A few years ago our kids went to study in the US, leaving us with an empty nest. Since then an annual 4- week visit to the US and elsewhere has become a regular feature. Our travels have been engaging experiences and I thought of sharing a few tips on planning long vacations.
So here goes…
I stared wide-eyed at the two bridges. The first was made of bamboo and the second of rusty iron cables; both had steel wires to hold onto for support. A board read “Don’t shake the bridge”, but despite my best efforts to adhere to this instruction, it shook and swung as I walked over it.
Goa’s backwaters and hinterland are stunning, historical, authentic and still completely unchanged. Discover the nature trails by taking a guided boat tour of the area. Visualize a 360 degree picturesque scene and colourful parallel shores on either side as you experience both sunrise and sunset.
Sometimes getting the plans wrong can ruin a perfectly good holiday. Maybe it’s time to turn to professionals, experts who’ve been long and experienced enough in the business of travel, both at home and abroad, to help get those logistics right.
This erstwhile royal city wears its regal heritage with great pride— and nowhere is this more vivid than in the mighty sprawl of the massive confection of the Mysore Palace, which dominates the city skyline.
There’s no time to be bored this month thanks to the spectacular line-up of activities and events for all the family in Abu Dhabi
Enjoy a Bollywood Blockbuster
Salim and Suleiman
Bollywood chart toppers Salim and Suleiman head to the capital to celebrate Indian Independence Day with Namaste Abu Dhabi, an amazing flurry of dance moves and song. Expect a colourful, energetic series of compositions by the popular Indian duo and their troupe of dancers at Emirates Palace on 18 August. Read More
Neo-classical design, unrivalled Gulf views and outstanding service make this hotel a one-of-a-kind experience
A hospitality icon in the heart of fashionable Salmiya, each of the hotel’s 203 sea- and garden-view guestrooms and suites feature a collection of hand-selected furniture pieces and artworks, reflecting a classical European style with palatial accents.
Culture, heritage and beautiful art complement a fun-filled stay for the whole family
A ROYAL RETREAT
For a regal style stay, book into the Royal Suite, which is abundant with art. Indeed, every single piece was handpicked by the hotel’s owner. In keeping with his good taste, you’ll also enjoy stunning panoramic vistas of the Gulf of Oman and the picturesque marina.
Kids will love the Little Sailors’ summer camp running until 31 Aug. From arts and crafts to story time, painting and rock climbing, they’ll have a blast thanks to supervised activities all day long. For children aged three to eight, prices start from Dhssoo and parents can enjoy a 30 percent spa discount, a spa and gym pass and 15 percent off all F&B across the hotel with every weekly booking.
TIME FOR TEA
Make a beeline for the beautiful Arteasan, Fujairah’s only art-inspired tea room where you can indulge in High Tea afternoons. Hosted by the hotel’s dedicated tea experts, you can sample some of the exclusive Jing Tea blends. Meanwhile coffee-drinkers will love Cafe Pronto. As the emirate’s only hotel to boast an exclusive partnership with Nespresso, guests can expect perfect brews all day long in this utterly charming European bistro concept.
Ride the waves like never before on the awesome Seabreacher X – one of the world’s most advanced watercrafts. Mimicking the tail thrusts of aquatic animals, it can dive deep under the water,
roll in any direction and jump over the waves with you on board. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for the exclusive beach club inspired by the trendy hotspots of Marbella and Ibiza, which is opening soon.
Find out more about local traditions and pick up authentic souvenirs outside Canvas restaurant where a group of Emirati craftspeople showcase hand-woven baskets, jewellery holders and trinkets crafted from locally-sourced palm leaves. Also, try the catch of the day – from tiger prawns to Omani lobsters – at The Copper Lobster, which serves the best regional fare.
For a short break on your doorstep that’s as cultural as it is relaxing, this delightful property is sure to impress
In a gorgeous reflection of the fishing heritage of Ajman, this hotel boasts stunning marine-inspired interiors – the pinnacle of which can be seen in a feature sculpture situated in Azrak. Commanding centre stage in the hotel’s lobby lounge cafe, this beautiful glass art sculpture created by Lasvit is dramatically suspended from the ceiling. Measuring 16m in diameter, it portrays a spiralling shoal of fish about to be captured in basket-like nets and represents a gratitude for the sea -something that remains at the heart of Ajman culture.
Elevate your shisha experience at Badr Lounge. Sit back and enjoy stunning panoramic sea views as you take your pick from 16 distinctive blends. Inspired by the Arabic word for moon, Badr Lounge offers a relaxed garden-style setting and is home to a talented shisha mixologist who’s only too happy to create personalised flavours from his cart stocked with countless jars of different blends.
He’ll give you an introduction to shisha blending, detailing the subtleties of the preparation process and giving tips on what mixes work best.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
Offering unrivalled and panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf flanked by an emerging city skyline, the two exclusive Penthouse suites are the cream of the Fairmont crop. Expect 5oosqm of beautifully designed double-storey space with floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the spectacular views. Perfect for the whole family, you’ll have three bedrooms as standard with the option to connect to a fourth if required. With a separate living area, dining room, kitchen, bar and entertainment space, you’ll also love the spacious spa-inspired marble bathroom with its dual rain shower experience, oversized soaking tub and bath amenities from Le Labo.
Inspired and built from recyclable materials salvaged from the sea, Driftwood is a uniquely rustic beach bar nestled on the edge of the beautiful shoreline. It’s become one of Ajman’s most popular hangouts, and it’s easy to see why. Offering an authentic Caribbean experience, relax barefoot with your toes in the sand, sipping on a cold beverage and listening to reggae music as you drink in spectacular sunsets. For seafood lovers, this place is a culinary delight thanks to its locally-sourced seafood, which is grilled to perfection on the BBQ by the talented in-house chefs.
FOR AN ART LOVER
Get ready to indulge your cultural side thanks to the inspiring line-up of exhibitions taking place throughout the year. Having already showcased Dream by Ukrainian artist Yelyzaveta Starostina and a Ramadan exhibit by Emirati artist Budour Al Ali, there are exciting plans for further showcases in the works – perfect for combining a love for travel and art.
Sweeping and iconic, this stunning property makes for a staycation with a difference
CREAM OF THE CROP
Indulge in the very best by booking a stay in the Presidential Suite. Arranged over two levels and offering beautifully designed space, there’s room for the whole family in this two-bedroom suite, from which you can enjoy outstanding views of the majestic Meydan Racecourse. If you’re looking for a suite with Dubai skyline and Burj Khalifa views to enjoy with your family, the Presidential Meydan Suite is the ideal choice.
A SENSE OF CALM
Relax and unwind with a visit to the infinity pool on the 11th floor which boasts outstanding Meydan Racecourse vistas. Kids can enjoy their very own pool and dedicated play area while fitness fans can head to the state-of- the-art gym. Enter a state of Zen in The Meydan Massage rooms – try The Meydan Signature massage, which uses both deep tissue and hot stone massage and combines oils, pressure point stimulation and hot stones to soothe away tension.
DINE IN STYLE
With seven outlets, you can rest assured you’ll dine in style at The Meydan Hotel. Head to fine-dining steakhouse Prime, where only the best cuts of premium beef are served, and try the speciality flambe. Shiba restaurant offers authentic Asian delights prepared by talented Japanese and Chinese chefs. Or, take the family to Farriers restaurant for international culinary creations. For delicious beverages, there are many spots to choose from. Qube Sports Bar has 21 big screens so you can watch your favourite game while enjoying a snack. Or, head to Shiba Bar for its chic ambiance and extravagant Asian-inspired mixed drinks.
For equestrian fans, this hotel is hard to beat. Not only do rooms offer racetrack views but, from September you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the stables, grandstand and the racecourse. The racing season starts in November with Dubai World Cup set for 31 March.
There’s no need to worry about membership fees at golf course The Track, as you can simply pay as you play. With a 400-yard floodlit driving range, short game practice area and putting green, it’s perfect for those looking to hone their skills. Seasoned golfers will enjoy 7,412 yards of Black championship tees.