The Top 5 Sunset Spots In The World

With the stresses and strains of modern life, sunsets are a daily spectacle which often go unnoticed. As the sky darkens, the evening is alive with colour; transitioning from delicate pink to blazing orange. No matter where you are in the world, it’s always worth taking a moment to appreciate sunsets, enjoying their unique contrast, colour and form.

There are some places, however, whose sunsets rank above all others. From waterside retreats to towering temple complexes, here are TravelLocal’s top 5 sunset spots around the world….

Don Khon – Laos

Laidback and dreamy, the palm lined shores of Don Khon in Southern Laos are perfect sunset spots. A small river island in the Mekong, it is connected to Don Det, its far more developed twin island, by a single railway bridge. The Mekong waters surrounding the island are home to Irrawaddy dolphins and local boats can be easily chartered from the village of Ben Hang Khon. In the evenings, the sky above Don Khon is alive with colour. Vivid and spectacular, the sunsets here are a real highlight of your rural experience. For the best views, grab a hammock on the shoreline and watch the evening unfold.

Serengeti National Park – Tanzania

Tanzania’s largest and most popular national park, the Serengeti is an iconic wildlife hotspot. Split into three regions: The Serengeti Plains, the Western Corridor, and the Northern Serengeti, the park is an ideal location for spotting “The Big 5”. When it comes to sunsets, the Western Corridor is the place to be. An evening game drive offers incredible views over the sprawling plains, capped with a blazing sunset. If you want to make the region your base, there are several lodges on offer. Their terraces make ideal settings for an evening sundowner, with fantastic views over the plains as an added bonus.

San Martin de los Andes – Argentina

Nestled on the banks of Lake Lacar, San Martin de los Andes is a quintessential Patagonian town. Not only is it a birdwatchers paradise and a gateway to Lanin National Park, it’s also an incredible place to watch the sunset. With forests fringing its edges, trekking and adventure sport options are diverse. For those seeking a more mellow escape, a boat ride across the lake is a must-do and the town itself is home to a thriving artisan craft community. In the evenings, as the light fades, the formidable form of the Lanin Volcano is framed by the setting sun. San Martin de los Andes is a slice of Latin American paradise which is not to be missed.

Chefchaouen – Morocco

Known as The Blue City, Chefchaouen is a mountain village with plenty of charm. The azure buildings which line its winding streets have become iconic, leading many to call Chefchaouen Morocco’s prettiest city. As well as its fantastic food scene and fusion architecture, it’s also an unforgettable sunset spot. Perched on a hillside to the east of the town is the bright white Spanish Mosque. The walk to the top takes about fifteen minutes and the panoramic views are well worth the effort. As the evening draws in, the towering mountains and the city below are bathed in the soft colours of the sunset – an unforgettable end to your day in Chefchaouen!

Tikal National Park – Guatemala

One of largest Mayan complexes in the world, Tikal is an iconic highlight of Guatemala. Its towering temples, nestled among thick jungle canopies, are living relics of an ancient civilisation. Broadly unchanged since the fourth century, sunset brings the angles and intricacies of the temples to life. Best placed for the dying light, Temple I is the one to head to – climb to a vantage point and watch as the falling sun bathes it in gold. As the light turns rosy, scale the park’s highest point and enjoy views over the complex and the canopy behind. With the sounds of the jungle around you, you’ll feel a million miles away from the modern world!

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Review: The Spa at Marion on Nicol in Hurlingham, Johannesburg

The Spa at Marion on Nicol, is part of the stylish Marion on Nicol Boutique Hotel in Hurlingham in Johannesburg.

This luxurious, high-end health spa caters for spa lovers who want a lone indulgent treatment, couples who want treatments in pairs as well as larger groups, like girls who want their nails done and a bit of “me time”. With a wide array of facials, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, nails and waxing there is nothing they can’t fix or pummel or melt away.

The spa itself is beautifully modern and contemporary-looking and a real haven of calm and tranquillity. Whether you choose a long massage or just to have your nails done, the team at The Spa at Marion will go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and relaxed. After your treatment you can make use of the beautiful hotel pool for a bit of R&R.

The Spa at Marion is an oasis with a lovely pool. The treatments at the spa will rejuvenate your tired and over-worked mind, and restore your spirit and the staff will make you feel relaxed and at home. The Spa at Marion is Joburg’s treasure!

The Spa at Marion on Nicol

Airline Secrets: Oxygen Masks Only Last 15 Minutes

Did you know that airline oxygen masks only Last 15 Minutes? Yes it is true! If there is an emergency and the cabin is depressurised, the oxygen masks that come down from the roof are attached to tanks typically with only 15 minutes worth of supply per person.

Why Should You Put Your Mask On First?

During a loss of cabin pressure, it is likely that the air would be so thin and contain so little oxygen that the average person would pass out in about 15 seconds without the help of an oxygen mask. This is why the flight attendant safety demonstration tells you to put on your own mask before helping others. If you put the mask on your child first, you could potentially pass out before you are able to put on your own mask.

Why Is There Only 15 Minutes Of Oxygen In My Mask?

Usually 15 minutes is plenty of time for the pilot to get the plane to a safe altitude where masks aren’t needed anymore.

Hopefully the nightmare scenario of needing these will never happen to you, but if it does, it is good to know that you have 15 minutes of oxygen supply…. isnt it?

The World’s Most Outrageously Expensive Private Island Resorts

Would you like to know which are the world’s most outrageously expensive private islands? Why not choose the private island that Prince William and Kate Middleton selected for their honeymoon? It is so good that George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin helicoptered onto this paradise for their honeymoon too. A week at North Island, Seychelles comes in at $43,400. The Brando, also featured below, has an all inclusive rate of $26,047 for a week. Or why not pick up a comparative bargain in your own private overwater villa off Banana Island in the Middle East which costs $18,000 for a week? Whether you have the bank balance of a billionaire or not, these aspirational private islands are something to dream about.

The World’s Most Outrageously Expensive Private Island Resorts

In “Accommodation”

Is North Island, Seychelles the best honeymoon island in the world? George Clooney & Prince William think so! We review what is so special about the beaches, villas, pools and…

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Four Seasons has just opened its first exclusive-use hideaway in the stunning Maldives, the Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll.

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Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a paradise sanctuary, offering an alcohol-free environment, an island of beaches and indulgence. Just 25 minutes from the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital,…

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Possibly one of the most anticipated luxury hotel openings in 2016 is Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles. In this review I outline why this hotel will be as…

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On July 1, 2014, The Brando, a luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private atoll of Tetiaroa, opened it’s doors. You only have to glance at the photos to see…

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Is Soneva Jani the most astonishing luxury hotel room in the world? If your idea of heaven is to flop into crystal clear waters straight from the top floor of…

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Soneva Fushi, featured in our top 5 best luxury resorts in the Maldives, is a desert island hideaway where you can stay in a romantic Robinson Crusoe tree house. Soneva…

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Best Beaches In North America: Manele Bay, Lanai, Hawaii

Hawaii may sound like a tramline destination and certainly Waikiki Beach on Oahu draws crowds, but for something a bit different try Lanai, a private island off the coast of Maui which is so exclusive that you wont be bothered by crowds simply because not enough people go there to fill up the beaches. Stay at the Four Seasons Lanai an exclusive paradise on the shores of the perfect Hulopoe Beach (which is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison).

This resort which offers top-rated dining, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a pristine pool and spa and of course, a perfect golden sand beach, Hulopoe Beach on Manele Bay, reached by a small track down from the hotel (it only takes about a minute to get there) that you can enjoy virtually to yourself. This beach also has some rock pools to explore at the far end if you dare.. last time I was there I swear I saw a brightly coloured sea snake lounging in one of the tide pools pictured above (ugh!).

Uniquely you can trek the mountains here for a different experience. These can be found in the centre of the island and offer a more temperate looking forest and immense views over gorges.

You may also be interested in our 5 secret beaches in California you’ve never thought of visiting and you may be interested in my top breathtaking getaways from San Francisco and 5 most remote beaches on earth.

Amazing Hotel Rooms Less Than 5 Steps From The Ocean

I love to fall asleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. I love to wake up and take a dip in the sea before breakfast, but realistically I only manage this if my room is just steps from the shoreline.

I can name a million oceanfront resorts, but once you have put on your dressing gown, walked down the corridor, via the lift, walked through the reception and past the pool to finally get to the beach… I simply can’t be bothered – at least not before breakfast.

There are however a number of very special luxury resorts which offer ocean front rooms that are right on the shoreline and truly are just a couple of steps from the sea. In one (Soneva Jani) you can even slide from your room into the water! Here is my pick of the best hotels where you can step out of your room and into the sea:

Hotel Rooms Less Than 5 Steps From The Ocean

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Vanuatu is made up of 80+ remote tropical islands in an archipelago in the Pacific. Retaining much of it’s natural habitat and being relatively undiscovered, this is a great destination…

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Is Soneva Jani the most astonishing luxury hotel room in the world? If your idea of heaven is to flop into crystal clear waters straight from the top floor of…

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Soneva Fushi, featured in our top 5 best luxury resorts in the Maldives, is a desert island hideaway where you can stay in a romantic Robinson Crusoe tree house. Soneva…

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Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly. Imagine the clearest turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. Your toes are warm in the sand, the sun is on…

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Anyone dreaming of a secluded island paradise will fall in love with The Moso Vanuatu on Moso Island, a luxury resort located on the stunningly beautiful and unspoiled Moso Island,…

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Set on the lush paradise island of Taveuni, the recently built Tides Reach Resort is just a few steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Sitting right on the beach, it…

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Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a paradise sanctuary, offering an alcohol-free environment, an island of beaches and indulgence. Just 25 minutes from the heart of Qatar’s vibrant capital,…

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Review: Waldorf Astoria Berlin – What A View!

Name: Waldorf Astoria Berlin

The Waldorf Astoria Berlin offers timeless elegance, classic style and a very luxurious stay with excellent facilities.

When ticking off European cities, make sure that you don’t ignore Berlin; with a truly fascinating recent history and a thriving art scene and some sensational modern architecture too, it’s a great destination for a weekend away soaking up some culture. For luxury and elegant retreat, with fabulous facilities and unparalleled service while you’re in Berlin, look no further than the Waldorf Astoria Berlin. It couldn’t be easier to get to Berlin from London, direct flights usually take about an hour and 50 minutes, though with British Airways the flight time is an hour and 40 into Tegel Airport, it is then only a 15-minute drive to the hotel.

Hotel

The Waldorf Astoria Berlin is a graceful urban oasis; a beautiful Art Deco-styled building with panoramic city views. It is situated in the heart of Berlin’s City West, practically on the doorstep of Kurfuerstendamm, Berlin’s legendary, luxury shopping boulevard. The facilities are first-class and include only Guerlain Spa in Germany, a fitness centre, a range of excellent restaurants and lounges (more on those later), business facilities and even a vast, stunning ballroom. The hotel is ultra-elegant, the Art Deco nod continues inside and there is a modern, luxurious feel.

Rooms & Suites

There are 232 Guest Rooms, Suites and Apartments at the hotel and with 16 variations of rooms I’m certainly not going to list them all, but would point out that the suites are the highest in Berlin with panoramic city views! The facilities in all rooms include at a minimum a king-size or twin beds with 300 thread count sheets, a dining table, chaise longue, work desk, 40-inch LCD TV with Apple TV® technology, Nespresso coffee machine, air conditioning, minibar, safe, high speed internet access and a marble bathroom with exclusive cosmetic products. If your budget will allow, the Presidential Suite, Twin Ambassador Suite or the Twin Tower Suite are stunning suites built around those epic panoramic views of Berlin.

Restaurants & Bars

You’re in for a treat when dining at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin; all-day dining is available at Restaurant ROCA, signature drinks and light snacks at 1920s-themed Lang Bar, afternoon tea in the renowned Peacock Alley and high tea at the 15th floor Library Lounge. All are beautiful spaces in their own right, serving delectable cuisine and drinks with impeccable service.

Pool & Activities

The spa at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin is something a little special, the only Guerlain Spa in Germany, it offers a wide range of soothing body, face, and massage treatments and includes an indoor pool, thermal zone and a very well-equipped fitness centre that also offers yoga, personal training and Pilates. The signature treatment is the perfect indulgence after a cultural day out, Guerlain has developed ‘Beauty Revelation’ exclusively for Waldorf Astoria Berlin; you’ll leave refreshed and revitalised. You are well situated for exploring Berlin, the previously mentioned Kurfuerstendamm shopping boulevard is a must, in addition, there are some 50 theatres, three major opera houses, over 170 museums and countless galleries to amuse you; you’ll need that treatment after this lot! For an insight into the city’s history, walk along remnants of the Berlin Wall, visit Prussian royal palace and even stand in the room where the Holocaust was planned.

Insider Info

Try and get a room on one of the corners, those views are even better and don’t forget to spot the zoo, you can even see the animals sometimes!

To ensure a sophisticated stay with flawless service with you visit Berlin, look no further than the Waldorf Astoria Berlin.

Waldorf Astoria Berlin

A hotel to remember: Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca

My love for Mallorca is very well documented in this blog. It is an island I have visited over 20 times (I kid you not) and I try to make a special effort to return every year. Why? Because I still feel I haven’t scratched its surface – there is always something more to see or do (or not do at all) in the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands.

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On this trip with Sovereign, I also discovered one of the most special hotels I have had the pleasure of staying at: the stunning Belmond La Residencia.

The hotel is very well known, as it was previously owned by Richard Branson. It is located in Deia, in the north-west coast of Mallorca (around 45 mins from Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital). This little town is very special as it is a UNESCO World Heritage village, at the heart of the Tramuntana mountain range. As you can probably gather, the setting is quite spectacular.

Getting to Belmond La Residencia

Mallorca is probably one of the best connected islands in Europe and getting there is not a problem. We travelled with British Airways from London Heathrow, from where there is an increased Summer schedule. Flight time was around 2 hours and on arrival, we were met by our private Sovereign driver, who took us to the hotel. The transfer time was around 1 hour, as there was no traffic.

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The hotel

On arrival, we quickly checked in and were asked if we wanted a little tour – which I would highly recommend you accept when you check in. Why? Because this is no standard hotel – the buildings (because it isn’t just one) are quite unique and it always helps to know your bearings. Once the bar, the 2 restaurants and the sitting room were located, we made our way to the main pool area, which then connected to the building where our suite was located.

It took me a good 2 days to get my bearings right – and it was a lovely problem to have as we stayed for 5 days. And we felt we needed a lot more.

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Our suite at Belmond La Residencia

Suite 61 would be our home for 4 nights and I have to say – it was pretty perfect. You will notice that the decor follows a very ‘rustic chic’ style and it feels so so right. Just so you know, beds (and bedding), showers etc are all modern, so you really have everything you need. And a bit more.

Our suite was made up of a very large living room which also included a dining area, and a separate kitchen. We had, of course a bedroom with a spacious bathroom. But we had something I wasn’t quite expecting. So bear with me.

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There was a pop up TV by the end of the bed (which we never used) and my only comment is that there were not plugs by each side of the bed – we used those by the side desk and it felt strangely liberating. I loved the little turndown gifts we got each day, which came with a story. My favourite was, the olive salt, which I will tell you more about in just a moment or three. Because Mallorca = salt, in case you did not know. I kind of didn’t, I must confess.

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I loved the suite – and the desk with the view, especially. I would imagine it would be the perfect place to pen the perfect blog post, but you know I tell no lies – I did not write a world while I was there. Because it would be so rude to.

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But our favourite bit? The outside terrace, with its own jacuzzi.

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And guess what, the view from our room wasn’t bad either. And notice the swimming pool on the room below us… there are a few of those, so bear that in mind when booking your room.

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Our suite bathroom at Belmond La Residencia

If you read this blog regularly, namely my hotel reviews, you will know I am ever so slightly obsessed with well-designed bathrooms. Ours was really good – and proof that a classic design goes a long way.

I loved that the (very spacious) wardrobes were inside the bathroom – it really makes things easier. Needless to say, the shower was excellent too.

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The only thing I thought it was rather strange was the mismatch of toiletry brands. We had a mix of Bulgari, Penhaligon’s and Molton Brown and I found that really bizarre. You will know that some of these brands made my ‘toiltetries worth stealing list’, and I will admit that I behaved very well, except for one item: the Molton Brown African Whitewood face wash which was really foamy and smelled divine. It is from the Men’s range (but who cares?). The good thing is that I also got some more at a recent stay in London. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone.

Eating and drinking at Belmond La Residencia

The food was terrible. I am joking. One of Mallorca’s best kept secrets is its food – and I loved how the hotel really embraced the local delights, and I really mean it. Not only did we know we were in Spain – we knew very well, and without a doubt, that we were in Mallorca.

We enjoyed breakfast every day – the Mallorcan corner was my favourite, of course (and needless to say, you could order anything else you’d like, all cooked to order). And top marks to the staff, who really were excellent. On our first day, we arrived 2 minutes before it ended and not a problem at all. We then made it up the next day by being the first ones (almost) as we had some plans, and it became a running joke throughout our stay.

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We had our first and last dinner at the hotel too. The first was at Cafe Miro, which has a more casual approach to dining and we loved the tapas. And the wine. And you can see where I am going with this. Whilst you eat, you can also enjoy looking at one of the 33 original Miros that the hotel owns.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel cafe miro restaurant bar tapas dinner

The other option, is El Olivo, which is considered one of the best restaurants in Mallorca and which did not disappoint, at all. It was a very elegant restaurant, yet not stuffy – and one of the things I really liked at the hotel.

Everything was understated, simple. The service was discreet and very friendly. And the hotel felt like one of a kind. This is one of the reasons why I really like Belmond as a hotel company. And if you are curious about some of my previous experiences with them, you can read about my stay at Reid’s Palace in Madeira, the British Pullman train and, of course, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train journey from Venice to London.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel el olivo fine dining restaurant dinner

In terms of drinks, well, every night you would find us at the terrace where we enjoyed some epic gin & tonics with a view. A comment here – 8 EUR for a Fever Tree tonic (the gin still worked out at the usual 5-star 19-22 Euro price, but it was a bit disconcerting to be charged 8 Euros for a bottle of tonic!).

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The pools at Belmond La Residencia

You will have noticed the big pool at the top of this article – and we cannot fault it in any way. We also cannot fault the hotel guests as everyone was blissfully quiet. Just the way we like it.

Whilst walking around the hotel, we discovered a second pool (besides the private ones in some suites) which we also quite liked. This one is even quieter, if that is possible.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel second pool

The Spa at Belmond La Residencia

The spa at the hotel isn’t very big (and it really books up quickly), so we were only able to have 1 massage each during our stay, due to availability. It was a shame as I really enjoyed my ‘Citrus Siesta’ (130EUR for 50 minutes), which is the hotel’s signature treatment, which includes a scrub and a massage – and some post massage napping time with quite a view.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel aromatherapy associates natura bisse products spa

The spa area also has an indoor pool and an outdoor jacuzzi which are, again, very quiet. And by quiet, I mean the people using it were quiet.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign

I also managed to book a very different ‘treatment’. One week per month, the hotel has a residency with Anja Burkhard, who joins La Residencia Spa for a week of BodyTalk consultations. It is very hard to explain what Anja does – but by using an astonishingly simple, hands-on holistic therapy, Anja can quickly identify how everyday stresses are affecting your body and help you find a new balance. My consultation lasted 90 minutes and cost 160 EUR and I have to say it was incredible. I couldn’t believe how much Anja found out about me, my medical issues, aches and pains. And she was a delight to be with.

Activities at Belmond La Residencia

You know that my favourite activity is sunbathing and drinking gin, so you will be surprised to learn that I actually went on some planned activities. Why? Because they were fabulous.

Every day (weather permitting and subject to space), the hotel organises a 2-hour boat trip, departing from nearby Port de Soller. On our day, we were only joined by another couple and it really was lovely. It isn’t a big boat (it is quite a simple one, in fact), but we were able to swim in the clear waters and also sightsee a bit. This activity is complimentary and includes all transfers to and from the hotel.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel private boat excursion port soller

And the other? A cooking class! I quite enjoy cooking, and I have been on some cooking classes, but I tend to find them a bit frustrating, as I then find it difficult to replicate most things at home. But this one? Not so much. I discussed with chef Guillermo the night before and he told me he understood what I meant. And he really meant it.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel cooking class chef guillermo mendez 2

We made ‘pan amb tomaquet’, i.e. bread with tomato, the local version of ‘pan con tomato’. We discovered the delights of black garlic, the local olive oil and, most importantly, the local salt.

Salt is an important part of my life (a sentence I never thought I would write!!), and coming from Portugal (where some of the world’s best sea salt comes from, if you don’t mind me saying), I understand the differences and appreciate ‘fleur de salt’ probably more than the average person. On any trip to Spain or Portugal, if you were to check my luggage, you would probably find a few kilos of salt. Baking salt (so I can make my signature fish baked in salt), ‘Flor de Sal’ and some more.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel cooking class chef guillermo mendez

What I had not explored or experienced, in all honesty, was flavoured salt – and this is where Chef Guillermo opened a whole new world for me. Olive Salt is the best thing in the world (and it is one of the little turndown gifts the hotel gives you). And have you tried hibiscus salt with olive oil and chocolate? Pretty amazing.

The craziest thing I tried (and loved) was lemon sorbet, with chopped apple, olive oil (for real, I kid you not, and I almost resisted!) and hibiscus salt. It is also one of the hotel’s signature desserts at El Olivo. It was fabulous.

But I am saving the best for last. One of my favourite things in the world are prawns. ‘Caught-in-that-morning’ prawns, to be more specific. It is one of the things I miss the most from my previous life in Spain and Portugal. As we were trying the various bits and bobs I mentioned earlier, the daily catch arrived. As it does every day. And the Soller gambas (a town close to the hotel) are the best in the island.

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And how did we prepare it? We half peeled them (left the heads on) and then oven baked in salt for 3 minutes. And that was that. Incredibly tasty and simple. I have replicated these at home quite a few times and have been very successful.

So as cooking lessons go, this really was one of the most enjoyable and useful. So if you go, ask for the ‘Mrs. O gambas cooking lesson’ and you are good to go.

The Sovereign Concierge

Whenever you book a holiday with Sovereign, you get access to its 24/7 concierge service which I always find very useful. But this time around, I have to say, it was exceptional. Why? Because I really asked for stuff and they really delivered.

I was contacted a week before my arrival and my first challenge was to get some dinner booking. And some really are not easy and never are, like Flanigans in Port Portals. Or ‘The Night Manager’ restaurant in Cala Deia (literally 5 minutes from the hotel). But Kim made it happen and I was very grateful. In one of them (I will not say which), we were playing with names and waitlists and how we pulled it, I will never know. But she was there for me all the way.

belmond la residencia mallorca luxury hotel sovereign luxury travel private transfer and concierge cala deia night manager restaurant

Also, a couple days before, I decided needed a car but I didn’t want a car for the whole 5 days and definitely wanted to avoid the airport (and also take advantage of the complimentary Sovereign private airport transfers). I was given a list of cars to choose from (Range Rover Evoque? Volvo XC60?) and I couldn’t believe when at 4pm on a given day, a nice gentleman from a local company called OK turned up with our chosen Volvo and the Range Rover in case we wanted to upgrade). We sat down at the hotel terrace, we signed the rental agreement and paid (125 Euros for 2 days, with no excess and everything, everything included). It was my car rental dream experience. We had the car for 2 days, and on the last day, we drove to the hotel, gave the car keys to the hotel concierge and that was it.

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Above you can see Mr. O enjoying the last rays of sunshine at Palma Airport and our private transfer back from the airport.

After the cooking lesson, I was also curious about the salt farm – Salinas de Es’Trenc (I don’t know what the word ‘Salinas’ in English is) and emailed her, and she sent me the address, visit times and told me also not to miss a nearby beach. What a day!

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The hotel grounds

We spent a fair bit of time at the hotel – but felt it was actually not enough. The problem here is Mallorca and all its temptations. We loved walking around it – and also loved that Mallorca is one of the latest Flytographer locations and did one of the first shoots in the island.

As we weren’t in Palma, the minimum shoot time is 1 hour (at a cost of $350) and Emma was fabulous. All the photos here with us looking decent were taken by her.

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The hotel really is gorgeous – it was one of those instances where it is difficult to find things I did not like (and you know I am picky). I thought the service was great too. I really cannot fault much.

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I loved the quirkiness of the interiors – it did have a lot of soul. I felt I really was in Mallorca and that, for me, is the most important thing.

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So without a doubt, our stay at the Belmond La Residencia in Mallorca was exceptional and definitely Mrs. O approved.

Until the next time!

xo

Mrs. O

Disclaimer and Fact Box: I was a guest of Sovereign on this trip and opinions are, as always, my own. 

– Sovereign (Phone: +44 1293 765 003) is offering a seven night holiday to Mallorca, staying at the five star Belmond La Residencia on B&B basis, UK airport security fast passes and access to No.1 Lounges (where available), private airport transfers and return from London Heathrow with British Airways. Based on departures 2 May 2017. 

  • Classic room and economy flights from £1,565 per person – saving up to £527
  • Classic room and business class flights from £1,749 per person – saving up to £542
  • Executive suite and economy flights from £5,799 per person – saving up to £485
  • Executive suite and business flights from £6,049 per person – saving up to £504

– As always, we really enjoyed our photoshoot with Flytographer. A 30-minute session costs 250$ and a 1-hour season costs $350

Airlines With The World’s Best Longhaul First Class Cabins

Airlines With The World’s Best Longhaul First Class Cabins

Not all airlines in the world offer longhaul First Class cabins. In fact, many of the best airlines are replacing their First Class airline cabins with an improved and more competitive Business Class product. As an example, the American Airline Delta, has just launched a new Polaris Cabin which I have reviewed, which is far … Continue reading Airlines With The World’s Best Longhaul First Class Cabins

The post Airlines With The World’s Best Longhaul First Class Cabins first appeared on Luxury Travel Diary.

Airlines With The World’s Best Longhaul First Class Cabins

Not all airlines in the world offer longhaul First Class cabins. In fact, many of the best airlines are replacing their First Class airline cabins with an improved and more competitive Business Class product. As an example, the American Airline Delta, has just launched a new Polaris Cabin which I have reviewed, which is far better than their original Business Class, but with slightly less room ythan their the original First Class on Delta

First Class is still offered on “high-yield” routes with heavy business traffic that are willing to pay the increased cost (e.g. New York or Los Angeles to London).

First Class is known for excellent ground service (with limo transfers and dedicated lounges, such as the iconic British Airways Concorde room), lie-flat seats (with superb bedding), personalised onboard service, as well as an improved meal service (with high-quality champagne, lobster and caviar) and my favourite, First Class “free” pyjamas.

This is my list of the 10 most luxurious First Class cabins in the sky, accompanied by some of my trip reports.

1. Etihad Airways First Apartments

Etihad Airways offers the ultimate First Class experience in the sky with its Etihad First Apartments and The Residence on board its (small fleet of) Airbus A380 superjumbos. More than just a seat, the First Apartment has a large leather armchair and separate bed . There is even space to walk around after closing the privacy doors. Six of the First Apartments are interconnecting, perfect for when you’re travelling with a companion. Alternatively you might want to invite a travelling partner from First Class to join you in your apartment for a meal or a meeting.

You can read my review of Etihad First Apartments.

2. Emirates First Class Suites

Privacy, personalised service and glamour tipify Emirates’ First Class product (pictured above). Gold-clad suites come with a sliding door, a personal mini-bar and adjustable ambient lighting. At night, the crew will convert your seat to a super comfy fully flat-bed with a mattress, so you can arrive at your destination totally refreshed. If you don’t feel refreshed, take a shower in the sky. First Class private suites are available on all Emirates Airbus A380 and A340-500 aircraft, and most Boeing 777 aircraft. First Class cabins on other aircraft offer flat-bed seats or deeply-reclining comfort seats.

You can read my trip report of the Emirates First Class Suite on their A380.

3. Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

The Singapore Airlines First Class suites are exclusively on board their Airbus A380 aircraft. Here, passengers can luxuriate in their very own private space in the largest ever armchair in the sky, hand-stitched by master Italian craftsmen Poltrona Frau. Each individual cabin features sliding doors and window blinds, offering passengers the freedom to decide on the level of privacy they prefer. While the leather and wood finishes, created in soothing natural hues, enhance the sense of serenity. Singapore Airlines’ signature turndown service, with fine linen and plush, full-sized pillows, ensures a restful slumber.

You can read my review of Singapore Airlines First Class Suite

4. Cathay Pacific First Class Suite

Following the spectacular refurbishment of their First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, Cathay Pacific extended their sophisticated, contemporary style into its First Class. The outer surface of the First Class Suite is a dark, high-gloss material, while inside, the side console and the interior of the seat are wrapped in natural leather with subtle linings and stitching for a clean, refined, sophisticated look. The seat smoothly transforms into a fully flat-bed, and the bedding comes with high-quality fabrics for the duvets, pillows, cushions and the mattress to ensure a comfortable sleep.

You can read my review of Cathay Pacific First Class on the 777 and Cathay Pacific First Class on the 747

5. British Airways First Class Seat

When travelling on British Airways in First Class out of Heathrow you get access to the Concorde Room airline lounge, which is also present at other lesser BA hubs such as Singapore. The British are experts at the class system and their excellent pilots and staff make BA First Class a joy to experience. The seats in First are much better than those in Club World, but their First Class is let down by mediocre food and of course, you just get a seat, not an apartment. British Airways is one of my favourite ways to travel transatlantic.

you can read my review of British Airways in First Class.

This article was inspired by The Luxury Travel Expert.