar serving refreshing drinks, VIP cabanas lining the edge and views of the Burj Khalifa, this is the place to spend your sunshine days. When night falls dine on flavours of the Caribbean – with a Latin twist – at Key West from tacos to ceviche, then listen to DJ beats with spritz in hand at Soul Lounge. In need of pampering? Head to Nikki Spa where plunge pool, steam room and sauna are complimentary or splurge on the Surf & Turf treatment for a salt and oil body scrub and hot stone massage.

Nikki Beach Dubai Brunch
Nikki Beach Dubai Spa

Our Favourite Room

Check in to the ultra-deluxe Nikki Beach Pool Villa, decorated in shades of white, light blues and beige with plenty of wooden detailing. Generously spacious, a set of sliding door open out onto a private terrace with your very own swimming pool – and the soft sands of the beach are just a few steps away.

Nikki Beach Pool Villa
Nikki Beach Pool Villa

Good To Know

While Nikki Beach is set away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai – this is a beach escape after all – the resort is still conveniently close to the downtown area with its top attractions and shopping opportunities including the Dubai Mall.

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/middle-east/dubai/nikki-beach-resort-and-spa

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Rixos Bab Al Bahr

A beachfront location, great dining options, enthusiastic service and a fantastic number of activities to keep the whole family entertained – Rixos Bab Al Bahr is a popular choice for a fun-in-the-sun getaway. Whether it’s parties in the family pool, karoke sessions in the evenings, cinema nights at the kids’ club or treatments at the spa, there’s enough here to ensure that everyone will go home having had a good time.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr Pool
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Night

Recommended By

Herbert Yaweh, one of our Travel Experts for the Middle East who jets to this area of the world at least twice a year. On one of his trips he had the chance to check out Rixos Bab Al Bahr and came back saying it’s a must-go destination for a holiday for all ages.

Where

A prime position on a private stretch of beach on Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaima, the UAE’s northernmost emirate with uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf. We can arrange transfers to-and-from Dubai International Airport, around a 45-minute drive away.

Best For

Family holidays filled with sun, sea and fun – plus an excellent value-for-money ‘Ultra All Inclusive’ package!

Rixos Bab Al Bahr Lobby
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Dining

What To Do & Where To Eat

What isn’t there to do, here? You’ll find multiple swimming pools, extensive complimentary activities from beach volleyball to fitness classes, evening entertainment and, of course, the superb Rixy Kids Club and Teen’s Republic for younger travellers. And to ensure that everyone has a good time – grown up guests included – there’s a nightclub and spa with complimentary access to hammam, sauna and steam. Start your mornings at the all-day dining venue Seven Heights, one of the largest buffet restaurants in the UAE and spend evenings at Fish Bone, specialising in seafood dishes.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr Dining
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Entertainment

Our Favourite Room

It has to be the Family Room! You’ll have plenty of space thanks to the two interconnecting bedrooms with king and twin beds, plus double marble bathrooms complete with rain shower – take your pick of garden or sea views. And if you have tiny travellers in tow, there are complimentary baby cots and bathtubs available.

Family Room King
Family Room Twin

Good To Know

On the Ultra All Inclusive package you can drink unlimited beverages and dine at 14 restaurants and bars including five à la carte. And you’ll enjoy a daily refreshed minibar stocked with soft drinks and beer.

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/middle-east/dubai/rixos-bab-al-bahr

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Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai

Super-luxe yet low-key, Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai brings Italian style to the UAE’s most cosmopolitan city. Chic with an upscale Mediterranean seaside feel, this low-rise property with its striking exterior designed to impress stands out in sharp contrast to Dubai’s many towering skyscrapers.

Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai
Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai

Recommended By

The Style Traveller and fashionista, Bonnie Rakhit who went to check out (and check-in to) Bvlgari for Best at Travel! She loved the understated elegance of this sleek resort where the stunning views, pools, restaurants, in-house chocolatier and marina provide more than enough reason never to leave. Read what she had to say about her stay, here.

 Where

This exclusive urban oasis sits on Jumeira Bay Island, a man-made seahorse-shaped island connected to central Dubai by a 300-metre bridge. It may be just a 20 minute drive from the world’s tallest tower – the iconic Burj Khalifa – but feels like a peaceful hideaway.

Best For

The ultimate in luxury holidaying! Delivering timeless glamour, there’s an indoor swimming pool inlaid with gold mosaics, silk-fabric wallpaper and cashmere blankets in the rooms, suites and villas and dining options overseen by a Michelin-star chef.

Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai
Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai

What To Do & Where To Eat

This is a place to sit back and relax, whether it’s at the superlative 1,7000 square metre spa with its oriental hammam, soothing vitality pool and aroma steam rooms, or beside the cabana and palm tree-lined swimming pool at the Marina and Yacht Club – a world first for Bvlgari. If you feel like swapping chill out time for activity, there’s yoga, boxing, pilates and strength training at the Workshop Gymnasium. The stand-out dining option for us is Il Ristorante, a fine-dining Italian restaurant overlooking the marina and overseen by Niko Romito a three-star Michelin chef. The seafood-focused La Spiaggia is a more relaxed affair – and is where the exclusive beach club comes alive at night, lit up by lanterns and candlelight.

Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai
Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai

Our Favourite Room

We’ve picked the Bvlgari Suite for its incredible wrap-around balcony with incredible views of the famed Dubai skyline. You’ll also find a spacious living area – complete with huge library and mini bar hidden away in a vintage-style luggage case – and marble bathroom where the two-person Jacuzzi comes with a view.

Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai
Bvlgari Resort & Residences Dubai

Good To Know

If you decide to splurge, the 540 square metres Bvlgari Villa comes with an expansive private garden, oval-shaped temperature-controlled swimming pool, fully equipped kitchenette, private home cinema, indoor Jacuzzi and its very own hammam!

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/middle-east/dubai/bvlgari-resort-and-residences-dubai

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One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

Drive up the palm-lined road leading to the impressive courtyard and it won’t take you long to discover why One&Only Royal Mirage is renowned for being one of the best resorts in Dubai. Made up of three distinct properties – The Palace, Arabian Court and The Residence & Spa – the resort is surprisingly intimate, subtly embracing the grandeur of Old Arabia with arches, lanterns and mosaics.

One&Only Royal Mirage Pool
One&Only Royal Mirage Jetty Lounge

Recommended By

Billy, one of our long-standing Middle East Travel Experts who says ‘come here, it is brilliant!’ What brings him back to this timeless property year after year? It’s the sense of calm you feel as soon as you arrive, the Arabic charm from the staff who greet you like old friends and the incredible spaces, both indoors and out.

Where

Winding through 65 acres of landscaped gardens, One&Only Royal Mirage sits on an enviable kilometre-long stretch of iconic Jumeirah Beach overlooking the famed city skyline including the Dubai Eye.

Best For

What we love about this stylish beach resort is that it really does have something for everyone – it’s all about which of the three properties you pick. Arabian Court is great for families – there’s a number of interconnecting rooms – while adults seeking a romantic escape should check-in to The Residence & Spa.

One&Only Royal Mirage Rooftop Terrace
One&Only Royal Mirage DRIFT

What To Do & Where To Eat

Feel like relaxing, playing or rejuvenating? You can do it all at this 5* resort where four temperature-controlled swimming pools and a selection of watersports provide plenty of opportunity to cool off. Younger travellers are well taken care of at the KidsOnly Club with complimentary activities, while grown-up guests can retreat to the luxurious One&Only Spa where an oriental hammam and signature treatments await – or head to the chic DRIFT Beach Club for its vibrant atmosphere. You’ll have eight world-class restaurants to choose from when you stay on Half Board dine-around (highly recommended) with the Rooftop Bar at Arabian Court one of the most dramatic spots to spend an evening, eating authentic mezze dishes and sipping cocktails.

One&Only Royal Mirage Pool
One&Only Royal Mirage Spa

Our Favourite Room

Adorned with rich fabrics, bold colours, marble bathrooms and spacious sea-facing balconies or patios… it’s a tough job to choose just one room to call our favourite at One&Only Royal Mirage! But for true Arabian sophistication – you’re in Dubai after all – we have to go with the Executive Suite at Arabian Court. These rooms have the added bonus of being adjacent to connecting Deluxe Rooms, making them ideal for families or groups.

One&Only Royal Mirage Executive Room
One&Only Royal Mirage Executive Room

Good To Know

There’s a complimentary luxury boat transfer to sister property One&Only The Palm where you can dine at STAY by Michelin-star chef Yannick Alléno. Plus if you’re in the mood for splashtastic fun, you can take advantage of FREE access to Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm for every three days of your stay.

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/middle-east/dubai/arabian-court-at-one-and-only-royal-mirage

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What’s Hot in the Maldives

Impossibly blue oceans, pristine white sands and barefoot luxury come as standard in the Maldives. And just when we thought that this destination couldn’t get any better we’re excited to add three new resorts to our collection of holidays in the Indian Ocean. Think sumptuous accommodations (outdoor bathrooms and private infinity pools anyone?) and unique experiences, from dining underwater to private island day trips. Surely it can’t get much better than this?

We’ve hand-picked our favourite newest 5*Maldives hotels that we’ll be checking out this year….

LUX* North Male Atoll

Opened in February 2019, LUX* North Male Atoll offers an unbelievable level of luxury. From its cutting edge design and abstract elegance, sublime LUX* ME Spa with overwater treatment villas and rooftop yoga, down to the surprise prizes found in messages in a bottle planted every morning at dawn, no detail is overlooked. But the defining feature that really elevates your stay – quite literally! – are the striking, spacious white-washed penthouse villas each with their own private plunge pool, extraordinary views over the lagoon and expansive rooftop sun deck.

Find out more: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/indian-ocean/maldives/lux-north-male-atoll


Sun Aqua Iru Veli

Deliciously laid-back, Sun Aqua Iru Veli puts a fresh outlook on tropical island bliss. We love the villas’ sleek and spacious bathrooms that redefine indoor outdoor living leading out towards your private pool as well as the extensive list of inclusions that come with the ‘Sun Aqua Signature’ All Inclusive Package – think dolphin cruises, windsurfing lessons and a jet ski ride for a new perspective of the island! Plus, there’s a house reef mere metres away from you at all times teeming with colourful marine life that snorkellers and divers will not want to miss.

Find out more: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/indian-ocean/maldives/sun-aqua-iru-veli-resort


You & Me by Cocoon

The romantic and rustic You & Me by Cocoon – nestled on an exquisite adults-only private island in Raa Atoll – graced the shores of the Maldives just this month and is already making its way to the top of our honeymoon wish list! Quiet and secluded, this untouched corner is the perfect place to spend days relaxing on your private sun deck, savouring and marvelling as you dine underwater at H2O and sinking back into your choice of a hammock or lounge chair, beverage in hand, at Cheers Bar as you take in the live nightly entertainment. And if you’re looking for ultra-luxury, the You&Me Suite – a grand overwater villa complete with its own cinema, massage table, infinity pool, private gym and recreation room – will be your perfect fit.

Find out more: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/indian-ocean/maldives/you-and-me-by-cocoon


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Saint Lucia 2019 Jazz Festival

Jazz up your Caribbean holiday with The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, produced in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center! The Caribbean’s premier jazz festival will be gracing the shores of Saint Lucia this May for a week-long celebration, collaborating with New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center for the first time in its 27 year history.

The festival kicks off the wider Saint Lucia Summer Festival, with five unique events celebrating the talent and culture of the island between May and October. Here’s a round-up of what will be going on in Saint Lucia during summer 2019!

The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, produced in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center: 4 – 12 May

The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, produced in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center brings together a stellar line-up of world-renowned jazz artists including Christian McBride, Ledisi, Etienne Charles, Russell Hall, and Patrick Bartley acting as artists in-residence throughout the festival. There’ll also be performances by Gregory Porter, members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and musicians from around the Caribbean. Our highlights?

  • Sunday, 5th May: Jazz on the Village with YolanDa Brown, Dianna Phillip and Xtra Luv & Friends
  • Thursday, 9th May: Gregory Porter with special guest Ledisi
  • Friday, 10th May: Nina and Me, a tribute to legendary jazz singer Nina Simone with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
  • Sunday, 12th May: Gospel Jazz brunch – with brunch included!

Saint Lucia Carnival: June & July

A month-long festival of colour, rhythm and creativity where Calypso, Soca and Steelpan music, along with shows and fetes take centre stage. The whole event ends with a two-day costumed parade.

Saint Lucia Roots & Soul Festival: 23 – 25 August

This three-day festival – with the main stage taking place on Pigeon Island – welcomes celebrated reggae, R&B, hip hop and soul artists to Saint Lucia. There’ll be performances by 80s soulster Leee John, R&B superstars Ginuwine and Mya and British reggae and pop legends UB40.

Saint Lucia Food and Rum Festival: 19 – 22 September

Treat your taste-buds at this festival showcasing the very best of Saint Lucia’s culinary and rum heritage. A number of award-winning chefs will be creating dishes inspired by the island’s unique cuisine, derived from French, British, African and Indian heritage.

Creole Heritage Month: October

Discover Saint Lucia’s rich cultural, ethnic and artistic heritage during this month-long festival filled with cultural expressions from art, music, cuisine and beyond! The festival culminates on the last Sunday of the month with a Jounen Kwéyòl/ Creole day.

Book your Saint Lucia Holiday with Best at Travel: https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/caribbean/saint-lucia-holidays

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Easter 2019 at Atlantis, The Palm

Get ready for plenty of ‘eggciting’ activities as you celebrate Easter at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai! There’s fun for the whole family at our favourite underwater-themed resort – we’re talking egg hunts, parties at Atlantis Kids Club, special baskets delivered by Wendall the Rabbit and a whole host of Easter-themed dining events.

Easter Egg Hunts

Underwater Egg Hunt

Put on your wetsuit and dive into the Ambassador Lagoon where special eggs filled with great surprises have been hidden underwater.

Dates: throughout Easter weekend


Eggventure Hunt

There are 50,000 eggs to be found at Aquaventure Waterpark! Glide down the Torrent River and grab one of the floating eggs before heading to the Candy Eggschange where you can swap yours for delicious Easter treats.

Dates: throughout Easter weekend

 

Eggscavation Hunt

Hidden throughout The Lost Chambers Aquarium are a host of candy ‘relics’ waiting to be found – a fun way for younger guests (ages 3 – 12) to experience the myth of the lost city of Atlantis.

Dates: throughout Easter weekend

Underwater Egg Hunt

Easter Fun For Everyone!

Eggstra Special Basket Deliveries

Arrange a surprise straight to your hotel room this Easter at Atlantis, The Palm! Little ones can receive an Eggstra Special Basket full of goodies delivered by Wendall the Rabbit.

Dates: throughout Easter weekend

 

The Big Bunny Bash

There will be a fun-filled Easter party at Atlantis Kids Club with the ultimate egg hunt, arts and crafts, music, a spectacular Pinata party and much more!

Dates: Thursday, 18th April

 

Scuba Easter Bunny

Is it a shark? Is it a stingray? No it’s the Scuba Easter Bunny! He’ll be diving amongst the 65,000 marine animals in the Ambassador Lagoon every day – don’t forget to bring your camera!

Dates: 1PM & 6PM throughout Easter weekend

 

The Amazing Family Race

Eggcellent prizes are up for grabs as you and your family race around the resort solving a series of clues and unique challenges – all to be crowned the winners of The Amazing Family Race!

Dates: Thursday, 18th April

Wendell The Rabbit

Dining Just Got Eggciting

Easter Bunny Brunch at Wavehouse

Eat, drink and be entertained at Wavehouse this Easter at Atlantis, The Palm! While you work your way through starters, mains and dessert there’ll be plenty of activities for children – and their parents – including an egg hunt, movies, face painting and more. Plus prizes will be handed out for the winning costume – and kids under 10 go FREE!

Dates: Saturday, 20th April

 

Saturday & Sunday Roast at Bread Street Kitchen & Bar

If Easter just isn’t Easter without a roast, you’ll love the Saturday and Sunday roasts with all the trimmings at Bread Street Kitchen & Bar.

Dates: 20th – 21st April

 

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar Easter Brunch

A family-friendly take on the classic Dubai Brunch – with an Easter twist, of course! To keep little ones entertained during the feasting there’ll be playground activities and egg hunting.

Dates: Friday, 19th April

 

Plato’s Afternoon Tea

High Tea has been given an Easter twist with a selection of individual Easter cakes – as well as the traditional assortment of pastries, jams, sandwiches and English Tea.

Dates: 18 – 21st April

 

Kaleidoscope Easter Lunch

Sit down to an Easter Feast at Kaleidoscope where roasts, seafood and international dishes from Asia, the Mediterranean North Africa and Arabia will be served up.

Dates: Sunday, 21st April

Call our Dubai travel experts to book your Easter Holiday to Atlantis, The Palm or head to our website

Wavehouse

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Travel

One&Only The Palm, Dubai

Get ready to put One&Only The Palm to the very top of your ‘Favourite Hotels Ever’ list. Chic and glamorous without being glitzy, this intimate beach resort stands out in a city full of luxury properties.

Pool
Beach

Recommended By

Alwyn, our Middle East Product Assistant, who grew up in the region. He’s since been back and can’t fault the hotel’s exquisite Arabesque architecture and expansive, palm-lined swimming pool – plus The Pastry Library at STAY amongst the incredible dining selection!

Where

On the far point of Dubai’s Palm Island, graced with its own private peninsula, beautifully secluded beach and dazzling views of the spectacular New Dubai skyline.

Best For

Boutique, contemporary and with dishes served up under the guidance of a Michelin-star chef, this is a must-stay for couples looking for an indulgent yet stylish getaway.

Skyline
Balcony

What To Do & Where To Eat

If you manage to pull yourself away from your private oversized poolside cabana complete with lounge areas and wet bar – we won’t blame you if you can’t – you’ll be happy to know the exceptional Guerlain Spa is right next door! Every treatment here is customised exclusively to you and is a truly sensual experience. Or swap relaxation for action and hit the waves with one of the hotel’s watersports activities including kayaking, windsurfing and water skiing.

With sumptuous spaces, a spectacular variety of international menus and an unparalleled attention to detail, dining at One&Only The Palm is a resort highlight. Run by a Michelin-star chef, STAY by Yannick Alléno serves passionate yet playful French dishes, while the overwater 101 Dining Lounge & Bar with its unbeatable city skyline views is the place for sunset cocktails.

Spa
Dining

Our Favourite Room

While even the entry-level rooms – the largest in Dubai – feel more like suites with their spacious interiors, it’s the Palm Beach Executive Suite that hits the top of our ‘must sleep in’ list. A 25 metre squared plunge pool steps from the beachfront sands, Moorish and Andalusian furnishings highlighted with geometric patterns and tiles, and a grand integrated dining and living room are all impressive inclusions. Not to mention the personalised round-the-clock service from your designated host and the magical atmosphere of the room lit up by lanterns at twilight.

Executive room
Executive room pool

Good to Know

Although the resort is primarily couples-focused, there is a complimentary supervised kids’ club with activities such as camel riding, henna painting, belly dancing, sand sculpturing and evening Arabian camping. There is also a children’s menu at ZEST, complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark for every three days of your stay and sporting lessons for younger travellers.

Find Out More At

https://www.bestattravel.co.uk/middle-east/dubai/one-and-only-the-palm

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