With its stunning beaches and mountains, Montenegro has been a very popular holiday destination pre-COVID and according to the Balkan country’s new foreign minister, Djordje Radulovic, it will be a ‘corona-safe’ travel destination in time for the 2021 tourist season. Tourism makes up 25% of Montenegro’s GDP and following a slow year, the country’s new government is determined to attract foreign holidaymakers this summer, ensuring that all tourist areas are protected.
“We will not totally eradicate coronavirus, but we will have some small, small hotspots under control, which means that tourists can come from Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia - you name it - will be safe and sound in our country [and] totally free to enjoy their vacation,” Radulovic said.
In January 2021, the country lifted the requirements for a negative COVID-19 test result, which has made Montenegro one of the few countries worldwide to allow unrestricted travel in the current environment.
Tourism has been among the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in countries like Greece that rely so heavily on it. Tourism accounts for 20% of the country’s GDP, providing one in five jobs.
However, after the challenges from the past year, Greek officials have announced that they are planning to reopen the country to world travellers from 1st June 2021, with a new “safe travel” plan which will allow visitors to enter its borders with a negative coronavirus test that should be taken within 72 hours before arrival.
Alexis Komninos, a leading hotelier on the island of Santorini, has commented: "Not opening is not an option this year. The chips are down, and it's clearly crunch time.”
"But while I and others in the industry are doing our part, doling out the cold cash to refurbish, rebuild and slash my prices by 40% in flash sales to lure British, German and other customers, the government must do its part in helping subsidise this national reopening.” Let’s hope they can deliver!
Thanks to the isolated nature of its resorts, the Maldives was one of the first countries that opened their borders back for tourists – all you need is a proof of a negative COVID-19 test carried out within 96 hours before departure. As of 22nd February, there are over 140 hotels and resorts serving international travellers. There’s no need for another test upon arrival in Male, however, those who display COVID-19 like symptoms, including a temperature, coughing or sneezing, will be tested.
Considering two-thirds of the country’s GDP depends on tourism, resorts across the Maldives have done a lot to ensure a safe haven for travellers, with some having their own testing regimes in place. Resorts like Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, for example, offer free PCR tests to guests upon arrival, asking them to not leave their room until they receive a negative result. They also test all staff members once every five days.
Despite a rise in the COVID-19 cases in the country, Seychelles has announced that it is now welcoming vaccinated travellers from all over the world. Tourists will have to be able to prove that they have received two doses of an approved vaccine and will need to submit an authentic certificate from their national health authority as proof of the COVID-19 jabs. However, they will still need a negative PCR test to enter the country, carried out within 72 hours before arrival.
Unvaccinated travellers are allowed to enter too if they arrive via a private jet or come from a list of 48 permitted countries. These travellers will also need to obtain a negative PCR test result prior to arrival in Seychelles.
International travellers are extremely important to Seychelles’ economy, with travel and tourism accounting for 40% of the nation’s GDP. Officials hope that the updated entry requirements will restart tourism in the Indian Ocean archipelago in 2021, helping its economy to get back on its feet.
And whilst we want to stay positive and still believe that the 2021 season will open for the summer, booking flights and hotels in the current environment might be a little bit presumptuous and risky. Planning a yacht trip though? This we can do – considering that chartering a yacht is certainly one of the safest ways to enjoy a holiday during a global pandemic.
This month, we introduce you to Roditis Yachting – a full agency offering a wide range of services to yacht owners holidaying in Greece’s stunning Dodecanese Islands. From berth reservations, customs and formalities assistance, fuel and lubricants supply, through to food and provisions, technical support, fiscal services, VAT clearances, imports and customs procedure, as well as arranging the issuance of a Greek Yacht Charter License - Roditis Yachting can take care of it all!
We caught up with the company’s manager Michalis Roditis to hear how they’re preparing for the upcoming season.
Although yacht holidays are one of the safest ways to travel during a pandemic, it’s undeniable that 2020 was a difficult year for the sector. How did you navigate the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented you with last year?
2020 was certainly a difficult year for us. As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Greek authorities implemented a number of strict measures, including a ban for certain nationalities, including travellers from the USA, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Russia, who weren’t allowed to enter our borders. This restriction impacted us greatly as this is where our main clientele is from – both for private yachting and charter.
In addition to this, there were also border closures between Greece and Turkey and we saw a dramatic drop in yacht arrivals by almost 80% when compared to 2019. Fewer charter companies were able to fulfil their charters in the region as their contracts where strictly for embarking and disembarking at Turkish Ports only. However, we also witnessed a surprising rise in domestic guests who chose to charter a yacht as opposed to staying at a hotel. Foreign yachts which had a Greek Charter License also took advantage of the border situation.
It was a difficult year indeed and our business was down by 70%, however, the experience taught us a lot and we built the foundations for the challenges to come. This unexpected drop in demand motivated us to work hard to find new ways to make it happen!
How are you preparing for summer 2021?
My background is in Commercial Shipping – a sector where no event can ever surprise us! In fact, over the years, ship operators have established a Safety Management System which consists of drills and crisis managing tools, including health management and outbreak issues. In line with this, Roditis Yachting will offer a unique service provision in 2021, which will include 100% electronic formalities and procedures, delivery of services based on an Outbreak Management Plan approved by WHO, which ensures that the use of vehicles and equipment, as well as the contact between our staff and the crew and the guests, will happen in the safest way possible. We are well prepared for this summer and are ready to guarantee the full safety of both our staff members and our guests!
Why should yacht owners consider using your services?
Since 1989, Roditis Yachting has proven to be a solution finder and a problem solver in all fields of yachting and maritime services provision. We’ve worked hard to build an amazing reputation and to deliver the highest level of services for everyone who chooses to trust us. Our agency has received many acknowledgements, including ‘Best Superyacht Agent’ at the Aegean Awards based on out first-class customer service, complete support, ample local knowledge, trust and transparency, long-standing contracts, efficiency, proactiveness, professionalism, open communication channels and value for money!
For more information, go to: https://www.roditisyachting.com/
It’s not that often that I fall speechless. In fact, there are so many beautiful adjectives in the English language that could perfectly describe a luxurious villa in a five-star resort, however, upon entering our private Residence at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort & Spa, I was rendered speechless. The word ‘paradise’ is thrown around far too frequently by pretty much everyone who goes on a tropical holiday nowadays, but I’d be damned if someone wanted to tell me that I wasn’t right in the midst of it.
We dab our faces with the refreshingly cool towels handed to us by the Residence butler Sean (who we would quickly grow to absolutely adore), take a sip of our welcome guava juice and begin exploring the pool area and the high-ceilinged rooms of one of the resort’s 15 uniquely designed Residences; perched on a lush hill which overlooks a calm lagoon at the end of Layan Beach in Phuket. The attention to detail is truly impressive – from the smell of frangipani coming from the front garden you walk past upon entering, through to the delicate oriental touches in the interior and the desserts that have been laid out for us in the living room - a thought has been put into every little detail. Even things like a beach bag and the vast selection of Bulgari products, including bath salts, in the bathroom area (which is quite possibly bigger than a standard studio in London), haven’t flown under the radar and this attention to the miniscule is echoed in the service provided by not only the staff in the Residence but in the whole resort.
The focal point in our Residence is undoubtedly the front garden with its extensive infinity pool (which was all we needed after a 17-hour journey from the UK) and the outdoor dining sala where we would have breakfast the following morning. Palm trees, sun loungers and sunbeds adorn the poolside and everything is so aesthetically pleasing and achingly beautiful that I feel the urge to spend the night right there – under the filled-with-stars Thai sky.
Still recovering from the flight, we take a golf buggy down to the spa on our first day, fully ready for a signature couples massage. As with any Anantara property, a phenomenal spa is to be expected. Fully in line with Anantara Layan Phuket Resort’s authenticity, the spa is finished beautifully with Thai decorative elements and offers seven luxury treatment rooms, male and female steam rooms, a hairdressing salon and an OPI nail salon. Our masseuses begin the treatment with a foot bath, but the next hour is a blur as the combination of Thai massage techniques soothes me into a state of bliss. Once the massage’s over, we ease ourselves back into reality with a cup of herbal tea and granola bars which were waiting for us in the post-treatment relaxation room.
For those wishing to expend energy, the spa also offers a fully equipped state-of-the-art gym, which overlooks a stunning outdoor pool set amongst lush greenery; I’m positive that I’ve had to look at worse things whilst running on a treadmill. Or if you’d like to fully embrace the fact that you’re in Thailand, whilst still breaking a sweat, book a private Muay Thai boxing class. Due to the resort’s perfect location on a private beach, guests can also try an abundance of water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and sailing.
Foodies will be in raptures over Anantara Layan Phuket Resort's culinary offering which compiles a range of dining options. Dee Plee Restaurant showcases Thai delicacies made with quality local ingredients. Indulge in a selection of fragrant curries and stir-fries, fresh seafood creations and traditional desserts. Tables are set out both indoors and outdoors, with the seating on the terrace overlooking the calm Andaman Sea.
The poolside restaurant Breeze and its menu consisting of light salads, grilled fish, pizzas and pasta, as well as cooling fruit juices and coconut water, quickly becomes a favourite for lazy lunches in the shade after a few hours of sunbathing or a more casual dinner. But for an extra special meal, book a Dining by Design evening, which includes an intimate dinner under the stars with a personal chef and a butler service. The location could be chosen by you, but the beach is, naturally, highly recommended.
Every morning begins with a coffee by our Residence’s pool, followed by a buggy ride to breakfast; a sensational sprawling buffet set out in a few different rooms (yes, I did say a few - there is a whole room dedicated to cheese and cold cuts only). In addition to an impressive continental offering and a myriad of western staples, there is a varied mixture of traditional Asian breakfast items such as noodle soup, spring rolls and the Thai version of French toast, as well as Middle Eastern dips and dishes like hummus, Baba Ganoush and tagine. There’s also a pancake and waffle station as well as an omelette bar where friendly chefs cook up a storm, making me wish I had more room in my belly to try all of the mouth-watering food on offer. My personal highlight was the luscious tropical fruit and juices; if only I could have a plate of freshly-picked dragon fruit, papaya, pineapple and mango every morning for the rest of my life.
On our last night, as we peacefully sip on ice-cold mojitos in the resort’s beach bar (fittingly called Mojito), watching the sun dip below the horizon, I muse upon the moments in my life when I have felt fully complete, content and in utter harmony with my surroundings. I reflect on the fact that our whole stay at one of the Layan Residences by Anantara has been one of these moments and I impatiently await my return to this heavenly place.
For more information or to book your stay, please go to:
A destination known to be popular with the rich and famous, the Kardashians love going there, it’s a destination that’s been gaining popularity over the last few years. In fact, the number of annual international overnight visitors almost doubled in six years. This saw the number climb from around 8.5 million in 2010 to just under 15.3 million in 2016. That’s a lot of people.
If you’re thinking of holidaying there, and you haven’t been before, then there are a few things that you need to know before visiting Dubai. Below, we’ve listed four things you should keep in mind, which you’ve probably not even considered.
While smoking in the UK has decreased over the last decade or two, it’s still quite commonplace in many other countries. However, when it comes to e-cigs and e-liquid devices, it’ll probably be best to leave yours at home while visiting Dubai. You may be wondering why, but it’s actually illegal to sell them in the UAE. But, while there isn’t a law that prohibits the use of them, some say the lines can be a bit blurred. This is due to some wondering if they could still encounter a fine if using them in a place that allows smoking. Therefore, it’s probably best to leave yours at home.
While the country is known for being extremely hot, please remember that you’re in a more conservative country. Because of this, you should ensure that you keep your holiday wardrobe more on the conservative side too. This means that when packing you should make sure that you pack long-sleeves and full-length trousers, as well as your swimwear that’ll no doubt come in handy at your resort. It’ll also be worth talking to the staff at your hotel about what you can wear depending on where you’re going, if you want to be 100% sure.
Although we’ve become accustomed to a contactless society, this isn’t the case in Dubai. In fact, cash is still very much king when it comes to transactions. Therefore, make sure you get enough cash to take away with you before leaving for your holiday (the currency here is Dirham). However, many places will accept credit cards, but it’s always better to be prepared for any eventuality.
As mentioned above, Dubai is a much more conservative country than the UK. Because of this, public kissing is a bit of a no-no. Therefore, public displays of affection in restaurants, on the beach, in nightclubs, on the street and in taxis are best avoided, as you could find yourself getting into a lot of trouble.
Although the UK can be an expensive place to travel, there are many ways you can reduce costs and save money on your road trip. If you want to avoid overspending, consider all the expenses, set up a budget and get yourselves clued up beforehand with our top tips for saving.
Total the number of days and miles of your trip and then create your budget for fuel, vehicle costings, food, drinks and sightseeing.
If your budget is tight, you need to prioritise. Figure out what’s more important for you: the best food or staying in a nice hotel? Maybe you want to visit numerous attractions and don’t care if you’re camping and cooking out of the back of your car for a week. Do what works best for you.
Share out your money accordingly, applying the bulk of it towards those prioritised activities. This way you won’t overspend or have to limit yourself from doing things you want to.
If you’re serious about your efforts to fund your travels, once you’ve worked out how much you can realistically save, set up a standing order to automatically transfer certain amounts of money to your savings every month or two weeks. Try to avoid using this money in the run up to your road trip.
Having your own car is a huge advantage when it comes to road trips because this enables you to reach idyllic spots that are impossible to get to via public transport.
If you’re a young driver or have recently passed your test, you're probably now on the hunt for a car. There are many options for you online, from eBay to Auto trader as well as local car garages close to home. But don’t panic if you’re worried about affording your trip and car insurance at once. Insurance with a black box could help you save a lot of money. Black box insurance works when your car is fitted with a black box device which records speed and the time of day or night that you are on the road. The device will also assess your driving style by monitoring braking and accelerating to build up a comprehensive profile of you as a driver. This could stop you facing an eye-watering insurance quote and allow you to put more money towards your road trip.
Money doesn’t have to be stressful and neither does effective money management. The stress begins when you’re too afraid to check your balance and have lost track of what your money is doing.
Tracking your expenses is important and is vital towards helping you save for your trip. Put aside a day on the weekend and go through your accounts, find out what your finances look like and see what you can cut back on each month. Write down everything from how much you spend on food a week, to entertainment and so on.
Money doesn’t have to be stressful and neither does effective money management. The stress begins when you’re too afraid to check your balance and have lost track of what your money is doing.
Do you have a house full of stuff you don’t use? Clothes you’ve never worn, old CDs and DVDs? Sell them. You’ll be surprised at how nice a declutter too. Even if you don’t make a fortune from what you sell, you will still be able to add some extra money to your road trip fund.
We hope you manage to get your trip together! For now, enjoy the holidays and have a Merry Christmas.
Don’t let a lack of finances get in the way of creating new and memorable experiences! There are lots of ways for you to reduce travelling costs without having to compromise on the quality of your trip.
Here are a few of the best ways you can cut travel costs this season and do more travelling without burning a hole in your wallet:
One of the most common reasons people say they can’t afford to travel is because the “flights are too expensive”. And yes, sometimes the price of flights are on the verge of extortion, but if you can’t find more affordable flights, it’s likely to be because you’re looking at all the wrong places.
You’ve got to shop around for cheap flights to find the best deals. Going straight to your favourite airline website and booking directly from it without even checking other sources is a rookie mistake. What you should be doing is comparing flight prices, so you can see the best deals on flights including things like recommended times to travel and possible discounts on returns etc.
If you want to experience as much of the world as possible, but you’re on a tight budget, you might want to avoid the “big spender” destinations such as Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo and so on. Expensive holiday destinations will make budgeting increasingly tricky, especially when you’re paying £100+ per night.
Instead, think about more affordable holiday destinations that offer just as much sunshine and excitement, but at a lower cost. A few of the most affordable destinations include Costa del Sol in Spain, Budapest in Hungary and Bali in Indonesia to name but a few.
Not everyone wants to compromise on quality when it comes to accommodation, and that’s okay. But if you’re looking to cut back on travel costs and don’t mind giving up a little bit of luxury, in exchange for somewhere to rest your head at night, you’ve got to consider cheaper accommodation.
First, you might want to check online for cheap hotels. You might get lucky and find something amazing and within your budget. But if you’re struggling, you can also stay in a hostel. Hostels offer lower prices, and many of them even include free breakfast, which is fantastic if you’re looking for a wallet-friendly alternative. If you’re a little more on the adventurous side, you might be open to camping or renting a caravan.
Are you a whizz in the kitchen? Save money by skipping the expensive restaurants and cooking your own food. If you’re travelling for a week or two, you might end up spending more than you anticipated on daily meals. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a nice dinner on holiday, but if you’re determined to cut back, you’ve got to cook for yourself!
You can even bring food with you and shop for groceries at the local supermarket. Cooking for yourself is slightly easier if you’re camping or renting an apartment with a group of friends. The cost of renting an apartment is usually cheaper than hotel prices and most come with their own kitchen, which is ideal if you feel like whipping up a Sunday roast dinner or making a stir-fry.
Taxis are so expensive in foreign countries, and most people agree that they feel overcharged by taxi services for merely being a tourist. Always try to avoid using a taxi service when possible and opt for public transport instead. Or, you could get some exercise and walk to your destination or hire a bicycle. However, this will be more difficult if you’ve got a few suitcases to trail about. Buses and trains offer affordable means of transport, so make sure to take note of the schedule and make the most out of public transportation.
Copenhagen was just ranked 9th in this year’s ‘Most liveable cities in the world’ survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). And this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone! Denmark’s capital is all about enjoying the good life – it regularly tops international happiness surveys and is known as ‘the happiest city in the world’. In addition to being one of the globe’s greenest, cleanest and most sustainable capitals, Copenhagen boasts world-class urban architecture sitting alongside old historic buildings and palaces, picturesque harbours and hip, Scandi-chic cafés and restaurants. With an abundance of things to do and see, the Danish capital is the ideal place for your next city break – promising to exceed your expectations and to teach you how to ‘hygge’.
Where to stay
For a colourful and characterful, yet cosy hotel, stay at the ideally located Absalon Hotel in the upcoming Vesterbro district. Founded in 1938 and still run by the same family, the hotel is only a five-minute walk from Copenhagen’s Central Station and the city’s iconic Tivoli Gardens. Housed in a stunning 19th-century building, it offers 161 modern rooms designed by London-based designer Trisha Guild and featuring lots of colour, exquisite marble bathrooms and organic Karmameju toiletries.
The salon at Absalon Hotel is the perfect room for curling up on one of the deep armchairs dotted around the bright room with a glass of wine. During the day, you’ll find people tapping away on MacBooks or reading a book in the corner while sipping on a latte and as the evening rolls and the colourful open space takes on an all-together different glow, cheerful groups of friends, families and couples flock to the bar for a cocktail after a day of exploring the streets of Copenhagen.
Continental breakfast can be enjoyed in an expansive room just a few steps away from the bar. Expect all of the continental buffet staples with the thoughtful addition of some Danish classics, including freshly baked pastries, local cheese and herring.
Whether you're visiting Copenhagen for business or pleasure, Absalon Hotel’s convenient location, modern décor and truly impeccable service make it a wonderful place to rest your head at night and wake up to in the morning.
For more information, please go to https://www.absalon-hotel.dk/en/
Where to eat
With its Michelin-starred restaurants and clever Nordic cuisine, Copenhagen is known as a true culinary powerhouse. Mielcke & Hurtigkarl’s experimental and exciting menu however, instantly made it our favourite find!
Set in the beautiful Royal Horticultural Gardens, the restaurant promises an experience like no other. Designed to ‘make your taste buds dance’, the chef’s secret tasting menu is arguably the finest and most daring food you’ll find in Copenhagen. From appetisers such as yeast chips and tiny egg-white, meringue-like baguettes filled with mozzarella, tomato and basil, through to the last bite of delicate pistachio cake served on a wooden board accompanied by a printed out poem by Michael Faudet, the dining experience at Mielcke & Hurtigkarl is a gastronomic adventure that resembles a form of art.
With its magnificent high ceilings, white walls and a solitary tree in the centre of the room, the restaurant’s plant-inspired décor is nearly as extraordinary as the food itself. In summer, tables spill out onto a patio terrace in the garden and the atmosphere is so magically laid back that you’d be happy to linger over the extensive number of courses (and the sublime wines paired superbly to complement each dish).
For more information, please go to http://www.mhcph.com/
To make a reservation, please call +45 3834 8436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rugged coastline, sandy beaches, beautiful countryside, medieval castles and a world-class food scene. The largest Channel Island, Jersey, is the perfect destination for a long weekend break, although the abundance of cultural and scenic experiences and the genuine friendliness of everyone you meet promise to make you want to book another trip and return there as soon as you’re back home.
If you’re planning a mini trip to Jersey or if you need inspiration for your next weekend getaway this summer, then read on for Finance Monthly’s top recommendations.
How to get there?
Getting from Europe, and especially the UK, to Jersey is ridiculously easy. Flybe operates flights to Jersey from all major British cities, which get you to the picturesque island in approximately an hour. Once you land, grab a Hertz rental car from the arrivals hall and head out into the narrow country lanes.
Where to stay?
With its breath-taking views across St. Ouen’s Bay, stunning outdoor pool and swaying palms, The Atlantic Hotel makes it difficult to believe that all of this is only an hour-long flight from London. With its six acres of grounds that border La Moye Golf Course, along with lush gardens, timelessly elegant interiors and rooms that have either sea or golf-course views, The Atlantic Hotel is Jersey’s answer to beachside luxury.
If you don’t feel like heading out to the capital St. Helier for dinner on your first night in Jersey, enjoy a gastronomic fine-dining experience at the hotel’s Ocean Restaurant and sample the Tasting Room seven-course menu by Chef Will Holland.
The Atlantic Hotel offers an Atlantic break year round from £118 per person per night. This includes accommodation, full English breakfast each morning, a three-course dinner in Ocean Restaurant each night, use of the Palm Club and a group B hire car (petrol, insurance and Jersey hire car tax to be settled direct with the hire car company). Minimum two-night stay.
What to do & see?
Jersey is only five miles by nine miles, but is brimming with an abundance of things to do. With its hugely varied landscape, a coastline that doesn’t get boring for a second, ideal conditions for water sports such as surfing or kayaking, a number of museums, an adventure centre, a zoo and so much history, the island offers something for everyone.
Start off your day of exploration in St. Brelade’s Bay by taking a stroll along the beach and soaking up some sunshine. La Corbière is the extreme south-western point of Jersey in St. Brelade and visiting its lighthouse is another great way to take in the endless sea views. However, you still haven’t seen anything and I promise you - it only gets better. For some of the most dramatic scenery on the whole island, drive along the west coast, all the way up until you get to the main act – the rugged north coast. We suggest stopping a few times to fully enjoy the jaw-dropping beauty of Jersey’s north coast and take photos.
Following this, grab a quick crab sandwich and a coffee from Jersey’s iconic kiosk The Hungry Man and set some time aside to properly explore the network of staircases and secret rooms in Mont Orgueil Castle, which guards the picturesque village of Gorey on the east coast.
After a delicious breakfast in the Atlantic Hotel on the next morning, prepare yourselves for a journey back in time with Jersey War Tours. Immerse yourselves in the Channel Island’s fascinating WWII history by visiting a number of bunkers, batteries, tunnels, towers and many other sites - all of which are not open to the public.
In addition to its water sports offering, adrenaline junkies or families with kids can enjoy a morning or an afternoon at Valley Adventure Centre, which offers an exciting range of activities such as zip wiring, aerial or rookie trekking, climbing, paintball and more.
If you have some time to spare before your flight, grab your car and head to the capital St. Helier for a coffee or an ice-cream and some shopping or enjoy one last beach walk and a few final deep breaths of fresh salty air.
Where to dine?
For a real taste of just-caught seafood, head to the Michelin Bib Gourmand Mark Jordan at the Beach – a relaxed beachside restaurant in the magical fishing village of St. Aubin. Delicious, locally sourced and cleverly presented food, excellent views, laid back atmosphere and outstanding service – what more can one ask for? The Jersey scallops with chive and cucumber beurre blanc and the brill in lobster bisque are both unmissable.
On your last night, head back to St. Aubin and its harbour and finish your day at Salty Dog Bar & Bistro. Enjoy a glass of wine in the garden before settling down in the bustling dining area to indulge in classic dishes, with a contemporary twist and impeccably prepared with local ingredients. For a taste of everything, try the St. Aubin Seafood sharing platter for two, which comes with scrumptious Jersey Royals and a green salad.
For more information about Jersey, please visit www.jersey.com
Known for all of its high-end flamboyance, Dubai is on most people’s bucket list destination of travel. And we do not blame them; fear not of conforming to the ‘wanna-be’ celebrity WAG’s ideal home away from home, because Dubai truly will baffle you.
Grandeur being her middle name, the United Arab Emirate city overshadows the Middle East with its ultramodern architecture and skyscrapers. From luxury designer shops to serene beaches, once branded as the Middle East’s most expensive city, Dubai’s character is to feed the slight hedonism in all of us.
She also feeds the adventure in us. From the tamer dune bashing and sandboarding, to the extreme paragliding and parachuting, this city has the perfect climate and atmosphere for you to overdose on adrenaline; and to try and stop you from changing your mind, hotels such as Amwaj Rotana are a quick two-minute walk from the beach you will be jet skiing across.
But for those who indulge in the history of a nation, Dubai also flaunts true Emirati culture; it will feel like you have travelled back in time. Step off the metro to hop on an abra – a traditional wooden boat – to discover tantalising cuisine and your hidden talent of haggling (the locals love a challenge).
The Old Souq is packed with stalls selling traditional Arabian textiles, including fine silk and cotton in every colour, intricately woven rugs and dazzling sequined footwear. Spoil your eyes awing at the vividly colourful, fresh spices and treat your nose to the musky scent of ‘liquid gold’: Oud. It is no surprise that with Oud being one of the most expensive raw scent ingredients, that Tom Ford, Gucci, Guerlian and an array of designers have snatched up the unique fragrance. At Dubai’s Deira Souq, you can be your own version of Jo Malone; from essential oils to incense sticks, vendors will be more than happy to give a crash course in perfumes for you to personally create your own.
And of course, the most famous market: The Gold Souq. Covered with bespoke jewellery and statement pieces that would even make the Queen’s diamond collection look dry, the Gold Souq has an overwhelming choice of gold and diamonds. My tip? Have a good look around before you settle on the perfect ring.
Amwaj Rotana is situated near the metro line, where you can be in Deira via public transport in around an hour. You can also get a taxi (which aren’t too dear), which will take around half an hour.
If haggling and bustling market is not your thing and you much prefer shopping in luxury, the infamous Dubai Mall is for you. The Mall itself, I think, could easily be the size of a town. It is also home to the aquarium which is much loved by adults and children, as well as an ice rink, cinema, the Emirates ‘flight’ experience, a virtual reality park, and of course, a mass array of designer shops, Emirati shops and places to fine dine or casual eateries.
If that is not enough (you must be a tough one to please), but the Mall is also the neighbour of the tallest building of the world: the Burj Khalifa. Standing 828 metres tall, the tower not only showcases the entire city, but you can treat yourselves to afternoon tea on the outskirts of heaven.
Amwaj Rotana is situated 50 minutes away via public transport, or a short 20 minute drive via taxi.
Where to stay
Amwaj Rotana is situated a short two minute (101 steps, to be accurate) walk from the Jumeirah Beach; if the swimming pool isn’t enough for you, you can be dipping your toes in the sea in no time.
For special VIP guests, you can bask in the comfort and feel at home at Atrium Lobby Lounge as you indulge on an array of juices, cocktails and freshly made cakes, treats and delicious pastries. A fine selection of tea and coffees is also available should you wish to enjoy a relaxed cup of tea or discuss business over coffee.
The spacious rooms overlook the city and coast, or, if you want to get out of the room and join those you’re overlooking, you can order a limousine to drive you around. The hotel staff are happy to organise day trips to the desert where you can befriend camels and enjoy a night of Arabian entertainment, or if you fancy something more subdued, enjoy a relaxing massage at Rotana’s spa.
With award-winning dining concepts offering Italian, American/Japanese, British/American and international cuisine as well as live entertainment, and the friendly staff are more than happy to cook something on the spot for those with dietary requirements.
The staff at Rotana are friendly in nature and are more than happy to offer advice for those who are new to Dubai.
Kids? If you want to enjoy the jacuzzi in peace, send them off to Amwaj’s Flipper’s Kids’ Club or, try and find a willing member to babysit them at Dubai’s much-loved waterpark, or at the Splashpad located at the Jumeirah Beach.
Emirati hospitality is something you must experience for yourself. A perfected mix of luxury and warmth, Dubai is an ever-growing city that is grand in nature.
Stay at the five-star Amwaj Rotana in Dubai from 795 AED (approx. £155) per night inclusive of breakfast based on two adults sharing a Classic Room. To book or for further information, please visit www.rotana.com.
Whether you’re looking for a (last-minute) summer holiday destination, a cultural city break or a foodie weekend getaway - Malta has it all! With history that spans 7,000 years, unique prehistoric temples, medieval towns and some of the oldest architectural designs in the world, on top of its breath-taking landscapes and clear blue waters, the small Mediterranean island is richly packed with things to do, see and discover.
The capital Valletta is brimming with grand architecture, hidden restaurants and picturesque back streets, but drive 8 kilometres inland and you’ll find yourself in the chic residential area where Corinthia Palace Hotel is located. Peppered between traditional Maltese houses, the hotel is far removed from the island’s touristy areas, whilst remaining perfectly connected.
The General Vibe
Opened in 1968, the 147-room hotel is the original flagship of Corinthia Hotels – a collection of five-star hotels worldwide. Stepping into the spacious marble foyer, you’re greeted with a glass of fresh orange juice and the instant feel that the staff will do their best to help you with any request. The rooms are traditional, elegant and they all come along with a balcony overlooking the hotel's extensive gardens.
With three restaurants to choose from – Asian, fine dining or a relaxed al fresco restaurant serving summer favourites, Corinthia Palace Hotel caters to most tastes.
With a menu that is a colourful mix of dishes from Thailand, Japan, Singapore and China, the award-winning Rickshaw restaurant takes you on a gastronomic journey to the Far East. From pork, cabbage and water chestnut gyozas, through to Singaporean frog porridge – the food is exotic, innovative and absolutely mouth-watering.
For an authentic Mediterranean meal cooked with sustainably sourced, local produce, or a quintessentially British afternoon tea, cosy up in the elegant Villa Corinthia restaurant, housed in a stunningly restored century-old villa.
If you’re spending the day lazing around the pool, have lunch in Corinthia Palace’s al fresco venue - the Summer Kitchen. Set within the hotel’s lush gardens and overlooking the pool, the restaurant serves anything from fresh salads, grilled fish and meat, through to scrumptious pasta dishes and pizza cooked in their brand new wood-burning oven.
The Athenaeum Spa
With its stunning outdoor pool that calls for a relaxed afternoon of soaking up the sun with a good book and a cocktail in your hand and a spa that offers everything from a Jacuzzi and a sauna through to a steam garden, Corinthia Palace is the kind of hotel that you’ll probably struggle to leave after breakfast. The extensive list of treatments and procedures at the Athenaeum Spa includes manicure, pedicure, bridal and evening make-up, tanning and ‘healthy glow’ treatments, as well as rejuvenating massages, anti-ageing, body exfoliation and detoxifying body wrap therapies.
And if you get a sudden burst of energy after a day of relaxation or like to start your day with a workout, the gym at Corinthia Palace boasts state-of-the-art cardio equipment, a resistance area and a studio with morning and afternoon classes, including pilates, yoga, and more. Private training sessions and tennis lessons with a qualified coach are available too in the hotel's own tennis court.
Rates at Corinthia Palace Hotel start from €180/night withbreakfast for a double room and from €330/night with breakfast for a suite. For more information, please go to: www.corinthia.com/palace
Getting away from your busy work life is for most a relieving feeling. All you’re missing is a well-prepared expedition somewhere else. This month Finance Monthly keeps you ready and up to date with the latest and best travel gadgets of the year. Here’s 2018’s list of must-have travel gadgets for the summer.
Olloclip Mobile Photo Lenses
We’ve tried Olloclip’s lenses ourselves and as endorsed by Apple, these are the best of the bets when it comes to mobile camera lenses. Perfect for taking epic snaps on your summer trip this year. You just clip them on and you’ll be surprised at the amazing photography you can achieve through enhanced optics and effects. With telephoto, wide angle, fisheye and macro lenses, these must have gadget is enough to win you awards in photography.
Myanmu Clik earbuds with Voice Translation
These aren’t on the go travel earbuds. The Myanmu Cliks are earbuds that allow you to speak face-to-face or with a group of people wherever they are in the world and in different languages. Powered by Mymanu Translate App, wherever you go this summer, you can have over 29 languages translated into your ears, allowing you to enjoy every conversation and exploration without the language barrier.
Triple Juice® Mains Charger
Thanks to the Triple Juice®’s multiple USB ports staying organised can be a breeze. Ideal for on the go power, the Triple Juice® offers a powerful (2.4amp) USB port to quickly restore iPads, tablets or devices, as well as two additional (1amp) USB ports for other mobile devices. No more charging worries on your travels this summer, but don’t forget your travel adapter!
Thumbs Up Solar Panel Charger
While you’re not in the hotel, you’ll need to charge up on the go too. Whether you’re hiking, camping, sunbathing or simply travelling this summer, Thumbs Up has the perfect portable solar charger for outdoor lovers. Simply open it up and place in direct sunlight to charge your device. It’s super lightweight, and includes a 2in1 android iOS cable, so rest assured this will keep your batteries pumped in the sun.
Lindy BNX-60s Headphones
These headphones are Lindy’s best-selling product to date with 5* reviews from the likes of What Hi-Fi, Stuff, Expert Reviews and Computer Shopper. They’re noise cancelling – meaning less distraction from the outside world and they’re perfect for those long-haul flights, long evenings at the beach and a solitary hike. They easily link up to your smartphone and sound really tight. Just what you’ll need to enjoy the relaxing summer ahead.
GoXtreme Vision 4K Action Cam
If you’re opposed to the classic GoPro brand, then this extraordinary alternative will more than do the job. Capture the waves as your surf away from your worries, or the long ride down the mountain as you escape peak working stress. The GoXtreme Vision 4K is a compact video and still image action camera with class leading features including stunning ultra-high definition true 4K/24fps video recording and still image capture at up to 16MP. The 170 viewing angle, built-in 2.0" LCD screen and WiFi connectivity allow you to capture, view and share every detail of your amazing travels.
Blink XT Home Monitoring System
No more worrying about your home while you’re away. With the Blink XT, you can now protect your entire home, inside and out, with top of the range security cams. Blink is easy to set up, just a fraction of the cost of other home monitoring systems and has no subscription fees or data storage charges. The cameras detect motion and send HD video with audio to your smartphone, or you can simply check in at any point while you’re away.
BruMate Hopsulator Trio
Hate warm beer? No longer a problem. Say hello to the BruMate Hopsulator Trio, the world's best beer can cooler! This clever 3-in-1 design fits all standard sized 16oz cans, but also includes an Arctic Adapter filled with freezable gel to convert the Hopsulator into use for 12oz tins too! But that’s not all, when empty the Hopsulator Trio has a capacity of 16 fluid ounces, so there’s little literally no excuse not to enjoy your summer travels this year.
Since the fall of its world-renowned Wall, Berlin has become one of the most popular creative and cultural hubs in Europe. An abundance of historic sights, art galleries and funky nightlife venues draw hundreds of thousands of tourists each year from all over the world. With its ideal location near Potsdamer Platz and next to a metro (S-Bahn) station, Mövenpick Hotel Berlin is the perfect hotel for your stay in Germany’s capital. Housed in a historic factory building, the four-star hotel promises all the contemporary comforts of a major chain, including a restaurant, a snazzy Lobby Bar, 12 meeting rooms, as well as a gym and a sauna where you can unwind after a day of sightseeing or meetings.
Style & Character
Staying true to the Swiss Mövenpick brand, Mövenpick Hotel Berlin combines excellent service with a personal touch and modern interiors. The hotel offers classic and superior rooms, as well as deluxe rooms and suites. With their high ceilings, wooden furniture and amenities such as wireless phones, LED TVs, minibars and safes, the 243 comfortable rooms and suites have a genuine feel-good factor.
Breakfast is served in a spacious glass-roofed restaurant that during the rest of the day serves seasonal Swiss and Mediterranean à la carte meals. The expansive breakfast buffet offers an impressive selection of cold cuts, breads and pastries, fresh fruits and vegetables, Go Health shots and warm dishes including scrambled eggs and omelettes, French toast, Swiss rosti, sausages and bacon.
SLEEP Individually Different
To us, the highlight of our stay in Mövenpick Hotel Berlin was undoubtedly their recently introduced SLEEP Individually Different room concept, that guarantees what all busy people value the most – a good night’s sleep. Selected hotels across Europe, including Berlin, Zurich and Amsterdam, now offer customized SLEEP rooms that come with beds with adjustable firmness, window blinds, blackout stickers, sleeping masks, ear plugs and a relaxing Lavender scent infusion for a soothing sleep experience. To create the ideal environment for rest, these rooms are located in quiet areas of the hotel and are also kitted out with high-quality natural bedding, whilst neck pillows and allergy-free bedding are available too.
Priced at just €15 more than a standard room, the SLEEP rooms create the optimal conditions for ultimate comfort and much-needed relaxation after a day of exploring the streets of Berlin.