Review – Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento

Clinging to Sorrento’s dramatic clifftops, the lavish sherbet-hued hotel has breath-taking panoramic views of the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea… STOP! Enough of the Amalfi Coast clichés already. First off, there is no clinging going on here. Built upon the ruins of Roman Emperor Augustus’ villa, The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria has been proudly standing on the … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Medellín

“We have weapons too, but they’re spray cans and microphones.” That’s what a Colombian rapper told me as we walked through what used to be Latin America’s most violent neighbourhood. Medellín is this weird mix of things, a mash-up of contradictions. For decades it was one of the most dangerous places in the world, Pablo … Continue Reading

10 Years of Moonlighting in The Connaught  – London’s Best Hotel

Sinning at the Connaught In 2008 I made a terrible mistake. I was visiting Wales for a work thing and just before leaving for the train, I decided to cut my own hair. Just a trim on the back and sides. And at first everything seemed fine. It was only when I caught my reflection … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Athens, Greece

On top of the Acropolis hill, the Parthenon temple almost shimmers, sunbeams reflected on its off-white, marble columns. You’ve probably heard of Athens before. It’s this insanely ancient city (its origins dating all the way back to 3200 BC), where the sun refuses to leave and history feels as tangible as it could ever be, … Continue Reading

Review – Stein Eriksen Lodge ; Park City, Utah

Welcome to Park City Park City is a hidden gem – this charming little ski town in Utah has a lot to recommend it. It is known for hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics as well as the largest festival in the United States – the Sundance Film Festival. It’s an incredibly wealthy town and unsurprisingly, … Continue Reading

Review – Northern Lights at Lyngen Lodge, Norway

Welcome to Sørkjosen – in search of the Northern Lights Ladies and gentlemen I bring you this post from the deepest darkest reaches of the Arctic Circle. A land of duality – a place where the midnight suns of summer burn in dazzling contrast with the permanent night of Winter – a time when the sun … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Havana Cuba

I have just devoured platefuls of plane food. Lukewarm perspiring chicken plonked in greasy matrimony with something green broiled beyond recognition. Every soggy mouthful a deliverance (context later). Serge and I are recovering from the first leg of the trip celebrating our marriage. So as I enjoyed the uniquely pungent cocktail that microwaved food and … Continue Reading

The Cheval Blanc Maldives – Review

Why the Cheval Blanc Paradise in the Indian Ocean was a Huge Disappointment Let’s talk about The Cheval Blanc Randheli Maldives. We have recently returned from this newly opened super-luxe hotel. By nature, I am not prone to harbouring grudges. However, this is not borne of some saintly forbearance on my part. Like any mercurial … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Baku

What is Baku Like? Baku – it doesn’t look like much beneath the wing of the plane. A sand coloured shrubless land and a low pale sky, not exactly tourist board porn, if anything it looks like a biblical landscape, old testament. It’s been 18 months and I’ve truly missed it. Sometimes initial impressions belie … Continue Reading

Insider’s Guide – Macau: A Gambling Odyssey

I’m sitting in the Super Class of the TurboJet feeling slightly seasick as I try to figure out why the first class compartment smells like an onion bhaji and how much more lurching my rickety sea legs can withstand before my keyboard plays host to last night’s dim sum. As I’m cruising through the South … Continue Reading