Edinburgh has a new landmark and a place to meet for a drink and a dram or two.
Diageo has opened its eight-story, immersive Johnnie Walker Princes Street complex as part of a £185m investment to re-build Scotch whisky. Diageo has opened another new whisky visitor centre on the Isle of Skye. The Talisker Distillery, situated on the shores of Loch Harport in the village of Carbost on the Minginish peninsula, was founded in 1830 but Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill.
The Scotch whisky...
Nestled in hundreds of acres of ancient parkland and just a 10-minute drive from the M1, Whittlebury Park is within easy reach of Oxford, Stowe and Stratford-upon-Avon. As I waited for my friend to arrive I soaked up the English sunshine and watched the golfers teeing off on the green. After dropping our bags off with the reception we headed straight for the spa. We had booked a Pure Opulence Spa Stay which includes use of the spa, two 50 minute treatments, two course lunch, cream tea, three course dinner, room and breakfast. We were given robes, slippers and also a little bag of Espa treats on arrival. There are two parts to the spa, the main swimming pool area, which has a roman Greek theme and then the heat and ice rooms. We decided to have a little catch up around the pool before enjoying lunch with a glass of fizz.
For three days in September, Churchill's is offering tourists the opportunity to get under the skin of the local fruit and trend grapes in the company's traditional granite "Lagares", which date back to 1852. Quinta da Gricha, the company's flagship vineyard, is inviting visitors for its annual 'vindima' on 10, 11 and 25 September. The day begins with a grape picking challenge with Churchill's viticultural team, and a tasting follows the shift on the terraces.
But in this wonderful, colourful and effortlessly luxurious Maldivian resort, this tagline is more than just a marketing line, but a way of life. Cora Cora is located in the small island of Raa Maamigilli and is only accessible via scenic sea plane. No matter where your original point of embarkation may have been, all the travel-related stress instantly melts away once you set foot at Cora Cora. It is a kind of inexplicable magic that only a resort like this can deliver.
What better way to treat myself than head to Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa. With a team of over 460 staff, this privately owned retreat set amongst the soothing peace of the Leicestershire countryside is a relaxing heaven. The guests are predominantly women (90%) and the 93-bedroom spa offers luxurious pampering with a huge range of facilities including six pools, heat experiences, tennis, boules, pitch ‘n’ putt, croquet, cycling, and a mind gym are all available. My aim for my Overnight Reviver Break was total relaxation. On arrival, my mum and I were greeted by the friendly and polite Guest Liaison team who offered a refreshing drink while we were booked in. Valet parking is offered to all guests, and our luggage was whisked up to the room in a matter if minutes.
Discover this luxury Hong Kong hotel in the centre of the city's hustle and bustle is actually a quiet respite from the busy pedestrian-filled streets of Central. With 68 beautifully adorned rooms, The Pottinger stands out as a true luxury boutique hotel in a city that is already saturated with much larger five-star establishments. The aesthetic appeal is second to none, adorned with chinoiserie objects and oriental decor throughout the internal spaces. This is quite befitting as Pottinger Street is one of the oldest streets in the district and named after Hong Kong’s first Governor, Sir Henry Eldred Curen Pottinger.
Floor to ceiling windows seem to be an important theme for each of the hotels as is the service, and most notably, the locations and architecture. Take for example The Upper House in Hong Kong, though located in the city center its infrastructure evokes discretion, minimalism and above all the characteristics of luxury living in a subtle sort of matter. These qualities are intrinsically similar to The Middle House except for its architecture. What you get at each of these houses are individualism at its core and by that we mean to say that each house has been designated an architect to design the hotels based on their own style whilst heavily incorporating the essence of the brand. Located on Shanghai’s Hongqiao side of the city, The Middle House is well advantaged when it comes to proximity from the city center whilst maintaining an air of discretion and calm. Not far from the main high way and directly in between the shopping centers, boutiques and the park within walking distance, The Middle House makes for a well-positioned luxury hotel in Shanghai.
Dangling on the edge of the caldera, Erosantorini is equipped with a concierge, chef, trainer and masseur to cater to your every need. Not to mention the secluded setting (two-acre plot of land) offers a pool terrace with a three-tiered infinity pool, dotted with beanbags and daybeds to sink into, a projector and screen for ‘movie nights’ and a hidden staircase leads to an underground cigar and wine cellar. So. Much. Drama. The design has a modern-take on luxury, with a monochrome palette and cubist structures that give way to vernacular architecture, Italian designer Paola Navone has kitted out the property with her bold yet energetic style; floating fireplaces, antique mirrors and heated flooring which exude a cosy bohemian vibe. The five independent suites are located on three levels, with 180-degree views of the Aegean and a private jacuzzi which is perfect for a spot of skinny-dipping.
Some believe the Caldera Island may have been one of the possible locations of the fabled island of Atlantis. Another legend has it, Euphemus, son of Poseidon, created the island following a dream where he made love to a nymph. Certainly explaining the island’s tendency of a romantic nature; one does not find a more beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea than from this Greek island, and the sunsets are the most photographed in the world. Ikies Traditional Houses is a special type of boutique hotel; a five-star complex of dug-out cave houses, it’s elegant design comprising of honeymoon suites, maisonettes, and studios located at the edge and facing the picturesque village of Oia, which guests can watch as the sun rises and sets on the private terrace. The staff are incredibly helpful - attentive but inconspicuous, which only adds to the privacy of the hotel.
As the riad lies on a pedestrian-only street, the riad’s butler, Ismail, arranged to meet us as we got out of our hired car. He led us through the winding streets of Marrakech and to straight to Riad Timila, where we were immediately given a quick tour and shown to our room. We stayed in the master suite called Chambre Bronze. Our room featured a seating area, fireplace, and private bathroom and shower. A moucharabie window looks out over onto the pool and courtyard below. The super king-sized bed was extremely comfortable and had Egyptian cotton sheets and goose-down pillows. Like the rest of the hotel, our room was adorned with art and decor by local artisans. Downstairs, a wall dedicated to the lucky Hand of Fatima hides the inviting dark blue plunge pool.
Since the Seaside Management took over, what were some of the changes made to the resort? Interesting point is that Finolhu has always been colorful in personality and I think when we opened, the management company that was involved then never wanted it to be known as a party island but they opened with a huge party and then six months later, Cara Delevigne took over the whole resort, I think for her 21st birthday. That was a huge party as well and by the time I arrived, which was two weeks after Cara’s birthday, it was already regarded as the party island of the Maldives. The management company that was involved didn’t ever want us to be known as a party island but it evolved from that, and I think the greatest lesson to be learnt today about media is that no longer can we control our PR, it is controlled by the public and we’ve got to be very careful in how we present ourselves and how we communicate because they will interpret it as the way they like.
Drawing inspiration from the hotel’s bohemian beginnings in the Fifties as a purposefully low-key hangout for Prince Alfonso and his glittering A-list friends, from Brigitte Bardot to Cary Grant, this reimagining of the hotel’s original Clubhouse champions the best things in life – food and drink, fun, nature, friendship and family. Guests can take advantage of several new additions: El Patio restaurant, the beating heart of the resort, overseen by the Marbella Club’s newly appointed head chef, Sergio Arconada; Rudi’s bar, a fitting tribute to Count Rudi, the hotel’s first GM – who, at eighty-odd years old, still casts a watchful eye over proceedings; La Bodega, scene of wine tastings with head sommelier, Ángel González; bespoke private dining spaces; and an inviting central patio flanked by a hair & beauty salon, hair spa, barber, florist, gift shop, and flexible spaces for art exhibitions and pop up collaborations.
“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express” - Francis Bacon. Like it has taken our imagination for a ride and brought us to a destination one can only dream of - a true paradise located in the Raa Atoll, the northern part of the Maldives. One has to see it to truly understand how such beauty is able to captivate the heart so much so that even we have to admit, we’ve left our hearts in JOALI. We are certain that if you come here, that same feeling will apply to you. It is the best combination of contemporary art, absolute attention to design and detail, that feminine touch, aesthetic uniformity with of course the lush tropical vegetation and blossoming flowers and the stunning crystal clear waters at your immediate reach that you’re here and you know it’s worth it. It is not something which you need to think twice about - you’ll be catered for and looked after here, but more than that you won’t tire of the beauty and the absolute comfort you receive during your stay.
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